Friday, April 15, 2016

Noah's Swamp

Is it strange that the growing, gentrifying, It City of New Orleans in 2016 is having trouble developing a site that the declining City of New Orleans in 2004 turned into an amusement park?  Maybe it's more of a weird little quirk. Or maybe it's just that a junkyard in a swamp isn't a very attractive piece of property... even when the real estate market is "hot."
Developers got another chance Tuesday to pitch ideas for redeveloping the abandoned Six Flags amusement park in New Orleans East, but the public board that controls the property seemed unimpressed.

The Industrial Development Board, which owns the land the park sits on, had already heard both of the proposals brought up Tuesday and rejected them two years ago.

After an extended discussion of their options, board members voted to simply continuing paying for 24-hour security at the site and to advertise for an appraiser who can give them a clearer picture of the property’s value.

“We’ve sat on this property for 12 years, and we don’t know what we’re sitting on,” board President Alan Philipson said.
Remember, the IDB does not enjoy having been made responsible for the Six Flags site and  is desperate to find someone, anyone, really, who can take it off their hands.  How desperate? Desperate enough to invite this guy back
A New Orleans businessman is promoting his vision of an amusement park, resort hotel, international shopping center and Noah's ark replica as the solution for redeveloping the stagnant former Six Flags park in New Orleans East.

Frank Scurlock, whose family invented inflatable bounce houses, said he is presenting his plan for "Festival Park, Spirit of Louisiana" to the New Orleans Industrial Development Board on Tuesday (April 12).
Some of y'all might remember the bouncy house scion from last year when he made everybody ooh and aah at his skywriting.  (He was back this year for Mardi Gras too, though there were fewer comments about it.)  Last year, Scurlock's skywriting campaign was intended to call attention to a Gofundme campaign for a foundation Scurlock called "Noigiler" (That's "Religion" spelled backwards.) It was meant to help him continue his skywriting AND, it looks like, help support his  Six Flags bid.  The Gofundme is down now but I saved some of the text.
This mission is fairly costly as it's not local. It cost approx $24000 for the period rain or shine.  The goal is to purchase the "Sky Magic" plane and keep it at Lakefront airport. If purchased the cost will drop considerably and be easy to maintain. At that point it's just smoke oil and gas,etc. We have had offers of free pilots and hangers which is a great start and blessing. We are based out of Flightline First FBO who has donated services.

This is the beginning leading up Transformation Village which is the rebirth of New Orleans East reserecting Jazzland and the addition of a water park and resort hotels to continue to make New Orleans a world class destination.
Anyway so that guy was back before the IDB this week. His proposal is pretty much the same. He wants to open it as an amusement park and a "beach-like swimming pool" as well as.. whatever this is. 
The full "multi-billion-dollar" plan includes an international shopping center twice the size of the Superdome that leases store space to other nations, rather than retailers. "New Orleans is truly an international city, and we'll be exploiting that," Scurlock said.
Whoah, it's a "multi-billion-dollar" plan to "lease store space to other nations." Does Billy Nungesser know about this thing?  Are his Iraqi contacts going to sell their oil here? Maybe the "meditative space" will sweeten the deal.

Meanwhile, a Noah's ark replica at the Interstate 10/I-510 intersection would serve as a meditative space for people to go and think about life, he said.
That Scurlock's plan would even receive a second hearing is indicative of how desperate the board is at this point. The only other options that day were an even less solid proposal to restore the amusement park and one suggestion that it be scrapped and sold for parts.  In the end they decided to just keep paying for security, which they definitely need to do because somebody has to keep the Instagrammers away.
In just the past month, the site has had an increase in trespassing and vandalism, prompting 23 arrests in one recent weekend, Philipson said. The board is paying $500 a day to maintain a constant watch.
Kids, the little abandoned amusement park art project has been done already.  Sorry.  Go find somewhere else to urban explore. The SELA project is lovely right now if you're interested.

SELA trench

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