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muscle1313
June 7th, 2003, 10:59 PM
Big Plans For Coney Island?
*
May 26, 2003
By Jesse Serwer

A major announcement about Coney Island is just weeks away, Councilman Domenic Recchia revealed last week.

“In the weeks to come there will be a major announcement of how [the mayor], along with the City Council, plans to bring back Coney Island in such a way never seen before,” Recchia said at the annual Coney Island Beach opening on Wednesday.

The councilman did not elaborate, and repeated calls to his office were not returned. Recchia and Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff are currently in the process of creating a local development corporation for Coney Island.

Recchia’s “announcement” comes on the heels of a plan unveiled earlier this year by the Coney Island-based Astella Development Corporation. After gathering input from community groups, elected *and city officials, local residents and property owners and the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce over several years, the corporation released a plan on its website that includes an indoor sportsplex next to KeySpan Park and a water park and hotel to the east of the amusement park area.

“We wanted to give the city some type of incentive to build these things,” Astella Executive Director Judy Orlando said of the “Coney Island: A Vision Plan.”

Speaking on the Brooklyn cable access show “That’s Brooklyn” earlier this month, Recchia said a Coney Island sportsplex could make New York City more attractive to the Olympic selection committee. The councilman said he would also like to see an indoor pool built.

The sportsplex, as envisioned in the plan, would be an all-purpose arena that could host professional basketball games, amateur and school sports events. The arena would likely be constructed on a platform above the Abe Stark ice rink’s parking lot.

“That makes good sense,” said Orlando. “You could have the arena without taking away from needed parking.”

“This is what we hope to see — now we have to work with the property owners, the city and developers to see what could be implemented and go from there,” Orlando said.

The sportsplex could be the start of a Times Square-like renaissance for Coney Island. Developer Bruce Ratner, who was influential in the revitalization of both downtown Brooklyn and Times Square and whose plan to bring a sportsplex to Coney Island was nixed in the late ’90s in favor of KeySpan Park, still owns property nearby.

An unnamed source said Ratner, who helped bring Disney to Times Square, could be looking once again to attract Disney to Brooklyn’s shores.

The same source said the groundwork for re-development of the entire area is currently being laid down by the city — just look at the renovation of Stillwell Avenue and other area subway stations, the new sand brought in by Army engineers, and even the new, clean bathrooms at Nathan’s.

Astella is currently printing up copies of its plan and hopes to hold a formal announcement and celebration in the near future, saying it wants to market the area and work with the city to implement this.

Coney Island Assemblywoman Adele Cohen said she liked what she saw in the Astella plans but was unsure whether they were feasible amidst the current climate of economic hardship and budget cuts.

“It is hard to say what would be a reality — if anything will come to fruition. There is no money for anything right now,” she said. “But I am delighted to hear about anything that would revitalize Coney Island.”

“A hotel and water park would be just fine - they go along with Coney Island’s mission as a fun place,” Cohen said. “I support anything that would enhance the amusement area, and provide jobs for local residents but the most important thing is to make sure schools have roofs, our people have jobs, and public transportation is affordable.”

http://www.brooklynskyline.com/news_article.asp?c=ne&na=385

billyblancoNYC
June 8th, 2003, 03:07 AM
One can only hope this actually means something.

A huge, modern amusement park addition to the classics, some indoor rides and an indoor/outdoor waterpark, the sportsplex - maybe bring the Nets and Devils over, then they'll actually sell out, some nice new condos. *

CI should be as great as it once was, it's a major asset NYC needs to exploit.

Anyone have any concrete details?

dbhstockton
June 8th, 2003, 04:15 PM
I hope it's not a casino.

billyblancoNYC
June 9th, 2003, 11:38 AM
Why not a casino? *I've been wishing for years that NYC develops casinos. *Here, though, should be amusement and residnetial based. *Now, the Rockways on the other hand.

Or maybe they can build a new island and have a little casino village. More money for NYC, people don't go to Jersey, CT, and Vegas. *It's a win-win all around.

NYatKNIGHT
June 9th, 2003, 11:52 AM
A casino could be on a boat at South Street Seaport.

A water park would be fun at Coney Island, they could use more exhilerating rides.

ZippyTheChimp
June 9th, 2003, 12:10 PM
Back to its roots. Seaside amusement and recreation.
Can't you just picture it?

http://www.pbase.com/image/17451110.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/17451034.jpg

Kris
June 9th, 2003, 01:02 PM
I sure can. Moving Beauty.

(Edited by Christian Wieland at 4:19 pm on June 9, 2003)

billyblancoNYC
June 9th, 2003, 02:58 PM
Damn those projects. *Can they not raze them and move the people out. *You could fit a huge amusement/water/sports facility there, maybe with some theaters, stores, bars, etc. *Also, some condos and hotels. *Kinda like a better, more fun Miami!

Edward
June 9th, 2003, 10:56 PM
Coney Island - not quite Disney yet.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/brooklyn/coney_island/images/coney_island_panoramic_24march02.jpg

Gulcrapek
June 9th, 2003, 11:15 PM
^That's where the proposed waterpark would be. It's the only major parcel of undeveloped land within the amusement area.

billyblancoNYC
June 10th, 2003, 11:30 AM
I thought they were planning a wterpark for Randall's Island, though.

muscle1313
June 10th, 2003, 07:01 PM
Join my Coney Island group here and read about the big news that came out today about the Parachute Jump Plans!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coneyisland2/

TLOZ Link5
June 10th, 2003, 07:09 PM
Daily News:

Coney biz catching the wave

By Denis Hamill

Coney Island. ...

No matter how much sand passes through its hourglass, Coney Island never dies. If anything, in the past few years, since KeySpan Cyclones stadium stole the heart of the Poor Man's Paradise, it has been going through a rebirth.

"The Cyclones have been a home run for Coney," says Dennis Vourderis, owner of Deno's WonderWheel Park, adjusting his shades on a rare sunny spring day last week. "A rising tide lifts all boats, so I think business has improved at least a good 10% for everyone since the stadium opened."

During the winter, Vourderis and his partner-brother, Steve, invested a sizable chunk of that profit in the business. In February, 12 cement trucks sloshed into the amusement park through 6 inches of snow and poured a 12,000-square-foot deck. The brothers added metal railings and wooden platforms for the 25 rides, hand-painted the 83-year-old WonderWheel with 150 gallons of paint and installed 400-watt spotlights to ignite the Coney Island night.

"My father always put the money back into the business," Vourderis says, walking out onto the Boardwalk. "He came from Greece, opened a hot dog stand and parlayed that into an American dream by buying this place. So we believe in Coney." He stops on the corner of W. 12th St. to buy a soda from Corner Gyros, next door to Playland. "If I didn't believe in Coney's future, we wouldn't have bought the land for these two places," Vourderis says.

We enter Ruby's saloon - now run by the late Ruby Jacobs' daughter Cindy - a salt-preserved time warp, the last of the great bawdy Boardwalk saloons where faded photos celebrate Coney's storied history.

Cruising the Boardwalk

Afew doors away, Cha Cha's Café, a branch of the terrific Italian coffee and dessert oasis on Mulberry St., is doing brisk business. We stroll farther down the Boardwalk, passing a Nathan's outlet, a clam bar and the $30 million new bathrooms and pavilions that look out onto a pristine beach and the twinkling sea.

New information kiosks announce upcoming events: the Mermaid Parade, Siren Music Festival, free karaoke outside Deno's every Friday night, fireworks every Friday night starting June 27, at 9:30, and, for the first time in 25 years, a July 4 fireworks spectacle.

"Business is hurting right now because we've had a bad spring weatherwise," Vourderis says. "And they're working on the subway station, but we can't complain. We've asked for a new station for 20 years, so when they close it to rebuild, you just can't moan. When it's finished in two years, it'll be a beautiful portal to Coney that'll boost business.

"Meanwhile, people will take the shuttle buses from the subway," he says.

But like the rest of the city, Vourderis says the Coney businesses are paying 25% more in taxes, 12% additional insurance. Add that to a cold, rainy spring, and it's been a tough season.

"But we're optimistic," Vourderis says. "My father always said, 'All you need is a sunny day.'"
We pass the miniature golf, batting cage and go-cart attractions. Steeplechase Pier pulsates with fishermen and strollers.

