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P. 50: New Orleans seeking redevelopment proposals for SFNO site

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On page 17, there's a page about Six Flags New Orleans that gives an estimate by a construction company.


Read page 4.

This company does Loss Assessments on all these different types of properties to estimate replacement cost, type of loss, cause of loss, etc.......This was not an estimate by a construction company.

This is something mostly used by insurance companies to help them with paying out large claims after the Loss assessment. This also helps them in legal situations when sued for not paying out losses due to flood (flood policies are separate from master policies) vs. wind, etc.

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Hey, I just saw this article. This should help clear things up a bit.


Offer to redevelop Six Flags Amusement Park in New Orleans is still pending


Although a video making the rounds on the Internet says that the theme park is scheduled for demolition next year, city officials say there are no plans to demolish the Six Flags Amusement Park and an offer to redevelop the site is still pending.


The six and a half-minute video shot by photographer Teddy Smith, set only to somber music, provides a haunting illustration of the park's unkempt state. Shattered glass from blown out windows and doors still covers the ground. Vandals have covered some walls with graffiti. The park rides, left abandoned since the park shut down, are predictably weathered. At the end of the video, a word blurb says that the park rides are scheduled to be dismantled and the park demolished in January.


But city spokesman Ryan Berni said that "there is no plan" to demolish the site or to dismantle the equipment. Such an action would require approval from the City Council, said Eric Granderson, chief of staff for council chairman Arnie Fielkow. The council is not entertaining any such proposals, Granderson said. "We had heard that rumor," Granderson said. "But it isn't true."


The city also disputes another claim in the video: that it was shot with the city's permission. Berni said Smith was part of a film crew shooting the movie "The Courier" at the site over four days in October. While the film crew had permission to shoot for the movie, Berni said Smith, who lists telephone numbers in Baton Rouge and Los Angeles on his Web site, did not have the city's permission to shoot his own video. Smith did not return a request for comment.


Aside from the recent movie filming and Smith's video, there has been little action at the park, which never reopened after Hurricane Katrina. Private security had been used to guard the site for several years after it closed, but the City Council budget for 2011 does not include it.


The city has ownership of the property after Six Flags terminated its lease with New Orleans in December while undergoing bankruptcy reorganization. The termination agreement called for Six Flags to make a $3 million cash payment to the city. The company also was ordered to give New Orleans 25 percent of its net Katrina-related insurance proceeds for the site on a settlement amount more than $65 million.


Last year, there were competing proposals for the site's development. A start up called Southern Star Amusement that for a short time had an alliance with Nickelodeon wanted to refurbish the park's rides and reopen it as a Nickelodeon branded theme park. Meanwhile, Big League Dreams hoped to build a sports complex. Neither project has moved forward.


The most recent offer to redevelop the park came from Minnesota developer 3 Wise Men Entertainment Inc. In its application to the Industrial Development Board in April, the company said that it would restore "infrastructure, sewer, water, other utilities, building structures and existing park rides," among other things on the 150-acre site. The company's proposal also called for the development of a "resort with a water park and additional theme rides."


According to the application, the total projected budget for the project was $202 million. But just days after its application went public, the company withdrew its request to appear before the Industrial Development Board to request preliminary approval of $200 million in bonds to support the project. The board, which acts as the city's real estate arm, must give initial approval for bonds before a request is made to the Louisiana State Bond Commission.


The application is still pending, IDB Administrator Sharon Martin said. But a date for it to go before the board had not been set as of Wednesday afternoon.


ADMIN EDIT: I went ahead and quoted the story so people wouldn't have to jump to see it. Thanks for sharing this with us!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I hate to say this, but they just need to sell the not-too-damaged rides and tear the place down. You just don't build something like that in New Orleans. It's way too big of an investment for that location. I mean, there isn't any shelter for the rides, so they're left for the weather. And to built this in a place notorious for terrible hurricanes. Really stupid idea, in my opinion.

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Had the levee's not failed, most if not all damage would have been wind damage. That would have easily been taken care of by the master insurance policy or if they had to take out a separate wind and hail policy, that would have pretty much covered it. I personally don't see the park coming back as anything huge but who knows. We'll see if they learn from past experience.

