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SFNO/Jazzland Discussion Thread

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

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I think the biggest problem with most of these proposals is the scale of them.

 

New Orleans just can't support a retail complex or theme park of this size to make it profitable.

If they were looking at smaller, lower cost proposals I'd be far more confident they'd be able to break even.

But these 200 to 350 million dollar projects just seem like building a bridge to nowhere.

New Orleans couldn't support a park the size of Jazzland when it had twice the population it has now.

What do they think has changed?

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It doesn't matter which proposal they pick. It is all going to come down to money. When the time comes, nether of the proposals is going to be able to raise the money needed. The scale of these projects is way to big. Why do they need to do something with the site anyway?

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  • 2 months later...

http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2012/02/six_flags_redevelopment_commit.html

 

A plan to turn the former Six Flags theme park in eastern New Orleans into an upscale outlet mall is the only project still under consideration after a city selection committee created to review redevelopment proposals Monday rejected a plan to reopen the site as a theme park. The joint venture of Provident Realty Advisors and DAG Development, which has proposed building Jazzland Outlet Mall at the abandoned site, will continue on in the selection process and present its plan in a community meeting in eastern New Orleans next month.

 

Meanwhile, Crescent City Amusement Park, the idea presented by RCS Entertainment, has been dropped.

 

The two had been finalists in the quest to redevelop the abandoned 150-acre tract after beating out six other competitors late last year.

 

Last month, the five-member selection committee heard presentations from both parties and gave each a month to respond to follow-up questions.

 

The city of New Orleans has controlled the shuttered property since December 2009, when a Delaware court presiding over the bankruptcy of Six Flags Inc. agreed to allow the theme park operator to terminate its lease in exchange for cash payments to the city. Six Flags did not reopen the storm-marred park after Hurricane Katrina.

 

In the end, the committee was not convinced that RCS Entertainment could pull off its goal of building a theme park along the lines of Busch Gardens or Cedar Fair at the site because the team had never built a theme park.

 

"I've got real concerns about putting something out to the public where there might not be the wherewithal to pull off something of this scale," said Aimee Quirk, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's economic development adviser and a member of selection committee.

 

Committee members were more confident in Provident's ability to close the outlet mall deal. Provident and DAG have proposed a 400,000-square-foot, $40 million outlet mall and boardwalk entertainment district to include some adapted use of the theme park elements already in place at the site. Future phases of that plan propose a big-box retailer, amphitheater, sports field, water park and hotel.

 

Provident has built similar retail malls across the country.

 

"I feel like I have seen enough from them to know that we are offering something the public will respond to," said Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff Judy Reese Morse, who also is a committee member.

 

But, the outlet mall is far from a done deal. If the city ultimately decides to move forward with Provident and DAG, it would basically be agreeing to allow the company to conduct due diligence for a period of six months to one year. Although the joint venture would pick up the tab for any preconstruction work done in that period, the city would forgo the opportunity to allow anyone else to develop the site during that time, at the conclusion of which Provident and DAG could walk away if they determine an outlet mall would not work on the site.

 

Deputy Mayor and committee member Cedric Grant also restated his long-standing concern that the outlet mall proposal will require a significant contribution from the city that may include a tax increment financing, or TIF, agreement and other incentives. Grant said he needed greater assurance that the developer would have "skin in the game" and asked the committee to push them for a specific dollar amount for their planned investment.

 

"We still need to see their money. In this instance, I would feel much better about it if they tell us the cost they are ready to put up," Grant said. "There's no question these are people experienced with doing development. But they are probably accustomed to using other people's money."

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.wdsu.com/news/30623633/detail.html

 

New Orleans officials gave the green light Tuesday to a developer who wants to put an upscale outlet mall in the old Six Flags amusement park site. Jazzland Mall is expected to have 400,000 square feet of stores, restaurants, amusement park rides and amphitheater and athletic fields. The developer said the first phase of the $60 million plan would generate 2,000 jobs.

 

The site has been empty since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the park.

 

Securing financing for the mall is the next step of the process.