Then Vourderis points up at two workers toiling in the steel web of the reassembled 250-foot Parachute Jump, Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower, gleaming red against a baby blue sky, the bottom half still sheathed in a white skirt inside of which workers remove the toxic lead paint of old.

This city landmark, which was moved to the Boardwalk after the 1939 World's Fair and closed in the '60s soon after Steeplechase Park, is the buzz of Coney.

"Borough President Marty Markowitz asked me last year if it could be functional again," Vourderis says. "I said, 'Marty, we've sent men to the moon. Of course it can be reopened.' So they're refurbishing. It'll cost up to $5million to make operational again. The Parks Department will own it, and the bids to run it will be open to anyone. I'm definitely going to bid."

Planning ahead

Vourderis looks down on the empty acreage surrounding the towering structure and says that to make it work, the land would have to be raised to Boardwalk level. Then he'd open an old-fashioned beer garden and restaurant, with a raw bar, put in some arcades, souvenir stands and other moneymaking attractions. Plus the ride would probably cost $20 a head.

"We're going to offer a realistic bid, and a plan," Vourderis says. "Bring back the Parachute, add that to the Aquarium, Astroland, WonderWheel Park and Cyclones stadium and a new subway station, and Coney Island will last forever."

Originally published on June 10, 2003

© Copyright New York Daily News

Kris
June 10th, 2003, 09:06 PM
Fortunately, the projects are probably there to stay. They aren't all ugly, but as a backround certainly aren't compatible with Disney's image. So maybe they're precious. Coney Island is a huge opportunity; it doesn't need a providential corporate "benefactor" to revive it in exchange for selling its soul.

muscle1313
July 21st, 2003, 02:40 PM
Mayor to make Coney Island Announcement!!!!

The suspense is killing me.

Brooklyn Skyline - last paragraph

City Councilman Domenic Recchia was glad funding was restored for the
New York Aquarium, which lies in his district. He added that there
will be a announcement made in the next few weeks by the council
speaker and mayor about a major project in Coney Island.

http://www.brooklynskyline.com/news_article.asp?na=446

billyblancoNYC
July 21st, 2003, 03:27 PM
CI development + Olympics + Nets/Devils not selling out in jersey = CI Sportsplx and a BIG boost for CI and NYC. *I can't wait.

TLOZ Link5
July 21st, 2003, 05:36 PM
I was particularly interested in this:

"City Councilman Lew Fidler, leader of the council’s Brooklyn delegation, said the idea that garbage only need to be picked up one day a week or that Brooklyn’s three East River Bridges could be tolled was lunacy.

"Fidler said, of all the advances that have been accomplished in economic development, he is particularly proud that the first Caribbean Trade Center in the United States will be opening in downtown Brooklyn.

"The center will promote and sustain trade and investment between New York, the United States, the Caribbean and the international community."

Kris
September 26th, 2003, 11:46 AM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Mike: Make Coney a thriller all year

By MICHAEL SAUL
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Friday, September 26th, 2003

A plastic bubble over the Wonder Wheel? Heated cars on the Cyclone? A retractable dome for KeySpan Park?

Mayor Bloomberg wants to make Coney Island a year-round attraction - so yesterday, he announced the creation of a 13-member board that will spearhead comprehensive plan and draft an economic development strategy.

"Coney Island's economy really has to be a year-round one to be sustainable," he said as he stood on the famed Boardwalk. "It can't be just tied to the baseball season or to warm weather."

The new Coney Island Development Corp. includes city officials, Brooklyn business and community leaders and real estate executives.

Borough President Marty Markowitz said he envisions a seaside amphitheater for concerts; a world-class paddleball, volleyball and handball complex, and a water adventure park with heated water for the colder months. He also suggested a ferry to transport people from midtown Manhattan to Coney Island.

"Imagine a Boardwalk lined with even more restaurants, clubs and cafes with music, great food and dancing," Markowitz said. "Imagine that it's Saturday night and the only place everyone wants to be is in Coney Island."

An estimated 5.1 million people visit Coney Island by public transportation each year, mostly in the summer. But the rains kept the crowds away this year.

Bloomberg said he hopes the new board is the first step in a widespread revitalization.

"Coney Island holds a special place in New York's identity and history," he said.

normaldude
September 26th, 2003, 12:59 PM
A plastic bubble over the Wonder Wheel? Heated cars on the Cyclone? A retractable dome for KeySpan Park?

Mayor Bloomberg wants to make Coney Island a year-round attraction - so yesterday, he announced the creation of a 13-member board that will spearhead comprehensive plan and draft an economic development strategy.

"Coney Island's economy really has to be a year-round one to be sustainable," he said as he stood on the famed Boardwalk. "It can't be just tied to the baseball season or to warm weather."


Sounds great, but seems aggressive given NYC's current fiscal problems.

Adding a year round amusement park on Coney Island, and casinos in Rockaway, NYC would really become a great one-stop place for tourism. It'll never match Orlando/Disney for amusement parks, and it'll never match Las Vegas for casinos. But it would probably make NYC one of the few cities in the world with everything in one city.. top tier restaurants, shopping, museums, performing arts, nightlife & clubs, a few beaches.. and add year round amusement park and casinos.

TLOZ Link5
September 26th, 2003, 01:57 PM
You have to think several years ahead, dude. New York will be a better place when this fiscal crisis is completely over.

billyblancoNYC
September 26th, 2003, 02:38 PM
Thank you! Major, year-round amusements and casinos (in Rockaway) would make NYC THE place to visit... bar none, for almost everything. Think about the revenues, jobs, etc. that would come as well.

Hey, NYC could at least trump AC for #2!

Kris
September 27th, 2003, 05:30 PM
Gambling In Gotham? Bloomberg In Favor Of Casinos In City

SEPTEMBER 27TH, 2003

Are New Yorkers ready for Blackjack in Brooklyn or Craps in Queens?

On his weekly radio show Saturday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he is in favor of casinos in the city. In response to a caller's question, the mayor said gambling should be legalized throughout the state.

“The state Legislature has not been willing to allow gambling in any place other than on Indian reservations,” Bloomberg said. “That has always quite honestly annoyed me. I don't understand why, if we're going to have gambling, it should be where it helps everybody and not just some small communities.”

The plan faces serious hurdles though. The mayor said he has concerns a casino would take money from the people who could least afford it.

State legislators haven't indicated whether or not they would support the idea.


Copyright © 2003 NY1 News

billyblancoNYC
September 27th, 2003, 09:45 PM
Wouldn't that be amazing...

muscle1313
September 28th, 2003, 12:31 AM
You guys probably know about this stuff a lot more than I do. How long does it usually take between an LDC being announced and actual development being done? Just wondering how long its going to take to get Coney rockin again.

Kris
January 7th, 2004, 01:37 PM
Proposals sought for Coney Island plan

The city’s Economic Development Corp. has issued a request for proposals to complete a strategic development plan for Coney Island.

The EDC is seeking a consultant, or a team of consultants, to come up with a plan to strengthen the existing commercial base, market the area for year-round use and develop vacant property for a variety of uses, including housing.

Joshua Sirefman, chief operating officer of the EDC, says that Mayor Bloomberg is committed to re-establishing Coney Island as a recreational and tourist destination. Proposals are due on Jan. 29.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

muscle1313
February 27th, 2004, 07:29 PM
Next stop: Coney

City picks developer

NOT JUST NETS THE NEW BROOKLYN

By Jotham Sederstrom
The Brooklyn Papers

Lately it's as if Brooklyn
is the "straight guy" to
the city and state's "queer
eye."

