Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans Might Be Sold or Auctioned
The deteriorating former Six Flags park has sat empty and largely unused for the past ten years. Now its future has sparked a dispute between the Industrial Development Board and Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration over the property’s future.
The Landrieu administration has refused to adhere to a 2009 agreement to maintain the shuttered park. If the city doesn’t take responsibility now, the Industrial Development Board is going to sell or auction off the property soon, two officials with the board said in a meeting Tuesday, March 8th.
Landrieu’s economic development adviser responded and told the board
“the Landrieu administration has no interest in taking possession of the 150-acre property“.
The former Six Flags amusement park, built in 2000 as Jazzland, was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina struck devastation on the property. Six Flags removed some of the rides and left the rest behind. Since, no one has stepped up to give the park new life. A 2012 deal to develop an outlet mall fell through with the arrival of a competing outlet mall downtown at the Riverwalk. More recent proposals to bring back an amusement park were brushed off by the board as not economically viable. Below is what the park looked like after Katrina hit.
Trespassers keep tearing down fences and tagging the buildings with graffiti, making the former park an incredible eye sore. Locals reported wild animals, including boars and snakes, are making a home at the former amusement park. Nearby neighbors are screaming for action saying the abandoned park is de-valueing their homes and property.
Board attorney David Wolf said:
“If you want to understand the force of nature, go out there and see what nature is doing to that site. There’s not going to be much left in a couple of years.“
In the last few years the park has been used for filming significant movie roles such as the box office hit Jurassic World. The board recently got $200,000 from a movie production crew to use the site for eight months. The production had their own 24-hour security during that time. The IBD has $469,000 saved up from movie productions renting the park. If the city agrees to manage the property, the IDB would pay half of that money to the city, Wolf said. If the city agreed to own the property, the IDB would give the city 75 percent of the money.
Video from the set of Jurassic World’s first day of shooting:
Board member David Thompson said the IDB agreed to help the city out in the wake of Katrina by taking on the property, “then we got left in the lurch.”
Board president Alan Philipson said “We don’t have the staff to deal with the property“.
Rebecca Conwell, Landrieu’s economic development adviser said the city and the New Orleans Business Alliance will continue to market the land to potential big-box retailers. Landrieu’s office issued a statement after the meeting:
“At this time, the City does not have the resources to assume responsibility for this property from the IDB. We encourage the IDB to reconsider its approach towards the stewardship of the former Six Flags property. Under Mayor Landrieu’s leadership, the City has developed a successful model for returning underutilized properties back to commerce, like the former World Trade Center.”
Board attorney David Wolf said the board has had recent inquiries from people interested in buying the roller coasters and other rides, either for tearing them down for scrap materials or to move for use somewhere else. No agreements have been made. Wolf continued saying the city has asked them not to sell the rides off separately. They want to keep the property intact for the time being, but the board really don’t have any viable developments on the plate right now.
IDB plans to meet again next month to start the process of getting the property appraised and listed for sale. We hope someone does something to revive the park. It’s really sad to see a place that was once full of so much life be so dead…
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