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New Orleans reaches 'critical' agreement to redevelop abandoned Six Flags

Mayor LaToya Cantrell described the agreement as a "critical milestone" in redeveloping the defunct theme park.

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans announced Tuesday that it had reached a deal with developers seeking to redevelop the old Six Flags/ Jazzland theme park that was left abandoned after Hurricane Katrina.

In October 2021, the city selected Bayou Phoenix, LLC, to redevelop the site and in its place build movie studios, indoor and outdoor sports complexes, two hotels, a water park, restaurants and several stores. However, after announcing that the lease would be in the developers' hands by the end of the year, the project remained in limbo.

At the heart of the problem was the matter of control — as in who would have the final say on what happens at the former theme park's site. Tensions between the developers and the city came to a head at the Industrial Development Board meeting in November, where it was said that the deal was “on life support” due to a break down in negotiations.

At the meeting, members of the IDB floated the idea of cutting the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, who will lease the site to Bayou Phoenix, out of the deal completely by selling the 227-acre property to Bayou Phoenix directly.

On Tuesday, the city announced an agreement between NORA, the IDB, and Bayou Phoenix to transfer the property to NORA and New Orleans would commit $1 million toward the project, as well as maintenance and security at the site.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell described the agreement as a "critical milestone" in redeveloping the defunct theme park.

“I applaud NORA and Bayou Phoenix on reaching this critical milestone toward the redevelopment of the blighted former Six Flags site,” Cantrell said.

“Now that the framework for this public-private partnership is in place, the real development works begins on this important project," said Troy Henry, Bayou Phoenix team leader. 

Jazzland originally opened in New Orleans East near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Interstate 510 in 2000. The amusement park was acquired by Six Flags in 2002 but did not reopen after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It has remained closed and decaying since.

"This important project, for New Orleans East and the entire region, is long past overdue,” said District E Council member Oliver M. Thomas, Jr. “Thank you to all of the partners that got in a room with me and decided to put their differences aside to make this project work."

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