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At this point it seems like flogging a dead horse. Really - it's sad to see, but it happened. They need to (as someone mentioned above) sell off what they can - recycle the rest - and do something else with the property.


I never like to see a park go down - but at this point, this seems like a lost cause.



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Interesting that the guy shot his video DURING an "approved" shoot for a movie at the park! Other than pub, he's not making any money off of it so I guess it was a good idea....and one that the city won't be much more than annoyed about (it's not like he was selling it, therefore forcing the city to try to get their cut etc). Wonder what, if any, money the city collected for allowing the crew to shoot there?

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It didn't look like he was portraying anyone in a bad light, but simply documenting the park and the state that it's in. And as someone else said, he wasn't trying to make any money off of it. And he was in the park with the city's approval, albeit for filming something else, but at least he didn't break in like so many others have done.

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  • 4 weeks later...

In The News...


While in office, former Mayor Ray Nagin told New Orleanians to expect a Nickelodeon amusement park, in place of the shuttered Six Flags site, by the end of 2010. With less than three weeks left in the year, there are still no definitive plans for the property and progress on what was supposed to be an adjacent sports complex has also been stalled indefinitely.


Off interstate-10 in New Orleans East, an unusual sight for out-of-towners and a disappointing one for locals—the Six Flags theme park sits idle with rusty roller coasters, overgrown lots, and an entrance sign that reads 'Closed for Storm.'


At the nearby Vucinovich’s Restaurant, co-owner Russell Vucinovich says his still struggling community could use a new amusement park, but adds he’s seen too many plans fall though.


"You don't believe nothing no more,” said Vucinovich. “These politicians, they promise you stuff and nothing happens. You can't even get the grass cut, next door."


Documents obtained by FOX 8, show the company, 3 Wise Men Entertainment, Inc., is once again set to meet with the city's Industrial Development Board in hopes of eventually scoring $200 million dollars in bonds to redevelop the site. The company was expected to present its plan during the board’s meeting on Tuesday, but according to a board representative, the company says it will have to reschedule since its officials in Minnesota have had their flights cancelled because of heavy snow.


According to state records, 3 Wise Men is a Baton Rouge company that is owned by a pair of Minnesota based firms: Pink Caste Trust owns 10 percent and AB Moten Corporation owns 90 percent.


Fox 8 was unable to reach representatives with either of the companies.


Tuesday will mark the second time 3 Wise Men has cancelled its presentation to the city. It was 8 months ago when the company cancelled its initial meeting with the board, after touting a plan that would have had Nickelodeon involved. In its revised application, that's no longer the case.


Former Mayor Ray Nagin first put a spotlight on Nickelodeon in August of 2009. He and then-councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis announced the children’s cable network was going to open a brand new amusement park on the Six Flags site by the end of 2010.


“The family that gets slimed together, enjoys quality time together,” Lewis said back in 2009.


Councilman Jon Johnson, who now represents New Orleans East, says he's moving at a much slower pace, for now, reserving judgment on the '3 Wise Men' plan and 3 or 4 other plans from interested developers, he says, he’s not ready to name publically.


"Quite frankly, I don't want to get any false hopes up on the community, again,” Johnson said. The District E councilman admits it could be years before a new park is developed.


"Probably,” said Johnson. “In light of the economy we're confronted with."


The mayor's office isn't endorsing any plan either. It would only say that the proposal by 3 Wise Men is in the beginning stages and doesn't prevent any other developer from vying for the site.


"If they're successful at finding financing, then the city will be able to negotiate with them as well as other potential developers,” said Andy Kopplin, Deputy Mayor/CAO.


Vucinovich just hopes the city finally gets it right and avoids taking residents and business owners on just another ride.


"They need to go after it, grasp it, and get it rolling."


Meanwhile, the city is still paying $2 million each year to repay HUD loans that were taken out for the Six Flags site, according to Ryan Berni, Landrieu administration spokesperson. The city, he says, must continue paying until 2017, when the loan is paid in full.


