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SFNO/Jazzland Discussion Thread

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

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Just out of curiosity, do any of you feel that if the hurricane never happened, SFNO would have still failed? Or would it still be going as one of SF lower tier parks? Or maybe sold?

 

See my response right above your post. (And the many pages of posts before it.)

 

We have discussed this MANY times before, over the years.

 

Simply put - it would have failed. It was failing from the onset. All Katrina did, was solidify the fate of the park.

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If you have Hulu, the show "Abandoned S1 E9 - New Orleans DIY" has some good video footage of the local area and inside the park. I don't see much the could be salvaged, a neighborhood that could support a rebuilt park, or reason to spend 100-million plus to reopen a park in an area that will flood again.

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^ Oh thats cool! I'll have to check it out.

 

 

^^ I dont think it would have failed completely. I know it would have absolutely been a lower tier park, probably even lower than SFA, but I think SF would have continued to operate it with minimal additions.

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Hope Springs Eternal.

 

And P.S.... Jeff? I know this is old crap, to wander through again. But these are in-home times,

and some "squirrely-ness" turns into thread jumping, finding anything "new" to go through.

And comment about. Again. Been there, many times. Such is life, right now.

47b5d733b3127cce98548a5ce50100000017108AcsnLFkzbuW.jpg.657a5bd357833349f79df80d91312504.jpg

Back then. Thank you to whoever took this photo.

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And P.S.... Jeff? I know this is old crap...

 

You’re right. My apologies to Vonni - I hope I didn’t come off as jumping down your throat.

 

Over the years, there was MUCH speculation and optimism about the reopening of the park, in one form or another. For a while there, it was almost a daily play-by-play of what was actually happening on this forum. But... the reality of the situation at the time was - it had it’s best shot at reopening as a waterpark/sports complex. That too, was (IIRC) voted down by the N.O. city council.

 

In the case of SFI - once they had bought the park, the attendance figures were WAY below projections. They had thought by giving it the “Six Flags” name, people would flock there, and it just didn’t happen. This was in an era where SFI were buying up more parks than they handle (Dan Snyder era). They had bought Jazzland, Frontier City, Darien Lake, Walibi Holland and Walibi Belgium.

 

In the bankruptcy filing of SFI in 2009(?)(sorry-doing this from memory) four of those parks were sold off. (Ironically, FC and DL have been reacquired by SFI). In the case of SFNO (aka: Jazzland), no one wanted to buy it, or even the property, as a whole. After a short time, SFI decided to try and sell the park as a whole. All the offers that came in were for parceling out the property only. After even more time (~2007) SFI stopped paying the lease on the land, and it was eventually taken over by the city of N.O.

 

As to why it failed: it was, simply put, the demographics. There wasn’t enough population within a (approx) 2-hr drive to keep the park afloat. (Which makes the reacquisition of FC and DL even more perplexing, though they are regional parks that break relatively even.) Being that when SFI acquired it, there weren’t a whole lot of rides. It was a half-day park at best (with multiple rides on everything). Absolutely no shade, other than the eating places. To add insult to injury, (again, IIRC) they had sold less than 5k season passes for ANY year the park was in operation. SF came in, added some rides (6-7, incl Batman) and the numbers went up, but only in a single-digit percentage (8%?). It was a regional park (at best), and really never could become a “destination” park that would cover the bills.

 

As for me, I liked the park, and I really liked Megazeph. I remember very vividly the day we went (2002 when it was Jazzland). It was 93* when the park opened, and 85% humidity. It was hot and miserable. We thought it had the makings of a good small park, but definitely needed shade. However, there were only about 35-40 other people in the park the day we went (mid July). We thought that that was seriously odd. We asked some employees about it. We were told that was the norm. They would only get busy days around Memorial Day, and July 4th.

 

Anyway - go thru the previous pages, and you’ll get a lot of info (and speculation) as to the rise and fall of the park.

 

Again, I apologize if I came off as a bit harsh.

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^ DL and 6 other parks were sold off in 2006, before Dan Snyder. DL was part of Premier Parks so it was in SF portfolio for awhile. Right now SF doesnt own DL, it just operates it under a triple net lease.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The City of New Orleans is once again restarting the process to collect proposals for a redevelopment of the former Jazzland/Six Flags New Orleans site. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) does not appear to have stipulations as to what kind of use the land must have, so it is possible that the land could be redeveloped for a variety of concepts.

https://nola.gov/mayor/news/december-2020/city-releases-rfq-for-redevelopment-of-former-six-flags-property/

The City of New Orleans has released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a Master Developer for the redevelopment of the former Six Flags site in New Orleans East. After more than a decade sitting vacant, the City is moving forward with a call to identify a qualified team that brings the experience, capacity and resources to create a transformative project at a key site for both the New Orleans East community and the city. The first phase of the RFQ opens Dec. 16, 2020, and responses will be accepted until February 9, 2021.

