Good Things Are Coming To The East. Bayou Phoenix to transform NOLA East.

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Look out, New Orleans East. The Phoenix is rising from the ashes. Well, maybe the swamp would be a more appropriate term, or maybe even the bayou.

Speaking of bayous, last week Bayou Phoenix took another step closer to becoming reality. That happened when NORA, aka the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, approved the master plan put forth by local businessman Troy Henry and his fellow investors. The master plan includes transforming the former Six Flags site in Michoud into Bayou Phoenix.

Bayou Phoenix to transform NOLA East

 As presently planned, Bayou Phoenix will sit on over 200 acres of land. It’ll be home to an indoor/outdoor water park, a sports facility, ballparks, hotels, restaurants, movie studios and more. Once completed, it will be one of the biggest and most ambitious developments this city has ever seen.

“I don’t know if people have a real context of it yet,” Henry said in an interview. “But the economic impact will be big. We’re talking somewhere around 14,000 permanent jobs and an estimated $3 billion over 10 years.”

Henry sees the sports aspect being one of the major economic generators for Bayou Phoenix. “Sports tourism will be a huge part of it,” he said, “because they’re the ones who’ll be in the hotels.” Henry envisions Bayou Phoenix hosting a range of tournaments, everything from volleyball to soccer to tennis to pickleball, along with local NORD games. 

Bayou Phoenix will obviously also need strong support from the local community, too. Not only will the sports facilities be accessible, but other draws will be the water park indoors and outdoors, a wave pool, jet skis, a beach and boardwalk along a lagoon, restaurants, and possibly a roller coaster.

Bayou Phoenix to transform NOLA East

The next step to making Bayou Phoenix a reality is getting a lease signed. Once the lease is signed, the physical work of surveying the land begins. That is no small task according to Henry.

“It’s crazy complicated work,” he said. “It involves having people literally crawl under slabs to analyze the status of the pilings.” The main objective would be determining if the underlying structure can support something like a hotel, or a studio, or sports facility. There’s also underground wiring that needs to be inspected.

As with any public/private partnership, both public and private funds will be needed to make this happen. Henry and his investors will put up most of the money. But an estimated $100 million (20%) will be needed from the public. That would most likely come from a variety of sources like the state, the city, the federal government, a hotel tax, or any other type of tax.

The city isn’t new to public/private partnerships. It has gone into many before to bring in a range of successful projects, projects like the Spanish Plaza, Benson Towers, the Four Seasons, and the Walmart on Tchoupitoulas to name a few. Partnering with Bayou Phoenix is another good move because the city will always own the land Bayou Phoenix will sit on.

Bayou Phoenix to transform NOLA East

Once the lease is worked out, there will be some type of public outreach. “We’ll probably do a signing ceremony, Henry said.” That ceremony will most likely happen at the site.

“It’s a good move,” he said. “Because people can come out to the site. We’ll sign the lease, and then that’ll formally kick off the development process from our standpoint.”

After that, it’ll take about 4 to 5 months for the hard work to begin. It’s a massive project with massive expectations. Henry doesn’t seem daunted by either. At the end of the day, he said, “My job is to just get it done.”

4 thoughts on “Bayou Phoenix Will Transform New Orleans East”
  1. Nothing will change until the black small business ownership and homeownership numbers increases It’s not about jobs. It’s about ownership. Unfortunately our black political leadership never talks about that.

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