, March 6, 2012

Federal and city officials have confirmed plans for a long-assumed land deal in which the city of New Orleans will take ownership of the downtown VA Medical Center in exchange for the Mid-City parcel where the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is building a new medical complex. Ryan Berni, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's press secretary, said the transaction likely won't occur until 2014, when the new VA complex is slated to open. He said the mayor's legal office has determined the swap will not require City Council approval. Both the VA property and the shuttered Charity Hospital have for months been rumored as potential city acquisitions as the Landrieu administration contemplates a new City Hall.

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