 

"This concept doesn't exist anywhere from Destin to Houston, so it's a totally unique product that will create new sales, new revenue, new jobs. We believe it's a win-win solution," developer David Garcia said.

 

The final selection committee vote was 5-0 for the developer to move forward. One of the developers, Provident Realty Advisors, has experience with similar projects.

 

The deal could still take several months before it is finalized.

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It's been quite a while since I've read this thread. Has any determination been made as to the disposition of the rides that are still on site?

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Here we go again. Even though the current proposal doesn't include a theme park, they are still going to have the same problem raising money! Hopefully they can make a go of it and there are enough people left in the area to support this kind of commercial development.

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  • 1 month later...

Trust me I am dying down here. I just had to relocate to Mississippi for a job from Washington d.c. I was in prime location in D.C. Surrounded by parks to the north and south and here I am on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi with No Parks anywhere within reason. The only park would've been SFNO which is an hour drive. I drove by it a few months ago and its sooo sad seeing Mega Zeph sitting there. The closest park is SFOG and thats 5.5 hours away... NO WAY! Past that I'd have to go a total of 8 hrs to get to the next nearest park. The gulf coasts needs a theme park. I think biloxi would be a great place with all the casinos and beaches... Maybe I need to pitch the idea.

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  • 1 month later...
It's been quite a while since I've read this thread. Has any determination been made as to the disposition of the rides that are still on site?

 

They haven't specified which rides they are gonna keep if they keep any at all. I believe the Mega Zeph is the only one that they are really looking at.

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Trust me I am dying down here. I just had to relocate to Mississippi for a job from Washington d.c. I was in prime location in D.C. Surrounded by parks to the north and south and here I am on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi with No Parks anywhere within reason. The only park would've been SFNO which is an hour drive. I drove by it a few months ago and its sooo sad seeing Mega Zeph sitting there. The closest park is SFOG and thats 5.5 hours away... NO WAY! Past that I'd have to go a total of 8 hrs to get to the next nearest park. The gulf coasts needs a theme park. I think biloxi would be a great place with all the casinos and beaches... Maybe I need to pitch the idea.

 

I never quite got why that was either. I was just wondering the other day why other classics like Pontchartrain Beach couldn't succeed either. Came across this nugget the other day:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lxy2au5SRA (note, funny how those restaurants and world's largest pool never arrived. Pontchartrain is now nothing more than a drinking spot for UNO students

 

You would think that these gulf coast parks would always hold a tourist draw, perhaps better than the Virginia/California/Carolina/Jersey Shores coastal attractions.

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  • 1 month later...

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, a sequel to the first Percy Jackson film is currently being filmed at the park until August!

 

Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans site comes alive for 'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters' shoot

 

It is approaching midnight at the long-abandoned Six Flags / Jazzland amusement park site in eastern New Orleans, and the fog is rolling in. As it does, the creatures are coming out.

 

There are all the critters you'd expect to find at a place slowly being reclaimed by the surrounding swamp since drowning in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: armadillos and possums, gators and snakes. There are some newcomers, though, in the form of a cyclops and a satyr. Eventually, a manticore -- with the face of a human and the body of a lion -- will join the party.

Those last three, though, will largely have to wait for post-production and some computer-generated special effects before taking their final form. That's because the swamp hasn't been the only thing to invade the amusement park. So has a movie crew, more than 150 people strong, for Twentieth Century Fox's Greek-mythology-inspired "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," a big-screen, big-budget sequel to its 2010 film "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

The film is based on the second of five books in the popular young-reader series by Rick Riordan -- about a teenage boy who, after learning he is descended from Greek gods, is drawn into the turmoil between them -- and the production's crew and pre-production team spent much of the past several weeks at the old park site. That is to say, "Percy Jackson" and company are the ones responsible for the sudden, almost ghostlike return of lights on the park's Ferris wheel and Mega-Zeph roller coaster, among other rides -- and the reason why countless Interstate 10 motorists have been scratching their heads and wondering what's been going on at the park.