The City has several objectives it hopes to achieve through the Six Flags RFQ:

  • Create a catalytic economic development anchor project that will spur job creation and investment in alignment with the City’s priority economic development industries
  • Bring the site back into commerce as an amenity that will benefit the community and make use of the site’s strategic assets and location
  • Create a coherent, unified environment through integration of adjacent land uses and spaces, emphasizing green and blue site design elements
  • Spur vibrancy in the New Orleans economy by providing new, well-paying permanent jobs in priority industries and/or industries appropriate to the site

“The Six Flags site is a generational opportunity to create a transformative project at one of the best redevelopment sites in the region. While we are well aware of the historic challenges with the site, the City is deeply committed to ensuring that this solicitation results in the successful redevelopment of the Six Flags property. The City is looking forward to partnering with a development team that has a track record of success bringing multifaceted, forward-thinking projects to fruition that achieve the benefits of economic and community development, job creation, blue and green infrastructure, and more. Bringing this site back into commerce is a commitment of the Administration to the New Orleans East community and the City, and the first step in that process has been taken today,” said Jeff Schwartz, Director, Office of Economic Development.

“The New Orleans Business Alliance is excited to partner with the City to market the opportunity to redevelop this key site that serves as the gateway to New Orleans.  NOLABA has cultivated a vast network of local, regional and national real estate development organizations and we’ll be activating that network throughout this process.  Redevelopment of the Jazzland/Six Flags site has the potential to drive job growth, create opportunities for local neighborhood businesses and represent proof of the economic vitality for New Orleans East, the entire city and entire region,” said Quentin Messer, President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance.

The Six Flags site is a 227-acre property in New Orleans East at the intersection of Interstate-10 and Interstate-510 that originally opened in 2000 as the $130 million Jazzland theme park. The amusement park was acquired by Six Flags in 2002, but did not reopen after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has remained shuttered since then. The Industrial Development Board (IDB) took title to the property in 2009, and the City is leading the redevelopment of the site on behalf of the IDB. 

Additional Information

The City will be accepting applications through the City’s BRASS procurement portal at https://nola.gov/purchasing/brass. Any questions about the solicitation can be directed to the City’s Procurement Office at https://nola.gov/purchasing. Additional information on the Six Flags/Jazzland property can be seen at https://www.nola.gov/jazzland.

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^It would be much cheaper to build a brand new coaster elsewhere. The Megazeph structure might be salvageable but it is likely that all of the track would need to be replaced to get the coaster operational, not to mention that new trains would have to be ordered. The cost of disassembly, transportation, reassembly and replacement of the track and trains would easily outweigh the cost of building a new coaster directly onsite at a different park.

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  • 2 months later...

Drew Brees has a plan for New Orleans long-abandoned Six Flags

 

The plan from Brees and Saints LB Demario Davis would transform the old site into learning centers, including farms that help kids learn about urban agriculture.

Author: Paul Dudley / Eyewitness News Published: 10:24 PM CDT March 16, 2021 Updated: 10:24 PM CDT March 16, 2021

NEW ORLEANS — The old Six Flags, long abandoned since Hurricane Katrina, might have new life. 

A top contender being considered to redevelop the site is recently retired quarterback Drew Brees and current Saint's linebacker Demario Davis, according to District E Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen, who represents New Orleans East. 

“I am really excited,” Nguyen said. “We got three amazing proposals on the table for us.”

According to Nguyen, a committee looked at several different plans for the 227-acre park and graded them on a list of factors including financial backing.

The proposal that scored the highest was a partnership between Kiernan West LLC from Colorado and S.H.I.E.L.D., a non-profit with Brees, Davis and Buffalo Bills cornerback Josh Norman. 

The Brees plan will transform the old site into learning centers, including farms that help kids learn about urban agriculture, Nguyen said.

The second plan by local group Situs Development wants to build an RV Park, a water park and big box stores and a similar plan by TKTMJ wants to see another amusement park and a travel center. We asked Nguyen which proposal she prefers.

“While I think all three are wonderful, I think for me since day one I've always believed that the 227 acres is really best used as a family entertainment center,” Nguyen said.  

Nguyen says city officials are going to explore the three plans and make a final decision in the coming months.

https://www.wwltv.com/amp/article/news/local/orleans/drew-brees-has-a-plan-for-new-orleans-long-abandoned-six-flags/289-f8240288-1f65-43ab-9848-07fe248a32db

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