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Six Flags New Orleans, abandoned

UPDATE June 3, 2024 - It has been over a year since we have heard any news regarding Six Flags New Orleans. In a recent news article, we learn that the abandoned theme park will finally be demolished to make way for redevelopment of the site.

According to the news article, at the moment brush clearing and animal wrangling is taking place on site with the plan appearing to be to start demolition and the removal of all abandoned buildings and theme park rides including the iconic Mega Zeph roller coaster in late summer.

Once the full demolition has been completed the process of establishing just how much of the area can be redeveloped will begin including getting the Army Corps of Engineers to study the site to confirm how much of the site is "natural wetlands".

The Bayou Phoenix development team now own the land and plan to redevelop it into a family-orientated destination which will include "youth sports complexes, a water park, two hotels and a film studio".

Although there is no current timeline, it is a positive step forward that land clearing has now begun and demolition is planned to begin late summer.

March 11, 2023 - 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.

Image: (By Infrogmation of New Orleans - Photo by Infrogmation (talk) of New Orleans, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10363209)
Image: (By Infrogmation of New Orleans - Photo by Infrogmation (talk) of New Orleans, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10363209)

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.

Six Flags New Orleans
Image: Eric Jorgenson, Wikimedia Commons (license)

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.

Image: Erik  Jorgensen, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons 
Image: Erik  Jorgensen, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons 

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.

New Orleans, abandoned theme park
Image: Keoni 101, Wikimedia Commons (license)

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.

 
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