Economic Development Survey for Business Owners

As part of an effort to bring much needed growth to New Orleans East, NOELA Services is independently collecting information to provide to organizations whose goals include increasing economic development in the area.

This is one of several surveys to be distributed to determine what challenges exist for potential and existing business owners. This first survey is to be completed only by individuals who 1) previously or currently live in and/or own a business in New Orleans East; or 2) are considering operating a business in New Orleans East.

Please complete the survey only once per person and share the survey with other individuals who meet this criteria. The more feedback we receive, the better we can gauge the needs of the area. Your personal contact information will be used ONLY if further clarification is needed.

Please respond no later than August 31, 2019. Your participation is greatly appreciated. The next survey will target residents.

Complete the survey here.

The Future of Six Flags

Playland NOLA offers another view of what the former amusement park could be

Fourteen years after Hurricane Katrina, one of its most visible casualties, the 227-acre amusement park which has previously operated as both Jazzland and Six Flags theme parks, still sits abandoned. Residents are wondering, “Why hasn’t the site been redeveloped?”

In 2000 the park opened as Jazzland Theme Park, but by 2002, the debt was too great and they filed for bankruptcy. Six Flags then obtained possession of the site from the bankruptcy court. Six Flags had their own financial problems and eventually also filed for bankruptcy in 2009 which enabled them to cancel their lease with the City. The theme park did not reopen after Hurricane Katrina and the Industrial Development Board of the City of New Orleans (IDB) eventually took control of the site. During the 14 years that the park has sat idle, there were failed proposals to build a Nickelodeon theme park in 2009, an outlet mall in 2013, and numerous other plans to rebuild another amusement park — plans that the IDB has shown little interest in, due to lack of proof of funding and developers’ wherewithal. Continue reading “The Future of Six Flags”

P J’s Coffee brings its special brew to the East

Stephanie Chambliss and Elwood McCoy

In May 2019, New Orleans East gained a business whose return its residents had collectively awaited for years — a neighborhood coffee shop. The call for this business was answered by New Orleans East residents Stephanie Chambliss and Elwood McCoy. 

Continue reading “P J’s Coffee brings its special brew to the East”

Developer shares plans for Jazzland Resort development

Property would replace former Six Flags theme park

 

TPC-NOLA, Inc. has presented on several occasions a comprehensive plan for developing the Jazzland Resort, which would be built on 224 acres at the former Jazzland/Six Flags park and surrounding land. The vision for the resort would include the Jazzland Theme Park, Baritone Beach Waterpark, and mixed-use retail/dining/entertainment similar to that found in Downtown Disneyworld or Perkins Row in Baton Rouge. Included in the plans would be a hotel with a Wedding Pavilion, Day Spa and other commercial development.

The Jazzland Theme Park would integrate art and music education into familiar themes from the state of Louisiana, such as the French Quarter, Sportsman’s Paradise, the Beach and the Bayou. Developers have committed to actively engaging locally owned businesses for construction, operations, restaurants and print services, and locally produced goods and foods. They also have plans to involve local youth organizations for training.

Although there are several theme parks in the Southern region of the United States, the closest is a Six Flags site 469 miles away in Atlanta, Georgia. Others are a Six Flags site in Dallas, Texas (505 miles), a Six Flags site in San Antonio, Texas (543 miles), DollyWood in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee (633 miles) and Disney World in Orlando, Florida (642 miles).

A community meeting, previously scheduled for July 17, 2019 from 5:30 pm – 8 pm.to discuss plans for the Six Flags Site, was canceled due to Hurricane Barry. Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen will provide additional information on the new date for the meeting.

To request a copy of the study related to the site, email Monica.Rainey@nola.gov or visit Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen’s Facebook page.

Results of Six Flags Land Use Survey

In response to recent reports that the City of New Orleans has plans to demolish the former Six Flags Amusement Park within the boundaries of I-10, I-510, Lake Forest Boulevard and Michoud Boulevard, NOELA Newsletter readers were asked to share in a brief survey their thoughts about the best use of the site, which has sat vacant for over 10 years.

Of the 389 respondents to the survey, only 13.7% are residents of New Orleans East, and  11.9% are former residents of the East.

There was overwhelming support to restore the site as an amusement park. Only 10.7% want to see the site demolished. One respondent noted that “Regardless of future use, amusement park or not, nothing currently standing on the land is in any useable condition. Wipe the slate clean. Start over.Click here to read all the comments offered by those who want to see the site demolished.

There were far more comments from those who don’t want the park demolished. Some noted the memories they had of going to Jazzland and Six Flags, and the need for family entertainment, the cost to taxpayers to demolish and the lack of another amusement park in the region. One respondent stated, “Jazzland was Naturally N’awlins. A mix of Pontchartrain Beach, the French Quarter and pure fun.”  Click here to read all the comments against demolition of the site.

Overwhelmingly, 82% feel that the best use of the land is for strictly an amusement park, with 96% overall feeling that the site would be best used as an amusement park coupled with another use, such as a Hotel (15.8%), Movie Studio (12.5%), Nature-inspired attraction (10.9%), Retail Center (10.6%), Educational/ScientificStudies center (6.8%), or Sports related establishment (4.9%),  with less than 1% suggesting use as water park or other use.

The company most commonly suggested to run the development was Jazzland. Lagging far behind were Disney, Nickelodeon, Legoland, East New Orleans Business Development District, Stirling Properties, Henry Consulting, Cedar Fair, Dollywood and Gayle Benson, owner of the Saints and Pelicans sports teams.

While all the discussions surrounding the selection of a development may not be public information, and the common explanation for refusing the past suitors being lack of proper funding, it would also be a boon for the City if a major player like Disney, which plans to launch its cruise line from New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season of 2020, took over the site.

 

Suggested Developers for the former Six Flags site Background
Jazzland Louisiana based developer of themed entertainment which has repeatedly proposed a mixed-use development consisting of hotels, water park, elevated transportation, entertainment and a sportsplex
Disney World renowned amusement park operator
Nickelodeon Manager of indoor amusement parks at Mall of America in Bloomington, MN and American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ, and in 2009, considered building its first outdoor amusement park at the former Six Flags site in New Orleans
Legoland A family amusement park with locations in the US, Denmark, Germany, US, Malaysia, Dubai, and Japan
East New Orleans Business Development District Coalition of business and civic leaders dedicated to economic growth
Stirling Properties Gulf South region developer
Henry Consulting Project management firm owned by New Orleans East resident and past Mayoral candidate Troy Henry
Cedar Fair Owner/operators of several amusement parks, outdoor and indoor water parks and hotels in the US and Canada
Universal Owner/Manager of movie studios and theme parks in Orlando, FL and Hollywood, CA