Per the September 18, 2009 settlement reached between the city and Six Flags, the city was paid $3 million and was promised a portion of the insurance proceeds collected by Six Flags in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


“The Law Department is following up with Six Flags on that part of the settlement that would give the City 25 percent of all insurance proceeds that exceed $75 million,” Berni said.


FOX 8 is also learning of new details concerning the sports complex that was proposed for the 75-acres of city owned property adjacent to the Six Flags site in New Orleans East.


The developer, Big League Dreams, says its original pitch to the city is no longer on the table after a lack of traction inside City Hall.


“It doesn’t appear we are going to pursue this situation any further,” said Rick Odekirk, Managing Director for the company.


City Council President Arnie Fielkow has long championed the project, but tells FOX 8 it simply didn't garner enough support from lawmakers, including Mayor Landrieu.


"I think we need city leadership to come together and say this is something that we want,” Fielkow said. “If it’s something that we really do want, then I think we can seriously begin some discussions with Big League Dreams to talk about maybe a better financing model that would be more affordable for the city."


Through a statement Monday evening, Landrieu called the plan an “excellent project,” but said the city has yet to identify a funding source to construct the $25 million facility.


“Over the past year, I have worked with the City Council to determine how to best use our limited resources,” Landrieu wrote. “We also held community meetings to hear priorities directly from citizens, and Big League Dreams was not one of the priorities identified by citizens.”


Odekrik says before year's end, his company will meet to consider altering its business model to make the project more desirable for New Orleans by lessening the dollar amount the city would have to pay up front to build the site.


Meanwhile, Landrieu says his administration has prioritized over 100 other projects, which are all fully funded.


“This included a significant investment in parks and playgrounds as well as several major investments in New Orleans East and the Lower Ninth Ward that will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of these communities,” Landrieu said.



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That's one bond I wouldn't buy. It's deeply sickening to think a company has to mooch of off the taxpayers to build a business they will profit on. Sure you can make the argument that a few businesses might benefit from the site being developed again, but is it 200 million worth? Will the people embrace it, support it, visit it, help it grow? That's something that's already been answered once. If it was worth saving SF's would have saved it. New parks are a risky business these days as we all have seen. Come to think of it, I'm curious to research how many new parks have opened in the US in the last five years that are still open, I'll have to check on that.

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One thing I learned with my three trips down there. The big tourism area is the French Quarter and then after that is the lower 9th. After that, unless you know someone down there or have a personal attachment like I do, you don't really stray far from the Quarter or your car in the lower ninth in the daytime and def. not at night anywhere other then the French quarter.


The block I worked on in the 8th ward back in Nov. 2009 still have only two homes occupied back in August of this year. The rest were either still gutted (one home wasn't gutted) or tore down. You have to have the population that wants a park (and they don't have the population to support it now or ever and they are a lot of poor people down there financially {but they are rich in other areas, but that is a whole story by itself}).

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  • 2 weeks later...

My boyfriend sent me that video that that "Teddy" figure did, and, living in Baton Rouge and that having been the first amusement park I ever went to as a kid, I was fascinated and curious as to how I was completely unaware of the closed down park. I did hella ton research and read stories of people "breaking in" and taking pictures, and decided I wanted to (being a photographer and a person who loves abandoned things) and we finally took the trip the other day!


I have a few things to add. They are not demolishing the park, if that hasn't already been stated. I read the past few pages of this but not sure if that was ever put. And they did salvage the Batman, which is now the Goliath in the San Antonio Fiesta Texas Six Flags park (another ironic thing because I go there every summer with my youth group and we always ride that ride the most. Crazy to think of how it was the first roller coaster I rode as a child, under a different name.)


I'm torn between whether I think they should tear it down and move on, because obviously New Orleans just isn't the place for an amusement park. I mean, how sad is it that Jazzland didn't survive for hardly two years and SFNO survived for only three after that! Who has ever heard of such a huge amusement park dying out after only 5 years running? It's insane. But at the same time, there are so many abandoned things across the country that are "taking up space" in some people's minds, but in others, such as the creative and adventurous type, it's an opportunity to take pictures/film/explore.


