NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Developers are hoping to reopen the site of the old Six Flags park in New Orleans East as Jazzland. A Baton Rouge company submitted the proposal to the city, and it includes a water park, movie theatre and shops to be constructed on the lot.
New Orleans East residents say they're sick of looking at the abandoned lot where Six Flags once operated.
"Everybody's waiting for it to come back, Six Flags, Jazzland, whichever one," said Natasha Flowers.
Tonya Pope agrees. She's the president of TPC-NOLA, the company that wants to bring new life to the site.
"What we would like to do is bring the original Jazzland back but a new and improved Jazzland," said Pope.
Pope presented her company's proposal to the city's Industrial Development Board Monday afternoon, outlining plans for a water park, a lot to be used for film production and a shopping area that would be open to both park-goers and residents.
"It does offer a number of amenities that they've been asking for with a grocery store, movie cinema, retail, dining," Pope said.
For the retail portion, neighborhood approval is essential because it would sit on a piece of land close to the Oak Island neighborhood. It's a lot that was originally Six Flags property but was turned over to city in 2009 as part of their bankruptcy.
"That is currently zoned residential so it does have to go through the entire zoning process," Pope said.
The first phase of the project - the building of the theme park - would cost $50 million. The company's proposal says it will utilize tax credits and loans but it doesn't outline every aspect of financing.
"I did not see an equity position in there, which I asked her and she said there would be one," said IDB President Alan Philipson. "Well, I think for this committee to move on, we're going to have to see a firm equity position."
The board says it's still entertaining other offers while TPC-NOLA gets financing together. It has been a long process trying to figure out what to do with the site, and several ideas have fallen through.
"We just want to make sure it's right," said Philipson. "We don't want something going out there that in a short period of time we'll say, 'why did you make that mistake?'"
Area residents say they're ready for some sort of attraction to go up - one that would hopefully bring more people and money to the East.
The group vying to reopen Jazzland is a subsidiary of the Paidia Company of Baton Rouge. According to our partners at Citybusiness, Paidia was founded in 2006 by Tonya Pope.