The production's recently concluded two-week Six Flags shoot came on the heels of a five-week pre-production period during which crews toiled to whip the littered, derelict park into the needed condition. For starters, a great deal of rewiring was needed to light the lights for the nighttime shoots, as vandals not only covered the park in spray-painted tags but reportedly stripped it of much of its copper wiring.

 

One thing the pre-production crew didn't do, however, was clean things up much. In fact, much of the set dressing involved accentuating the desolation of the derelict park -- including the introduction of fake fog, creating an eeriness that permeated the set.

"It's very cinematic," said actress Alexandra Daddario, who reprises her role of Annabeth Chase, one of the group of friends accompanying Percy on his adventures. "I saw photos of the park even before we knew we were shooting here. There were also some photos of an abandoned mall. It's so creepy."

Chatting between takes, Daddario was sitting in a small tent erected to help keep the mosquitoes off the cast while they shot one of the film's key scenes on the muddy Mega-Zeph inner loop. She was joined by Douglas Smith, who plays Percy pal Tyson, and Brandon T. Jackson, who plays satyr Grover.

According to Jackson -- whose blue tights will be replaced by computer-generated goat legs by the time the film hits the screen -- only so much can be done to keep the swamp creatures at bay.

"Mosquitoes can still bite through," he said, scratching at the blue tights, which were outfitted with half-dollar sized tracking dots to facilitate the addition of computer graphics. "Special effects cannot save you from the New Orleans mosquitoes. ... (But) I think it's cool that we're shooting in New Orleans, especially that it's an abandoned park, because it adds to the creepiness of the film. It adds to the setting. You see from the I-10, people out there are going, 'Is it open?' "

 

The mosquitoes are among the lesser swamp creatures to be dealt with by the "Sea of Monsters" crew. A reported 100 alligators were removed from the site as it was being prepared for the crew to take over. Another dozen were removed during the shoot. Snakes are also an occupational hazard, with a moccasin bite sending a crew member to a nearby hospital on the shoot's second day, according to director Thor Freudenthal ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid").

It has all made for an interesting shoot to say the least -- especially given that Riordan's book makes no mention of an amusement park.

"The park is doubling as the island of Polyphemus, shifting it into modern day," Freudenthal said by way of explanation. "There were certain encounters in the book where (Percy and his friends) jump from island to island. So we sort of took the essence of the books, which transfers the Greek gods in modern times and modern cultures -- that is very much in the spirit of the books."

For the film's purposes, this particular island is also home to the derelict Circeland -- a park built by the goddess Circe (and invented for the film) only to be destroyed by the cyclops Polyphemus. For those familiar with Riordan's story or with Greek mythology, the island is also home to certain key plot elements -- as well as the film's climax.

In addition to shooting in the shadow of the Mega-Zeph -- which was lined with lights and resurrected just enough to have a car zoom in and out of frame -- the production shot at the former Ozarka Splash log flume, rebranded "The Plummet of Death" for the film's purposes.

Because so few rides still work, the crew also trucked in five of their own rides and clustered them at one end of the old midway at the Pontchartrain Beach section of the park. Among their purposes: to help light up the sky and add to the spooky ambiance during the nighttime shoot.

Given the film's island-hopping story line, a fair chunk of the film is set aboard a cruise ship called the Princess Andromeda. Those scenes were shot aboard a yacht in Lake Pontchartrain over six nights prior to the Six Flags shoot. (Before that, the crew shot for several weeks in Vancouver.)

The last part of the crew's New Orleans shoot -- involving green-screen work -- is being done at Big Easy Studios, the soundstage operating out of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility. It wraps this week.

As far as memorability goes, however, the Six Flags shoot is at or near the top of the list, and Freudenthal says fans should expect that eerie but alluring tone to carry over into his film.

"The books have a very tongue-in-cheek (tone), in that they don't take themselves so seriously, so I took inspiration from that," Freudenthal said. "The mythology, that was established in the first one. We have a chance to have fun with it."

 

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Oh wow, very cool location for a film shoot!