Skyscrapers are planned for downtown. A
basketball arena may soon host the Nets in
Prospect Heights. And the city this week took a
major step in restoring Coney Island to its former
seaside glory.
Davis Brody & Bond, a Manhattan-based architectural
firm responsible for sweeping expansion
plans in Bedford-Stuyvesant and at Polytechnic
University, was tapped Tuesday to
submit a large-scale plan to redevelop the home
of the world famous Cyclone roller-coaster, the
Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team,
and the recently renovated Parachute Jump.
The design team also includes the accounting
firm of Ernst & Young.
The recommendation by the Coney Island
Development Corporation capped a breezy selection
process in which 21 prospective design
teams were whittled to one in less than a month.
The selection now moves to the Economic Development
Corporation, which will negotiate a
contractual agreement with the design team, according
to a spokeswoman for the EDC, who
said a master plan could be ready by August.
When completed, the plan will extend to the
area —bounded by Neptune Avenue to the
north, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Ocean
Parkway to the east, and West 37th Street — the
redevelopment bug that's already infected much
of northern Brooklyn since last year.
The EDC created the 13-member Coney Island
Development Corporation last September
to shepherd a financial plan and design.
"It definitely has to be a public-private endeavor,"
said EDC spokeswoman Janel Patterson,
who said the initial 100-page proposals submitted
by each group didn't outline specific plans.
"The plan will build on existing business space
and look to develop private property. The city, of
course, can't pay for the whole thing, that's the reason
for putting together the whole plan."
It would also be a continuation of new construction
that already includes the $39 million,

publicly financed Keyspan Park, where the
Brooklyn Cyclones play, and the soon-to-be
completed, $240 million Stillwell Avenue train
station, the major subway link from Coney Island
to the rest of the city.
Community Board 13 District Manager
Chuck Reichenthal, a member of the group,
said that nearly all of the 21 proposals included
mention of a boardwalk-side ferry service, likely
at the old Iron Pier behind Keyspan Park
near Stillwell Avenue.
"The dream is thus, to perhaps develop a
ferry plan from Lower Manhattan to Coney Island,"
said Reichenthal. "To me, it's an interesting
concept because very often you have to
take a boat to just about every world-class city.
Think about Venice."
But Brooklyn's "Venice" has 27-story public
housing buildings and more than 27 acres
of vacant property.
Drawing from an existing plan by the
Coney Island-based Astella Development Corporation,
which focuses primarily on entertainment,
Davis Brody & Bond is expected to reveal
a master plan that would swing widely
from residential and commercial development
to amusement and transportation.
Despite Borough President Marty
Markowitz's public enthusiasm over a possible
resurrection of the Parachute Jump as an
amusement park ride, no specifics have surfaced
as to how that 262-foot structure would
be used in the plan. Standing dormant since
1968, Markowitz sparked a $5 million restoration
project for the city landmark, still Coney
Island's tallest structure.
"My dream is to get that Parachute Jump up
and working again," Markowitz said at a press
luncheon at Borough Hall on Wednesday.
Sadly, for many years Coney Island had deteriorated,
but what's happening now gives
every indication that it's coming back."
See CONEY on page 4

CONEY ISLAND
continued from page 1

Davis Brody & Young is
the architectural firm behind
both the glass-sheathed addition
two years ago to the
110-year-old Harvard Club,
on West 44th Street at Fifth
Avenue in Manhattan, and
Medgar Evers College High
School in Crown Heights.
Their vision for Polytechnic
University included the addition
of 20- and eight-story
buildings in Downtown
Brooklyn, one a residential
hall and the other an administrative
building housing a
multipurpose gym.
Max Bond, a lead architect
on the plans, referred press inquiries
to Charles Shorter, an
advisor with Ernst & Young.
At press time, Shorter had not
returned calls seeking comment.
"We were looking for the
best balance between two
kinds of fundamental qualities,"
said Kenneth Adams,
president of the Brooklyn
Chamber of Commerce and a
member of the Coney Island
Development Corporation.
We were looking for a real-

ly strong economic and real
estate plan. But we also
wanted a group that could
bring a world-class, imaginative
design to Coney Island."
Over the next several
months, said Patterson, the 13-
member CIDC will begin
holding public meetings, mostly

in and around Coney Island,
to give residents and business
people a chance to weigh in.
Among the criteria included
in the request for proposals
issued in January was that
the plan spur job growth and
turn the summer destination
into a year-round attraction.

Kris
March 6th, 2004, 09:30 PM
March 7, 2004

CONEY ISLAND

A Bedraggled Flea Market Makes Way for Progress

By ALEX MINDLIN

The trouble all started with Shorty's toilet.

Shorty - his nickname, and the only name by which he is willing to be identified - used to own the largest remaining and least respectable flea market on Surf Avenue, the decaying amusement strip that parallels the Coney Island shoreline.

That market, at Surf Avenue and Eighth Street, has always stood out, even in a neighborhood rich in makeshift architecture. It is a labyrinth of shipping containers, stacked two deep, and rented out to individual tenants. Some of the containers are single-length, and some double; still others, like mine shafts, bend abruptly at right angles and snake into the unlit space in the back of the building. A soft tin roof gives the whole thing a rough cohesion.

On some days, most of the containers have their rolling steel gates half-closed, like heavy-lidded eyes; on others, startlingly, one or two disgorge their contents all over the sidewalk: broken dolls, lamps, pots and pans. Shorty has his own container on the end, with, in token of his status, the only bathroom.

Then, in September, Shorty sold the property. According to the flea market's dozen or so tenants, the buyer, New York-based Seasurf Realty, promptly padlocked Shorty's toilet, shut off the flea market's electricity and served the vendors with eviction notices. The whole thing is now in Brooklyn Civil Court, but Michael Cheatham, the tenants' lawyer, says the best he can do is postpone eviction for a few months.

Even so, Shorty still hangs around the flea market, is friendly with the vendors and seems unrepentant about having sealed their fate. "You can't sell this stuff no more," he said recently, sweeping an arm at the line of containers and the sidewalk trash. "Look at them. This nice area. This touristy. Look at this."

With this, the flea market at 825 Surf Avenue becomes another casualty of Coney Island improvement. The neighborhood finds itself in the middle of one last push for greatness, a surge of political and corporate energy that began in 2000 with the construction of KeySpan Park for the minor-league Brooklyn Cyclones. The movement has gathered force with the rebuilding of the Stillwell Avenue subway station and Key- Span's reclaiming of the gas-soaked brownfields along Coney Island Creek.

Property values are rising; city inspectors are showing up in numbers unseen for decades; something is in the air. "The rehabilitation of the entire amusement district is something that everyone is working for and planning towards," said Chuck Reichenthal, district manager of Community Board 13. "If you've been here a long time, great. But now you've got to go by the book."

Back on Surf Avenue and Eighth, a man named David, who describes himself as a collector, leaned against a car and explained the process by which goods reach vendors. "The homeless find the stuff," he said. "People die, people give it away."

At that moment, one of the homeless scavengers who regularly stop by the market had just dragged in a shopping cart. He was a tall, jumpy guy with a couple of nail clippers on a chain around his neck. Vendors mobbed the cart with the urgency of carrion birds, carrying away a computer monitor, four shoes, some boxes of L'eggs pantyhose and several cans of Slim-Fast.

David eyed the cart. "Everybody benefits," he said. "The homeless pick it up, we buy it, they make a little money. It's recycling, like life and death."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

BigMac
March 11th, 2004, 12:40 AM
New York Daily News

March 10, 2004

Year-round Coney plan

2 firms tapped to aid strategic development

By BILL FARRELL

Even in its most dire days, Coney Island held its place as a summertime destination. Now that the community has a new minor league ballpark, new housing and new hope, efforts are underway to make Coney a year-round destination.

Last week, that goal moved a step closer to reality when the Coney Island Development Corp. selected the accounting firm of Ernst & Young and the architectural firm of Davis Brody Bond to produce a strategic development plan for the community.

Development corporation President Joshua Sirefman says that with so many positive initiatives underway at Coney Island, the timing is right.

According to Sirefman, the Transit Authority's $235 million reconstruction of the Stillwell Ave. station, the soon-to-be-released $45 million master plan development for the future of the Coney Island Aquarium and the success of the Cyclones baseball team are all providing momentum for development.

Unlike past plans and ideas for Coney Island, Sirefman and others insist that this time there is a real commitment to Coney's future.

Ernst & Young and the Davis group are no strangers to development. Charles Shorter, who heads the Ernst & Young team, played a major role in the redevelopment of Penn Station, the Apollo Theatre and waterfront development along the Hudson River in New York and New Jersey.

Davis Brody Bond's recent projects include the Fulton St. Redevelopment Plan in downtown Brooklyn, as well as the expansion of Lincoln Center.

The goal now is for the team to provide a plan that will result in jobs, housing, commercial growth and the revitalization of the amusement district.

