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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A new plan to redevelop the former Six flags site in New Orleans East is picking up speed.

The spot has been vacant for nearly 18 years ever since Hurricane Katrina.

Since the New Orleans Industrial Development Board took ownership of the property in 2009, there have been numerous plans to redevelop the former six flags site, but none of them came to fruition, but officials are now saying the future for the site is bright.

Negotiations are now complete as the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority teams up with private developer Bayou Phoenix to reimagine the property once occupied by Six Flags.

“The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, under the leadership of Brenda Breaux, have moved forward with taking on the ownership of the property and are consummating their agreement with Bayou Phoenix, which is the developer, and what’s moving forward today is a catalytic, transformative project for New Orleans East and the entire region,” Jeffrey Schwartz, the director of the New Orleans Office of Economic Development, said.

Darrel Saizan, the president of the Industrial Development Board, which formerly owned the site, says the board worked very hard to make sure the site was secured over the last 13 years, but it’s a relief to hand over the property to NORA.

“I’m very happy today that we have a city agreement with NORA in place,” Saizan said. “Hopefully, the developers will make this park a success again, like it was prior to Hurricane Katrina.”

A master plan has yet to be completed, but the city says the site may mimic what was once there.

“The amusement piece, the indoor-outdoor waterpark, the sports arena, you know, the retail possibilities and all of the outdoor possibilities, it just seemed like it was the perfect thing, so we agreed that we would stay with it,” Tangee Wall, the president of the New Orleans East Matters Coalition, said.

Wall says there have been several hits and misses over the years, but that this feels like a victory lap.

“We’re very excited. I have to speak for all of my colleagues and board members who are here who followed this forever,” Wall said. “It has been a long journey, twists and turns and ups and downs in the hills and valleys, but today is a wonderful day.”

Once the master plan is complete following more community engagement, developer Troy Henry will present it to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. A ground-breaking is expected to happen within the next two years.

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