Nov 23, 2011 10:49 AM by Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans officials are taking a look a fresh look at what to do with the former Six Flags amusement park on the city's swampy edge.
The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/rII0NW ) that city officials began reviewing bids to transform the neglected tract in eastern New Orleans this week. Eight entrepreneurs have stepped forward to suggest turning the former Six Flags park, destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, into everything from a power plant to an outlet mall.
The bids will be ranked and no more than five projects will move forward to another round that could include formal presentations and interviews, said Aimee Quirk, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's economic development adviser and a member of the five-person committee voting on bids.
The newspaper reports that the eight bids are:
- Louisiana Heritage Resort BP: 200-plus-acre resort with nine "theme lands" and 20 acres of sound stages.
- RCS Entertainment Inc.: Crescent City Amusement Park, a green amusement park.
- Dag Development and Provident: outlet mall with a boardwalk entertainment district.
- Packaert LLC: electric power generation plant.
- The Paida Company: water park and back lot for the film industry.
- JWM Ventures: resort with theme park, water park and sports complex.
- Powell Commodity Inc.: commercial retail and family entertainment venue with theme park.
- A business coalition led by Al Philips: eco-park focusing on green usages of water and green construction.
A city committee will evaluate the proposals based on their ability to meet six criteria: company quality and performance history, financial capacity, financial feasibility, return on investment, development plan and commitment to working with disadvantaged business enterprises.
A city agency, the Industrial Development Board, owns the former theme park site.
Cedric Grant, a deputy mayor of facilities and infrastructure, said a winner be selected on the basis of what is the best investment.
"It will be difficult to compare apples to apples," Grant said. "So it's very important that we look at financials and return on investment."
The city of New Orleans has controlled the shuttered property since December 2009 when a Delaware court presiding over the bankruptcy of Six Flags Inc. agreed to allow the theme park operator to terminate its lease in exchange for cash payments to the city. Six Flags did not reopen park after Katrina.
Previous ideas to turn it into a Nickelodeon-themed amusement park, a water park and a multi-stadium baseball sports park for children have been floated in the past and sank.