"The plan is going to have to be holistic in its approach to any development. The priorities must be the creation of jobs by making this a year-round destination," said Judy Orlando, executive director of Coney Island-based Astella Development Corp. and a member of the Coney Island Development Corp.

During the past decade Astella has helped create more than 1,000 new units of affordable housing in Coney Island. Last June, Astella released a study outlining a vision for its future, with a focus on the amusement area.

"Obviously the work of Ernst & Young and DB&B would take in a much wider scope," Orlando said.

Community Board 13 district manager Chuck Reichenthal, another member of the Coney Island Development Corp., said the Astella study can be a very helpful tool to the new planning team.

"The Astella report will make for an excellent jump-off point. But there is a lot of work to be done," Reichenthal said.

Everyone is eager to get started.

The development corporation will meet tomorrow at Coney Island Hospital starting at 6 p.m. The first portion of the session is open to the public.

Copyright 2004 Daily News, L.P.

Clarknt67
March 23rd, 2004, 04:43 PM
Ferry service would be a good idea. Transportation is a major roadblock to NYCers going to CI for entertainment. I live in Brooklyn Heights and I might as well be in Hawaii for as likely as I am to lure a Manhattanite to my hood. And the 2/3 can get me to 7th & 14th in 20 minutes.

And CI takes an HOUR by subway from my place!

Of course now some of the orange/yellow trains run express to CI, so I'll see this summer if commute times are better. I take the cyclone every summer, but am always amazed how long it takes to get there.

Kris
March 29th, 2004, 10:47 AM
Reviving Coney Island? (http://www.gothamgazette.com/community/47/majorissues/94)

BigMac
April 12th, 2004, 01:35 PM
New York Newsday
April 12, 2004

Looking to a new seaside attraction

Consultants have been hired to bring music and laughter back to the oceanfront destination that has seen its full share of revitalization plans

BY ROSE FRENCH

Slide Show: Coney Island (http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/brooklyn/nyc-coneygal0412,0,7277046.photogallery?coll=nyc-swapbox-homepage)

On a recent chilly afternoon, the silence on the Coney Island boardwalk was punctuated by the calls of a few scattered seagulls and the hushed conversations of strolling couples.

Beyond the silence is a memory of the sounds of a Coney Island summer, a time when it was hard to hear the birds over carnival music, children's laughter and roller coaster-induced shrieks.

New York City wants that music, noise and laughter to continue all year round.

City economic development officials recently hired consultants to devise a plan to inject new verve into Coney Island.

The plan won't be completed for another six months, but suggestions being discussed include building a covered water park, creating a marine-themed spa, opening a convention center, or even reviving the idea of the Elephant Hotel, an actual hotel shaped like an elephant that existed on Coney Island more than 100 years ago.

The city hopes to turn the trash-strewn lots, souvenir shops and greasy-spoon eateries that dot the iconic waterfront into a destination that attracts visitors throughout the year. It hopes to keep alive the neighborhood that was the birthplace of both the hot dog on a bun and the 77-year-old Cyclone roller coaster.

The Coney Island Development Corp. has selected Ernst & Young and the architectural design firm Davis Brody Bond. They've been given a $200,000 budget and asked to come up with a plan, including a real estate development analysis, for the area bordered by 18th Street on the east, 37th Street on the west, Neptune Avenue on the north and the water on the south.

"A lot of businesses out here are not making it," said Maria Gonzalez, manager of the 10-year-old Maria's Cuchifrito restaurant on Mermaid Avenue, who worries about businesses dying off. Two of her restaurant's neighbors, a Chinese eatery and a clothing shop, recently closed, she said.

"We don't have a lot of customers" in the winter, she said. "If we were year-round, business would do better, I think. What we make in the winter, we make double in the summer."

Officials say they plan to have the proposals completed in six months.

"The plan is not something I see collecting dust on a shelf," said Josh Sirefman, president of the Coney Island Development Corp., a 13-member board of city officials, Brooklyn business leaders and real estate executives. "We're going to try to build on what's there, the aquarium, a number of amusement business and destinations now, KeySpan Park." The new proposals follow a July 2003 plan commissioned by the nonprofit Coney Island-based Astella Development Corp., which included a ferry terminal to Manhattan, a water park and a hotel.

But Coney Island has been the subject of many plans since it first became a seaside destination in the early 1800s. Even the Astella plan said that a history of failed proposals "provide[s] little optimism that successful cooperation among the owners will occur to produce a viable large-scale amusement project." The Astella plan urges the city to buy much of the property.

Private sector interest?

"I think we have to wait to see what the [new] study brings," said Judi Orlando, executive director of the Astella agency and a board member of the Coney Island Development Corp. "If there are enough incentives, I think the private sector will be interested in this."

Getting property owners, however, to either sell or develop their property likely will prove to be the city's biggest challenge to rejuvenating the 30 or so trash-filled vacant lots.

Orlando said she believed property owners would work with the city if it offered attractive tax and other incentives. The city owns some of the vacant lots, while the majority are privately held.

Charles Denson, 50, a Coney Island native and author of "Coney Island: Lost and Found," said that in the past, New York City has used the power of eminent domain for "public use" to acquire land there - to rather devastating effect - and could do that again.

In fact, private investment in Coney Island collapsed after World War II when city Parks Commissioner Robert Moses declared the area a candidate for urban renewal. He built public housing high-rises which stand in sharp contrast to the bright oranges, blues and reds of the Wonder Wheel and other amusement rides.

"The housing projects have kept a lot of developers away," Denson said.

"Nobody was going to invest when they thought he [Moses] was going to take the land for eminent domain," he said. "Moses broke the cycle of private investment."

Sirefman said he believes landowners will work with the city. "There's a number of landowners and developers who have reached out to us and expressed enthusiasm for the planning process," he said.

Peter Agrapides, owner of Williams Candy, next to Nathan's Famous hot dogs, the original, off Surf Avenue, said he has seen an upswing in business since the 2001 arrival of the minor-league Brooklyn Cyclones and the team's $39-million KeySpan Park on the eastern border of the redevelopment zone.

Baseball a big help

Heralded by public officials as an economic boost, the stadium has helped some businesses, but not everyone, said Agrapides, whose business near the stadium is one of the few that stays open year-round.

During the slower winter months, he says he survives on his wholesale accounts and some sales from individual customers, who spill over from Nathan's.

"Before the baseball field, we were struggling," Agrapides said. "Now retail sales have improved 20 percent."

Besides the stadium, public officials point to other economic improvements, such as the $240-million reconstruction of the New York City Transit Stillwell Avenue subway station, projected to reopen around Memorial Day. The New York Aquarium is also planning $45million in improvements. Officials also say that if New York City is selected for the 2012 Olympic Games, Coney Island would benefit economically as the primary spectator location for sailing contests.

Chuck Reichenthal, district manager for Community Board 13, said despite heavy rains last summer, Coney Island had a record-breaking 1.5 million visitors for July 4.

"That's a beautiful number, and we only had one transit terminal running," Reichenthal said. "At least this summer we'll have three lines running in. So Coney Island has not been forgotten."

But to re-establish Coney Island as New York's pre-eminent oceanfront playground and make it a year-round draw, planners need to think big and dramatic, Denson said.

"I think you need to put something really fantastic there," Denson said. "I think if they did something like the famous elephant hotel, which was shaped like an elephant, something unique, hearkening back to the past. I think that would do a lot to bring it back. The elephant hotel is what started Coney Island's reputation for the unusual. I don't think retail would be good. Putting a mall or a big box there doesn't take advantage of the site," he added.

The Astella plan calls for a hotel, to be built over the aquarium's existing parking area, that would include restaurants, banquet facilities, meeting rooms and a spa.

The plan also proposes a water park on the vacant land west of Stillwell Avenue and east of KeySpan Park; it would have a lightweight filament roof to help extend its use after the summer season.

"We're very committed to making sure there's a lot of public input," said Sirefman of the Coney Island Development Corp. "Coney Island is this great resource for all of the city. It has been before, and it should be again."