I told my younger sister how sad I feel towards such a huge park, once filled with the laughter of children, teens, and adults, now empty, graffitied, and gathering dust gone to waste, destroyed. And she said "sad is when someone dies, not when a park floods."


I don't know.


Here is part 1 to the pictures I took. Part two will be up eventually.


Film - Abandoned Six Flags

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I mean, how sad is it that Jazzland didn't survive for hardly two years and SFNO survived for only three after that! Who has ever heard of such a huge amusement park dying out after only 5 years running? It's insane.


I guess you never heard of Hard Rock Park...

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Mariel is correct in stating that Batman went to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and was renamed to Goliath. The only other ride that was salvaged was The Road Runner Express, the junior coaster. It is currently being installed at my local park, Six Flags Magic Mountain. They were originally going to call it Mr. Six's Dance Coaster, but they changed their minds and it will now be known as Little Flash.

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Marielgates-I'm not sure Batman was the only ride salvaged, wasn't the space shot/turbo drop sent to Great Escape? The Mega Zeph trains, RRE, the chaos, Pontchartrain flyers and Voodoo something were salvaged too, right?


The S&S Combo went to Great Escape and reopened as Sasquatch.

The Gerstlauer trains that ran on MZ went to SFSTL to be used as spare part donors for Boss, and now at least one full train is rotting in their boneyard I believe.

All of the shade structures built in 2003/04 were removed and transferred to other sites, such as the queue shade for Goliath @ SFFT. They may not be the same structures, but they're nearly identical so I can only assume they were moved with the ride.

The Vekoma rollerskater is about to be rebuilt @ SFMM.

The boats from the Spillway Splashout (Hopkins Chute the Chutes) were refurbished and moved.

Various theming elements were removed and plunked down in other parks.


I'm a little curious as to why they never tried to take any of the three Vekoma looping trains for all of the boomerang/Arrow coasters that could use spare parts. Or why they never touched Jester since they dumped money refurbing it in 2004 to fix the ride a bit.



Whatever, the park's dead. Move along.

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  • 3 weeks later...



There has never been MYSTERY INVESTORS only people who have come and gone who might have invested if the city would seed control of the park to us. Why do you think we wanted the Go Zone bonds? The fact is that no investor is going to put money up when you cant even get the terms of a deal for the park. We have made one offer after another allowing the city to check every step of the project to be sure that it was funded. We have offered to put security at the park at no cost to the city to repair the fencing around the park if only the city would allow us to let our engineers do a detailed inspiction to determan what is still usable in order to understand what we need to do and how much it is going to cost. Toon we are sitting on 10 million dollars worth of credit for equipment for the park (Rides) as well as 1.5 million in credit for water park equipment. We have deals (credit) to repair the major rides that are still in the park amounting to another 3 million of the 8 million or so that we think may be needed. Toon that's 14.5 million dollars we have ready should we be given the park. There are other deals in the works as well but how can we move forward with no contract with the city? How do you justify asking money from investors when the city will not commit in writing? You think that some one is going to come in and save the day like Schlitterbaun? Don't you think we have already talked with them as well as every one else we can think of? People you Don't even know all around the industry have been talked to and almost every one has the same answer, we will be willing to talk once you have control of the park.


Toon it may come as a shock to you but we have already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this effort, can you name just one other who has? The truth is if all of you got behind us and enlisted every one you know in one major effort together we might be able to move the city into allowing us the chance. If you know some one who is willing to help now would be the time! I am willing to keep trying but time is running out for the park and soon it will be to late to save it. So how about it are you up for a fight to save your park or not? If so lets get a public campaign started to save our park and let city hall know that we want the park back! What are your ideas and what can you do to help? We need sponsors, investors and volunteers who are willing to stand up and help. We need to put on public events to raise funds and to paper the city with petitions calling for the city to act now and allow us the chance to try and save the park!


You can e-mail me at southernstarltd@att.net with ideas or what ever that's my direct e-mail and I will answer you as long as your civil. One last point we have put out a press statement and you can find it by going to http://www.southernstaramusement.com






This part just really stands out to me:


we have already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this effort


Somehow, I think he and Kat (of the Big Dipper fame) would get along quite well.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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