The City of New Orleans is looking for a master developer for the redevelopment of the former Six Flags site in New Orleans East. The former amusement park site has been vacant for 15 years.
The City announced today (Thursday, Dec. 17) that it has released a Request for Qualifications for a master developer. The first phase of the RFQ opened Wednesday, Dec. 16, and responses will be accepted until Feb. 9, 2021.
Redevelopment of the Six Flags has been a sticking point for political, business, and community leaders, as well as residents, with the neglected site serving as a stark reminder of the lack of revitalization in New Orleans East since Hurricane Katrina. The East was one of the areas of the city hardest hit by the devastating storm in 2005.
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 closed since then. The Industrial Development Board took title to the property in 2009.
“The Six Flags site is a generational opportunity to create a transformative project at one of the best redevelopment sites in the region,” says Jeff Schwartz, director of the Office of Economic Development. “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.”
The City is leading the redevelopment of the site on behalf of the Industrial Development Boar. In 2019, the New Orleans Business Alliance released a study on redevelopment possibilities for the abandoned site.
“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,” says Quentin Messer, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “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.”