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New Orleans chooses developer for empty amusement park site

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FILE - In this file photo from June 19, 2019, the roller coaster and concession buildings at the abandoned Six Flags theme <a class=park are seen in New Orleans. New Orleans has chosen a developer to revitalize the site of a former amusement park in the eastern part of the city that has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina of 2005. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert, File)” width=”2000″ height=”1300″ style=”opacity:0″/>

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FILE – In this file photo from June 19, 2019, the roller coaster and concession buildings at the abandoned Six Flags theme park are seen in New Orleans. New Orleans has chosen a developer to revitalize the site of a former amusement park in the eastern part of the city that has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina of 2005. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert, File)

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FILE – In this file photo from June 19, 2019, the roller coaster and concession buildings at the abandoned Six Flags theme park are seen in New Orleans. New Orleans has chosen a developer to revitalize the site of a former amusement park in the eastern part of the city that has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina of 2005. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans has chosen a developer to revitalize the site of a former amusement park vacant since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said a group called Bayou Phoenix was the city’s choice to develop the former Six Flags Park for other purposes.

The site just off Interstate 10 has been an eyesore and an irritant to local residents for years after it never reopened after the hurricane. Roller coasters and other rides have sometimes served as the backdrop for movies. But, residents nearby say the site has become home to wildlife such as alligators, and people frequently break in despite the security outside.

“It has become a daily reminder, on so many different levels, not only of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, but also truly a testament to our city’s inability to capitalize on our strengths,” Cantrell said on Monday. , according to the Times -Picayune / The New Orleans Lawyer. “It also made our people in New Orleans East feel like they were left out of the recovery and not a priority. But not anymore, no doubt about it.

Bayou Phoenix’s proposal would include several phases of development. The first phase envisions a warehouse and distribution center and an educational facility run by a local non-profit organization called STEM NOLA. The second phase would include a water park, a hotel and an electronic sports arena. Contracts are expected to be signed within 90 days and construction is expected to begin within a year, WVUE reported.

A group that included former Saints quarterback Drew Brees and current Saints linebacker Demario Davis also came up with an idea to expand the space, but withdrew. However, the Cantrell administration has announced that it will work with this group to execute its plan for a logistics and transportation hub at a different location in eastern New Orleans.

The park opened in 2000 as Jazzland Theme Park, but went bankrupt within two seasons. Six Flags took over the lease, but Hurricane Katrina hit and flooded the park and much of the city. The theme park never reopened and ultimately Six Flags went bankrupt. Control of the property went to the Industrial Development Board of the city of New Orleans.

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