The latest effort to redevelop the site of the abandoned Six Flags amusement park inched forward on Tuesday, as the public corporation that manages the site voted to hire an outside firm to appraise its value.
The McEnery Co. will gauge the site’s worth for a fee of $23,500. The firm’s bid was the lowest of four submitted to the 15-member Industrial Development Board.
A fifth appraiser, Thorns Consulting, was asked to vie for the job but decided against it, board members said. Some members in April wondered if that firm had a conflict of interest because its owner, Jimmie Thorns, is a former president of the development board.
The board has been mulling Six Flags’ future for years, but the discussions have intensified in recent months. The site has been the subject of one failed redevelopment deal after another since the park closed up shop after Hurricane Katrina.
Is it possible for the consultant to appraise the land at a value less than their fee? Seems unlikely. Meanwhile the cost of doing nothing is $10,000 a month which is what IDB says they're paying for maintenance and security. Still it looks like the city sees this as primarily a marketing problem rather than a just plain old shitty land problem.
Rebecca Conwell, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s senior adviser for economic development, said the city has tried repeatedly to help the development board with the site.They'll come up with something nice, I'm sure. Anything in the "marsh fire" category seems fitting.
She said officials are in talks with at least three developers about the site. One, a Las Vegas developer whom she did not name, has urged the board to think about multiple uses for the sizable site, rather than just one attraction, she said. The city also has suggested the board engage real estate firms to help it market the site.