Whenever anyone mentions Six Flags New Orleans, with it comes a wave of unstoppable sadness. After originally opening in 2000 as Jazzland, the theme park unfortunately went bankrupt in just two seasons. It was then taken over by Six Flags in 2003 but in 2005 suffered irreparable damage when Hurricane Katrina struck.
Although many proposals have been put forward over the last eighteen years to potentially revitalize the area including a retail and entertainment complex, new theme park and an outlet mall, none of them have come to fruition. It has been a very long road but there now finally appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for the redevelopment of the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans site.
According to Blooloop, New Orleans has made a deal with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) and the Bayou Phoenix development group to reimagine the city’s abandoned Six Flags theme park.
Their aim will be to return the site to commerce which will deliver services and benefits to the residents of New Orleans East. The Industrial Development Board (IDB) which have held the site since 2009 are preparing to sign the final agreement to transfer the property to NORA.
Bayou Phoenix was selected as the master developer for the former Six Flags site in October 2021. According to Screamscape, Bayou Phoenix has previously proposed that the site could be divided up for several different projects, including a sports complex, an E-sports arena, a distribution center style warehouse building, and some kind of indoor waterpark resort. We will have to await for further confirmation on the redevelopment plans over the coming months.
It has certainly been a long road getting to this point. It was back in May 2019 that New Orleans Mayor, LaToya Cantrell released a statement saying her office was targeting the site for demolition. One of the chief reasons for this action was the deteriorating state of the former attractions (including several large roller coasters and a Ferris wheel) which could be seen from nearby roads, and were creating frustrations for neighbors and local property owners, who had been dealing with this eyesore for over a decade. In addition, the site had become home to wildlife like snakes and alligators, making it a safety hazard as well for nearby property owners.
It was then reported by The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate that on Monday December 14, 2020, The City's Director of Economic Development, Jeff Schwartz announced that city officials were seeking a developer to revitalize this long abandoned site.
Developers had been given until February, 2021 to demonstrate their interest and then shortlisted developers would have to submit full plans for both the former Six Flags New Orleans 163-acre main site as well as the adjacent 65-acre site located to the northeast. City Hall were hoping that by the end of June 2021 a redevelopment plan would be finalised. As already stated, Bayou Phoenix was selected as the master developer for the former Six Flags site in October 2021.
It has been clear for a number of years that in the light of COVID-19 and current unemployment among the Parish workforce this site would be an important one to help revitalize the area with Schwartz saying, "We know we need this site to come back as a key publicly-owned asset as a way of driving the economy of the future".
We hope that this time, plans will be finalised and construction will commence to redevelop the long abandoned former site of Six Flags New Orleans. This will be at last be very positive for New Orleans. Let us know what you think this abandoned site should be developed for by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook Page.