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

Kris
August 1st, 2004, 06:15 AM
August 1, 2004

A Carnival in Suspended Animation

By LYDIA POLGREEN

Slide Show: Coney Island Still Waiting for a Rebirth (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2004/07/31/nyregion/20040801_CONEY_SLIDESHOW_1.html)

It was the bottom of the ninth of a scoreless game under a canopy of threatening black clouds, but the thousands of fans who had traveled from throughout New York City to Coney Island to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones play the Williamsport Crosscutters did not seem to mind. The 7,500-seat stadium was about three-quarters full, and when outfielder Ambiorix Concepcion sneaked in a run, stealing two bases and making it home on a wild pitch, the crowd erupted.

When the game was over, most fans filed to their cars, in a vast parking lot west of the stadium, though some stopped at Nathan's for a hot dog on the way to the subway.

"People come here for the ballgame, and then they leave," said Heshy Wiederman, who lives in Seagate, a gated community at the western end of Coney Island. "It's like Yankee Stadium. You go to a game, and then you go home."

From a sports perspective, the Cyclones are clearly a huge success. By the middle of this season, its fourth, the team had sold a million tickets, making it one of the most successful teams in minor league baseball. And psychologically, the stadium has given a flagging neighborhood a big boost, prompting talk of a Coney Island revival and drawing thousands of new visitors who not long ago might have written off the fabled resort as a crime-ridden, filthy place, which for many years it was.

"This was one of the biggest July Fourths we have seen in a long time" said Carol Hill-Albert, who along with her husband owns Astroland, one of two amusement parks that are the legacy of the 1920's and 30's, when such parks dominated the peninsula and thrilled 15 million visitors a season. "The Boardwalk was literally jammed, you could barely walk on it. Something is changing, something is happening. There is an excitement I haven't seen in a long time."

But from an economic development point of view, the return on the city's $39 million investment in the Cyclones is less clear. When the stadium was being built, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani predicted that the team would "serve as a catalyst to the revitalization of Coney Island, much as Disney's investment on 42nd Street helped turn Times Square around."

That has not happened. The Cyclones have given the existing amusements at Coney Island a leg up - the number of riders on the Cyclone roller coaster shoots up by about 30 percent after a win by the Cyclones, but by only about 15 percent when they lose, Ms. Hill-Albert said, and the hot-dog lines at Nathan's can be daunting.

But one look at the empty buildings and vacant lots along Surf Avenue reveals that the stadium has yet to spark a wholesale revitalization of Coney Island or to create a significant number of jobs.

Indeed, much of Coney Island, the ragged thumb to Brooklyn's patchwork mitten for half a century, remains in the same state of suspended animation it has been stuck in since the 1970's, when the bottom dropped so far that part of Coney Island's bombed-out streetscape became a set for "The Warriors,'' a violent film tale of a bloodthirsty New York street gang ruling ruthlessly over an urban wasteland. Those days are long gone - crime is down more than 70 percent from a decade ago, a drop mirrored throughout the city. But the barren streetscape remains, owing at least in part to a handful of property owners who have held vacant land and buildings in the neighborhood for decades.

"There are a lot of obstacles to development in Coney Island," said Charles Denson, whose book, "Coney Island: Lost and Found,'' chronicles the rise, fall and nascent rebirth of the neighborhood where he grew up. "There is a lot of unused land, but it is very tightly controlled by a few property owners, some of whom are rational and others who are not. Some have good intentions and others are just waiting for a big payday."

Peter Agrapides, the 68-year-old owner of Pete's Clam Stop, a local institution, gestured at the empty Shore Theater opposite his store, part of a row of derelict structures on the north side of Surf Avenue. "They have been empty for many, many years," he said. "I hope I'll live long enough to see it all rebuilt again like it used to be." In the old days, Kister's Carousel whirled, the towers of Luna Park glittered, and mile-long roller coasters climbed to the heavens, a spectacle that prompted one visitor to write in 1904, "Verily this is Dreamland, and one rubs one's eyes and pinches one's arm to see if one be really awake."

Public investment has flooded the neighborhood. The grim portal that was the Stillwell Avenue subway terminal will become, when it is completed next year, one of the grandest subway stations in the city, with a price tag of about a quarter-billion dollars. It will be the first major new building on the north side of Surf Avenue, giving the street a much needed face-lift. The Boardwalk has new bathrooms from the Parks Department, and the New York Aquarium is working on an expansion with a shark exhibit.

But private investment in the neighborhood has been harder to come by. Despite whispers that Disney is looking at one vacant lot, or that a hotel might rise on another, no shovels are close to hitting the dirt.

"We read in the newspaper that Coney Island has a big future," said Vladimir Zats, who has been selling antiques and bric-a-brac on Surf Avenue for more then 20 years and hears each new plan to revitalize Coney Island with a little more skepticism. "But it isn't here yet."

In September 2003, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg formed the Coney Island Development Corporation, to spark ideas and attract investment to the neighborhood, and he put one of the city's top economic development officials at its helm. The corporation is now meeting with residents, businesses and community groups to come up with a master plan for the neighborhood.

It is not the first time city officials have set their sights on remaking this corner of Brooklyn. In the 1930's, New York's controversial master builder, Robert Moses, who hated Coney Island's honky-tonk atmosphere, set his sights on making it more like his beloved Jones Beach, a tranquil resort on Long Island that he had completed the decade before. He tore down ornate restaurants and bathhouses to make room for more beach, and over the next two decades the city rezoned much of the vast amusement district for low-income housing and erected glowering towers of drab brick that still dominate. With few jobs to support the huge influx of poor people, the neighborhood that had once amused millions quickly descended into despair, becoming a place of violent drug gangs and prostitution.

This time the city hopes to get it right. It has hired a battery of consultants to develop a master plan that they hope will transform a still seedy, seasonal destination that relies on nostalgia to draw visitors to a small set of attractions, into a shining year-round entertainment mecca.

"Coney Island is an extraordinary resource that frankly can be doing much more than it is," said Joshua Sirefman, chairman of the development corporation and chief operating officer of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. "We are trying to figure out what the right kind of development is, how to increase economic activity and make it a year-round destination by enhancing what's there and making a place that can both serve as regional attraction but also work well with the neighborhood around it."

The corporation hopes to build on the baseball stadium's popularity and find ways to link it to the slow but steady revival already taking place here - among the hordes of magenta-haired hipsters who came for a recent alternative rock festival, dozens of sets of twins who came for what was billed as the world's largest gathering of twins, and thousands of families from across the city wanting to taste a little bit of that old carnival magic.

For these visitors, Coney Island has slowly become what it once was - a wonderland by the sea, just a subway ride from the stifling heat of the city, packed with whimsy that can be found nowhere else but on this oddball peninsula.

"To me, Coney Island is magical," said Roman Macia, a preschool teacher from Dallas who rode the subway from the Upper West Side to eat a Nathan's hot dog and stroll on the Boardwalk on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. When he was a little boy growing up in Camaguey, Cuba, he said, his grandmother would regale him with tales of visiting the Boardwalk in the 1930's. He never forgot the stories, and comes back whenever he can. "I always come here when I am in New York, no matter what."

Some people credit the Cyclones for putting for Coney Island back on the map. But many in the neighborhood say that other factors also played a role, including the drastic drop in crime and the overall improvement in the economy, which gave the working-class families that are the mainstay of Coney Island's amusement industry the cash to spend on a day at the beach and on the Boardwalk.

"I'm glad that they are here because they forced the city to pay attention to Coney Island," said Dick Zigun, artistic director of Coney Island USA, a nonprofit arts group that runs Sideshows by the Seashore and a museum and organizes the annual Mermaid Parade. "With their short season, they draw about 300,000 people, which is hardly a drop in the bucket. We get that many people in a day at the Mermaid Parade.''

And Coney Island's rebirth will have to contend with the social ills that cling to its seashore. Public housing still dominates the neighborhood and crime has not disappeared entirely. Last month, a notorious drug dealer was gunned down at the corner of Mermaid Avenue and 24th Street. Standing at the desolate corner near a street tribute to the dealer, who was known as Dada, Verzon Fonville, a 35-year-old former drug dealer and felon turned community activist, said change had come slowly to the western, most populated end of Coney Island.

"They talk about rebuilding, but west of Stillwell it is a very different story," Mr. Fonville said, gesturing at the knots of teenagers congregated on Mermaid Avenue's litter-strewn corners. "The kids around here have nowhere to go. There are no jobs for the people who live here. The revival hasn't gotten here yet."