 

I can only imagine how excited some people must have gotten when they saw everything lit up!

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This is really disappointing. Six Flags sunk a LOT of money into rebuilding the park from Jazzland. At least as a mall, it can help create jobs.

They didn't rebuild, they rebranded. Aside from two used coasters and a bunch of super hero crap theming, SF didn't really do much to what was there already. YES, they kept it alive a bit longer, but it was still in great shape (physically) when they took over.

I loved Jazzland a lot more than SFNO, even with the two used coasters added (a bat-clone and the old Joker's Jinx backward corkscrew head-basher from SFFT).

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I'm glad that this park is being used for something; however, I hope the film crew "get it right" when it comes to filming scenes within an amusement park (anyone remember "Zombieland" and its climax inside an amusement park? The filmakers there got everything wrong - such as rides don't automatically run themselves when the power is turned on; you need ride attendants to operate them!). I'll be looking forward to the latest installment of Percy Jackson when it hit theaters.

 

Now as for life after the movie shot is wrapped up, this area formerly known as Six Flags New Orlean is being planned to be turned into a mall. I'm hoping that this mall could be something like Old Town near Orlando, Florida - a mall that has shops and amusement rides. I know some rides will have to be scrapped due to their state of detoriation, but I'm hopping that some rides can be rebuilt (I'm thinking about The Swamp Fox roller coaster in Family Kingdom, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) while others can be salvaged, restored, and brought back to new life. And if all else fails, bring in some new rides! And not just shops can be added to the mall site, but maybe even some entertainment complexes (I'm thinking about Broadway at the Beach, also in Myrtle Beach). If I'm not mistaken, there should be a lake right in the middle of the park that would be perfect for boat rides across and around the lake. But whatever is on the drawing board, it should be something that would even attract a rider and amusement park flyer like myself.

 

In conclusion, let's hope the plans will finally stick this time; I'm getting sick of getting great expectations only to be disappointed because the plans fell through.

 

"Hey, if you're sick, then I have a solution: lay your head upon me and I'll make you better again!

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Oh wow, very cool location for a film shoot!

 

I can only imagine how excited some people must have gotten when they saw everything lit up!

 

Drove past it 2 weeks ago and saw the lights. Knew something was up, and heard the spot was going to be used for films. Glad someone found a way to film something there

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I hope the film crew "get it right" when it comes to filming scenes within an amusement park (anyone remember "Zombieland" and its climax inside an amusement park? The filmakers there got everything wrong - such as rides don't automatically run themselves when the power is turned on; you need ride attendants to operate them!)

 

How dare Hollywood filmmakers inaccurately portray amusement park operations in their movie about a nerd and a Twinkie-addicted redneck surviving a zombie apocalypse!

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  • 9 months later...

Its come to the point where they just need to level the "park". Its been far too long now. They wasted no time clearing the land Astroworld was on. Its time to clean it up and move on. Its such a huge reminder for the people of Louisiana as to what they lost in 2005.

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^^

The land that SFAW sat on was far more valuable than what the land that Sfno is sitting on. (At least that's what Six Flags thought about the SFAW site but they ended but getting way less for it but it's still in a more desirable place than where Sfno sits.)

The city of New Orleans has way better ways to spend money for their city than to just level the park and then sit and wait for a developer to come along. Once something solid comes through it'll happen. In the mean time, they're getting money for the film shoots.

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Funny this thread got revived, I just spoke with a client this week that lives near the French Quarter and talk of the hurricane came up. The former mayor wasted no time getting that area back up and running, after all it's their bread and butter (and we later found out about the mayor and his dealings) nevertheless, it seems pretty much everything south of the Quarter has been forgotten. In their opinion, people have given up, don't care, and moved on. If that is indeed the mindset of the wards/city and the people, then not much is going to be profitable down that direction. People come to drink, party, and leave. They won't want to travel that far for shopping and with housing developments not really spawning in that general direction to the point it could sustain a center of the level that was proposed, its not worth it. As mentioned, rent it out to studios, they seem to love it.

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