NEW ORLEANS -- It is far from a done deal, but the New Orleans Industrial Development Board got a positive update on the status of a project to redevelop the Hurricane Katrina shuttered Six Flags site in New Orleans East.
Some developers want to build an upscale outlet mall on the 150 acres where the abandoned amusement park now sits.
"Discussions are ongoing," said Justin Augustine, who is the board's point man on the project. "There have been positive discussions, and eventually we are hopeful that we can get some closure of a lease agreement in the very near future."
Dallas-based Provident Realty Advisors and DAG Development of New Orleans are proposing a 400,000 square foot, $40 million retail center and entertainment district, now referred to as Jazzland Outlet Mall.
"DAG is basically partnered with a very experienced national group, which is important," said Augustine. "This national team comes to the table with a lot of expertise, financial strength. and more importantly, technical know how and a team that has done this particular type of project through the nation."
If the city moves forward with the project, DAG and Provident would lease the property for one to two years. At the end of the term, the developers would either build the mall or walk away.
Augustine said the market analysis shows the venue would draw tourists and shoppers from a 200 mile radius.
"In the city of New Orleans and the surrounding region, we have a retail desert, to be perfectly honest with you. We are about 30 percent behind the rest of the nation in terms of our ability to have and produce retail outlets out here."
In the short term, the board agreed let FOX Films use the old Six Flags site to film a movie.
"I think it's something of importance," said IDB President Walter Flower. "They seem to be quite concerned about wanting good security, so it must be maybe a blockbuster that they want to keep under wraps until they;'re ready to reveal it."
Filming is expected to be completed by the end of August.