Still, longtime Coney Island residents and business people say the neighborhood's current upswing differs from the nostalgia-fueled hope that opens each sunshiny season, only to be dashed when Labor Day rolls around and the receipts are counted.

"Right now there is a lot of optimism," said Judi Orlando, director of Astella Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that has built low cost single-family houses in Coney Island for 25 years. "People believe that this could be it, the moment they have been waiting for."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

muscle1313
August 1st, 2004, 08:13 PM
Went to the CIDC meeting last week. Lots of great ideas but very little focus. I think a ferry from Manhattan to Coney's aquarium is in the works. They would like to make Surf Avenue like Times Square with big billboards. They are definitely looking beyond just summer season looking to make Coney year round. You guys should join us at the meetings. Plan should be out sometime in the fall.

NewYorkYankee
August 1st, 2004, 10:38 PM
Went to the CIDC meeting last week. Lots of great ideas but very little focus. I think a ferry from Manhattan to Coney's aquarium is in the works. They would like to make Surf Avenue like Times Square with big billboards. They are definitely looking beyond just summer season looking to make Coney year round. You guys should join us at the meetings. Plan should be out sometime in the fall.

I actually like the idea of it becoming like times square...that would bring a big surge to the area! Sounds good! :D

krulltime
August 4th, 2004, 12:11 AM
Coney Island tracks success to trains
After abysmal 2003, crowds are flocking through reopened Stillwell Ave. station


By Anita Jain
Published on August 02, 2004

It's Friday, it's summer, and by all accounts, hungry customers should be shoving each other to place orders at the counter of Gyro Corner, one of Coney Island's most popular food stands.

Instead, it's raining, there are no customers and manager Mike Leledakas is contemplating shutting down for the day. "I'll wait a couple of hours until it really starts coming down," he says, squinting into the mid-morning drizzle. "Last year, the weather was like this all the time."

Thankfully, the rainy day is unusual for what has been a generally sunny summer. For Coney Island's amusement park owners and concession-stand operators, food sales and receipts have been up as much as 50% across the board. The rain is an unwelcome reminder of last summer, when wet weather and a shutdown in subway service kept the crowds at home.

"We took two strikes, one from the weather and one from the trains," says Dennis Vourderis, co-owner of Deno's Wonder Wheel, one of the two major amusement parks on the boardwalk.


MTA keeps its word

Coney Island's business operators cheered when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority kept its word and reopened the Stillwell Avenue subway station--a few minutes' walk from the beach--in late May, after it had been under renovations for nearly two years. "That's what we've been missing for the last year and a half," says Mr. Vourderis.

Last summer, beachgoing subway riders had to take shuttle buses from other stations to get to Coney Island. The situation wasn't ideal, and people usually came late or left early because of the uncertainty regarding the buses. "From 10:00 to 2:00, no one would be here," says Mr. Vourderis. "Now they're banging down my doors to open in the morning."

The poor 2003 season caused a gap in the renaissance of Coney Island, which began to fall into disrepair after its heyday in the 1930s. Its comeback began in the 1990s, after a cleanup and restoration, and accelerated with the rebuilt boardwalk.

Stanley Fox, head of the transportation committee at the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce, estimates that 75% of people traveling to Coney Island arrive through the Stillwell Avenue station or the adjacent West 8th Street station, which was also closed last summer.

The $280 million renovation of the Stillwell Avenue station overhauled what is believed to be the world's largest subway station, where three of New York City's major subway lines terminate. The airy, European-style station now features a 400-foot glass-block mural bearing carnival and beach-related etchings, such as a turtle and a hot dog.


All-time highs

Michael Finley, who manages three carnival games--a mechanized horse race and two water races--attributes this summer's 40% increase in his business to the reopening of the Stillwell Avenue station. "The only thing that I can see is the trains being brought back," he says.

This summer, the dual blessing of sunshine and running trains drove traffic to all-time highs on the Fourth of July weekend and for the Siren Music Festival, a one-day event sponsored by the Village Voice in mid-July. Mr. Fox estimates that 1.1 million people came that day, compared with half of that last year.

Carol Albert, co-owner of Astroland, home of the famous Cyclone roller coaster, says she saw record crowds of as many as 60,000 during the July Fourth weekend.

Any summer weekend makes up a huge chunk of annual income for Coney Island businesses, which is why 2003 was such a disappointment. Last August's blackout wiped out one weekend. "This is a strictly seasonal business," says Ms. Albert. "All of it is in a 12-week season."

At Gyro Corner, Mr. Leledakas is generally finding lots of takers for his lamb gyros, corn dogs, Italian sausages and cotton candy. "Business is much better," he says.


Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

NewYorkYankee
August 4th, 2004, 07:10 PM
I was there in July, and the baordwalk,beach,pier, and amusement park were crowded, and you shouldve seen the people pouring off the trains as we walked into Stillwell Ave. station... I didnt know it was going to be the worlds largest... I thought Times Sq. maybe? with all the corridors to every train imaginable it seemed huge! I bet it would be eerie at say 3 a.m.!! :lol:

Gulcrapek
August 4th, 2004, 07:21 PM
World's largest outdoor, I think.

Kris
August 5th, 2004, 05:18 AM
Largest terminal.

BrooklynRider
August 5th, 2004, 10:19 AM
And happily, the size didn't force them to skimp on design. It is beautiful!

tmg
August 5th, 2004, 10:29 AM
It's apparently the largest rapid transit terminal in the world
http://www.archpaper.com/feature_articles/the_ultimate_ride.html
(Many intercity rail terminals are much bigger, of course, especially GCT)

krulltime
August 10th, 2004, 08:13 PM
Gray Line to launch Coney Island tour


by Lisa Fickenscher
August 10, 2004

Gray Line, the bus operator, is launching a tour package to Coney Island this weekend, its second foray into Brooklyn.

Last year, Gray Line began a hop-on-and-hop-off trolley tour in Brooklyn, but it didn't go as far out into the borough as Coney Island. The new offering will depart each Saturday and Sunday from Manhattan at 9:30 a.m. and return at 5:00 p.m. It will run until Oct. 31, when the amusement park, Astroland, closes for the winter.

Gray Line's marketing manager, David Chien, says the company is considering similar tours to Queens and the Bronx.

The price of the tour, $52 for adults and $39 for children, includes free rides in Astroland and admission to the New York Aquarium.


Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

muscle1313
August 14th, 2004, 11:27 AM
Mayor: Coney Sportsplex
alive despite Olympic snub


By Jotham Sederstrom
The Brooklyn Papers
City officials say that a recent
reshuffling of Olympics venues
for the 2012 Summer Games
will not jeopardize plans for a
proposed amateur athletics facility
in Coney Island.
Aspokeswoman for Mayor Michael
Bloomberg insisted Thursday that despite
a revised Olympics bid that shifts
indoor volleyball from the proposed
Coney Island Sportsplex to the Continental
Airlines arena in New Jersey, an
amateur facility is still on the table.
Plans to convert the Park Slope
Armory into an athletic center and
those by developer Bruce Ratner to

in Downtown Brooklyn would not
threaten the proposal either, said Jennifer
Falk, the spokeswoman.
"It is unreasonable to expect a
10,000-seat arena to be built at the
same time as plans are already underway
build a professional basketball arena

in
Downtown Brooklyn," said Falk. "In
place of the Sportsplex, the administration
has committed to developing a
plan for a multi-use sports facility for
the youth and residents of Coney Island
much like the project announced
for the renovated Park Slope Armory."
But members of the Brooklyn
See CONEY on page 4

Sports Foundation, chief
boosters of the Coney Island
Sportsplex, say that its future
would not be known until October,
when the Coney Island Development
Corporation expects
to release a draft of its redevelopment
plan.
"Now the idea is really to
wait for the results of the Coney
Island Development Corporation
to see if planners believe a
venue for amateur sports and
events should be part of the redevelopment
of Coney Island,"
said Kenneth Adams, president
of the Brooklyn Chamber of
Commerce and the Brooklyn
Sports Foundation.
"But I wouldn't call it Sportsplex.
We don't even know
what to call it anymore."
Among the most provocative
of alternatives to the arena are
plans to build an "extreme
sports" facility, say members of
the development corporation.
The idea was advanced by consultants
with Davis Brody Bond
and Ernst & Young, the team selected
in March to devise a strategy
for a new Coney Island.
Chuck Reichenthal, district
manager of Community Board
13, said the idea was batted
around but few details were discussed,
only that it could be
built on the city-owned land on
Surf Avenue between West 19th
and West 20th street originally
reserved for the Sportsplex.
What extreme sports would
be, I don't know," said Reichenthal.
Judi Orlando, executive director
of the Astella Development
Corporation and a member
of the CIDC, said that the
idea would fit nicely with the
character of Coney Island, now
home to extreme eating competitions
and arguably one of the
world's first extreme sports ride
— the parachute jump.
"It's been discussed," said
Orlando of the extreme sports
plans, which could include anything
from a climbing wall to a
skateboard park. "It's taking the
Sportsplex and trying to modernize
it. Everything has to be
extreme: Extreme eating, extreme
sports, the ultimate sports
thing and now skateboard parks
are all big right now."
The 12,000-seat amateur
Sportsplex had originated with
hopes that it would serve high

school and college athletes. The
$70 million project, which was
first promoted by then-Borough
President Howard Golden in
1987, was slated to include a
NCAA-regulation basketball
court surrounded by a 200-meter,
eight-lane track.
But plans for the arena collapsed
under the weight of former
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's
interest in bringing professional
baseball to Brooklyn. Giuliani
pushed forward the plan to
build Keyspan Park, home to
the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Both the city and state secured
$30 million for Sportsplex
and Golden added $7 million
from his budget, which as
of April was still on the table,
according to a spokesman for
Markowitz.
Still, some believe that the
Olympics snub will be costly
for Coney, which has been reinvigorated
thanks to Keyspan
Park and the new Stillwell Avenue
train station. Coney Island
Councilman Domenic Recchia,
for one, said that an Olympics
venue on the Island would draw
tourists.
"It would help the economy
and the amusement industry
and it would bring tourists,"
said Recchia, who sent a letter
to Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff
this week panning the decision
to omit the neighborhood
from the Olympic bid. "I can
guarantee they would all go to
Coney Island and the economic
impact would be amazing."
Jennifer Falk, the mayoral
spokesman, contends that Reccia
had been privy to the revised
plans. "It's disingenuous
for the councilman to allege
that he was unaware of these
plans or of the changes to the
bid," she said.
Beside the "extreme sports"
alternative, the 13-member
CIDC has been discussing
plans for a ferry on Coney Island
that would sail to Lower
Manhattan and a new hotel
overlooking the ocean, the first
since the 72-year-old Half
Moon Hotel was closed three
years ago.
Reichenthal said that another
hope is to extend the amusement
area to the edge of Sea
Gate on 37th Street and reimagine
it as a 365-days-a-year
destination.
"People have been expressing
their viewpoints, their hopes
and their concerns," said Reichenthal.
"It's all been taken
down, it's gone back and forth
and, well, I guess we're about
to see what happens."

muscle1313
August 21st, 2004, 12:10 AM
Marbury to lead Coney charge
Knick star to invest in old `hood


By Jotham Sederstrom
The Brooklyn Papers

Sources say a proposal to build an amateur athletics facility in
Coney Island will be partially funded by one of the area's native
sons, Knicks point-guard Stephon Marbury.

Councilman Domenic Recchia, who represents Coney Island, said that
he, Council Speaker Gifford Miller, the Stephon Marbury Foundation
and the Bloomberg administration are in talks for what Recchia called
a "rec center" in Coney Island.

"Everyone's in Athens right now and so when they get back we'll
continue talking," said Recchia, referring to Mayor Michael Bloomberg
and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, who are in Greece to promote their
efforts to host the 2012 Olympics, and Marbury, who is on the U.S.
men's basketball team.

"Because of the Olympics, everything got pushed back a little bit,"
he added.

Asked when he last spoke to Marbury, the councilman said, "I talk to
Stephon all the time. I talked to him last week."

Sheryl Robertson, a friend of the Marbury family and director of the
South Brooklyn Youth Consortium, confirmed that the three-time All-
Star had expressed interest in sponsoring the project, which is back
on the drawing board, albeit on a smaller scale than envisioned a
decade ago, following a commitment from the mayor.

The project would likely be built after construction on a proposed
professional basketball arena in Downtown Brooklyn is completed.

"I heard about it three months ago," said Robertson, who is also a
member of the Coney Island Development Corporation, which will unveil
plans in October for the future redevelopment of the neighborhood,
which over the past two decades has suffered a sharp decline, but has
recently seen a summer upsurge with the constuction of Keyspan Park
for the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team.

Assemblywoman Adele Cohen, who represents Coney Island, said
philanthropy is nothing new for Marbury, 27, who starred at Lincoln
High School in Coney Island before being drafted by the Minnesota
Timberwolves in 1996.

Cohen said that about four years ago, Marbury teamed up with the Rev.
Eric Miller to aid in repairing the Beulah Church of Christ on
Mermaid Avenue.

"He's been very generous not only with our church, but with all the
churches in Coney Island," Miller said this week.
In 2001, said Cohen, she and the ballplayer contributed to a
basketball league for kids run by one of Marbury's brothers on
Mermaid Avenue.

"It shows his roots," Cohen said of his work in the Coney Island
community.

Marbury grew up in the Surfside Gardens housing project on West 31st
Street at Mermaid Avenue. This past season he was traded to the
Knicks, injecting some life into the otherwise listless team down the
stretch and playing near home for the first time since he was traded
by the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd three years ago. He led the
Knicks in scoring.

Because few details have been revealed about the planned amateur
athletics facility, which replaces larger plan once called
Sportsplex, it is unclear how much money the 6-foot-2 athlete will
invest. Also unclear is how many private investors may be involved.

Jennifer Falk, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg, would not confirm whether
Marbury or other investors were involved in the plan, but said that
the facility would be partially funded from a portion of the money
once earmarked for Sportsplex.

Before plans for that facility were dashed, the city and state had
secured $30 million each for the project and then-Borough President
Howard Golden added $7 million from his budget. Earlier this year, a
spokeswoman for Borough President Marty Markowitz confirmed that the
money was still on the table.

"I can confirm that any alternate proposal would include partial
funding from the previously proposed Sportsplex," said Falk.
Until its demise, the plan for a 12,000-seat amateur Sportsplex rose
and fell on the fortunes of other development projects and at the
whims of political fancy.

First boosted by Golden in 1987, the facility was to include an NCAA-
regulation basketball court and a 200-meter, eight-lane running
track.

But chances that the arena would see the light of day diminished with
former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's piqued interest in bringing
professional baseball to Brooklyn, and his feud with Golden over
which project should be a priority. When Keyspan Park was finally
built in 2001, many believed plans for the amateur facility had
finally been dashed.

But the plan was granted a second life when organizers for the city's
2012 Olympics bid included it as a venue in their original proposal.
Earlier this month, however, indoor volleyball, which was slated to
be held in Coney Island, was shifted to Continental Airlines Arena in
New Jersey. Gymnastics were shifted to the arena developer Bruce
Ratner wants to build for his recently purchased Nets.
Many close to the plans believe an alternative project will serve the
area all the same.

"It's clear that the administration realizes that there's still a
need for sports and recreation for young people in Coney Island,"
said Kenneth Adams, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and
the Brooklyn Sports Foundation, which formulated the original
Sportsplex plan.

"It's not about Sportsplex anymore, or dog-eared architectural
plans," said Adams. "It's about meeting the needs of a year-round
sports and recreational facility."

billyblancoNYC
August 21st, 2004, 02:27 AM
I am all about making CI a mecca again, but a rec center doesn't seem to do it for me. Shouldn't this be somewhere else. It's a great idea, but shouldn't this area have other types of things? I dunno, maybe I'm wrong. Would love to see those horrible projects/buildings torn down, though. It looms over everything over there.

muscle1313
August 21st, 2004, 12:06 PM
Think the sports facility is going to be a small part of a huge plan for Coney. I ran into a couple of members of the development team when my wife and I went to an outdoor concert in Coney Thursday. They were leaving a meeting with the aquarium folks. The CIDC is totally focused on making Coney a year round destination. They told me the plan should be out in November. Next meeting will be around September 30th open to all.

billyblancoNYC
August 22nd, 2004, 02:53 AM
Think the sports facility is going to be a small part of a huge plan for Coney. I ran into a couple of members of the development team when my wife and I went to an outdoor concert in Coney Thursday. They were leaving a meeting with the aquarium folks. The CIDC is totally focused on making Coney a year round destination. They told me the plan should be out in November. Next meeting will be around September 30th open to all.

Let's hope it a solid, comprehensive, original plan that will really attract development and not end up on a bookshelf somewhere. Make it fun, make it one-of-a-kind...make it NY and Coney.

BrooklynRider
August 23rd, 2004, 10:31 AM
I'm not much in favor of the sports complex. Keyspan Park is enough of that sort of thing. C.I. is a unique place with unique opportunities. The ideas emanating from the CIDC so far are bland, unexciting and will do little to encourage further development. I seems the amusement and beachfront area has been bereft of any meaningful development in such a long time that folks accept "anything" as the "best thing".

tmg
August 23rd, 2004, 01:48 PM
"Year round" is the key. Coney Island does fine economically on sunny summer weekends, but it's deserted much of the rest of the year. A recreational sports facility that can draw people from the rest of Brooklyn (as Chelsea Piers does in Manhattan) could make an important contribution to making Coney a year-round destination. Yes, "unique" attractions are desirable, but attactions that draw people day after day are essential.

Gulcrapek
August 23rd, 2004, 02:17 PM
What about unique attractions that draw people day after day?

BrooklynRider
August 23rd, 2004, 03:23 PM
C.I. is not Manhattan and a Chelsea Piers type of recreation / sports facility would likely be cost-prohibitive to many residents of the area.

muscle1313
August 23rd, 2004, 07:44 PM
"Year round" is the key. Coney Island does fine economically on sunny summer weekends, but it's deserted much of the rest of the year. A recreational sports facility that can draw people from the rest of Brooklyn (as Chelsea Piers does in Manhattan) could make an important contribution to making Coney a year-round destination. Yes, "unique" attractions are desirable, but attactions that draw people day after day are essential.

Year round is definitely the direction the CIDC is going. Thats the impression I get from attending the meetings. I have no problem with an indoor sports facility but my big question though is they are building one like Chelsea Piers already in South Brooklyn at Floyd Bennett Field. I wouldn't want a carbon copy just a few miles away. That extreme sports proposal sounds pretty good to me. I hope they consider some type of Waterpark too. Indoor or Outdoor.

muscle1313
August 27th, 2004, 08:15 PM
Staples mega-store coming to Coney Island


By Jotham Sederstrom
The Brooklyn Papers

In what neighborhood leaders hope is the first sign of a coming development boom, Staples office supply store will join a Linens ‘n’ Things in an underdeveloped area of Coney Island.

The Economic Development Corporation announced on Thursday that a Manhattan-based development group would build a 13,000-square-foot Staples across the street from the newly opened Linens ‘n’ Things in the building formerly occupied by Topps Appliance City, which closed several years ago. The development sits at the intersection of Cropsey Avenue and Hart Place near the Coney Island Creek and the Belt Parkway.

SAM Coney Island LLC, which is comprised mostly of Vista Realty Partners in Manhattan, developed Linens ‘n’ Things late last year and expects to open the Staples next year. Several other major retailers on the currently drab strip are also planned, said Marc Esrig, a managing member of the group.

“The development of this property is great news for Coney Island and the neighboring communities,” said Economic Development Corp. President Andrew Alper in a prepared statement announcing the Staples deal. “This was a dilapidated lot plagued by illegal dumping. On behalf of the city, EDC worked with the developer to clean up the site and make it suitable for economic development.”
Esrig said that the group purchased the 25,900-square-foot city-owned lot for approximately $500,000, a cost that included about $46,845 in environmental cleanup costs. The deal, which includes both public and private property, began taking shape five years ago, but complications resulted from the large amount of pollution that had accumulated on the site over the years.

Esrig said the store, which is slated to open within one year, will be built from the ground up at a cost of approximately $3.4 million. Two derelict buildings were demolished earlier this year, including the former Topps, which closed four years ago. An adjacent lot will be used for parking.

The project is expected to yield 15 construction jobs and 25 jobs in the Staples store itself, said a spokesman for the Economic Development Corp.

As for continued development in the area, Esrig said that within “the first quarter of 2005” residents can expect to see more big-name stores, though which ones he declined to say.

“It would be another big name, hopefully another big name retailer,” said Esrig. “We’re looking to redevelop and we’d probably demolish in a small commercial area. The area has a lot of work that has to be done.”

In October, members of the Coney Island Development Corporation expect to unveil a rough plan for the future of the neighborhood. Many property owners say that once those plans are revealed, much of the area bordered by Neptune Avenue to the north, the beach and boardwalk to the south, Ocean Parkway to the east and West 37th Street to the west will also be redeveloped.

“I think that once those plans come out, you’ll see guns blaring away,” said Horace Bullard, a major property owner whose holdings include land where the old Thunderbolt roller coaster once stood, next to Keyspan Park

“Coney Island is a name known all over the world and you would spend millions of dollars to get that kind of recognition,” Bullard said. There’s definitely a lot of interest.”

Gulcrapek
August 27th, 2004, 08:26 PM
Ugh. No more box chains.

muscle1313
August 28th, 2004, 09:05 AM
Cropsey Ave is perfect for big retail. Right off the Belt Parkway and not part of the amusement district. I hope WalMart, Target or Costco come next. I love big box chains. They bring a huge amount of business into an area, and spur further development.

STT757
August 28th, 2004, 10:30 AM
How about building the Mets a new stadium at Coney Island, they seem to be a natural fit. The Minor League team is doing quite well there.

ZippyTheChimp
August 28th, 2004, 12:04 PM
That's actually a good idea, but I doubt it would happen.

Big box sucks precisely because one leads to another, and another...

muscle1313
August 28th, 2004, 12:12 PM
Big box sucks precisely because one leads to another, and another...

Exactly why I like big box so much. Spurs development.

muscle1313
August 28th, 2004, 12:19 PM
You know with Home Depot, Linens N Things, and now Staples coming to Cropsey Ave and the CI Terminal Mall coming next year, Coney is going to be quite a year round retail spot. Very good for the neighborhood. Reminds me of whats going on with Downtown Brooklyn retail revitalization.

muscle1313
September 1st, 2004, 10:02 AM
Are you guys familiar with any of the developers listed in the article? Any thoughts on previous projects by these folks?

From Globe St.com

Coney Island Preps for Revitalization
By Barbara Jarvie
Last updated: Wednesday, September 1, 2004 10:26pm

CONEY ISLAND, NY-The city sold a 25,900-sf lot here that will be combined with two adjacent lots to become a Staples. This is part of an initiative to transform the community known across the world for its amusement area into a year-round destination.



Created in September 2003, the Coney Island Development Corp. aims to create a plan to diversify the area. After issuing a Request for Proposals, the group selected Ernst & Young and Davis Brody Bond to create a strategic plan for this Brooklyn neighborhood.



According to Joshua J. Sirefman, CIDC president, the consultants will devise a strategy for implementing short- and long-term improvements. The key aspects of the strategy will be to build on the existing business base, develop vacant property and market the area for a variety of year-round uses. “The team is capable of taking on the challenges of transforming Coney Island into a year-round destination.” A full report is expected in the fall.



Other members of the E&Y/DBB team include Halcyon Ltd, retail specialists; Vollmer Associates LLP, engineering and landscape architects; Karin Bacon Events, public space programming; Streetworks, retail developers; and Strategic Leisure, entertainment production development.



SAM Coney Island LLC purchased the lot in the urban renewal area at the intersection of Cropsey Avenue and Hart Place near Coney Island Creek for $325,000. The developer also paid $46,845 toward the environmental clean-up costs. The project is expected to yield 15 construction jobs and 25 permanent ones, according to New York City Economic Development Corp. president Andrew Alper. “This was a dilapidated lot plagued by illegal dumping. The developer’s interest in the property reflects the City’s overall revitalization efforts in Coney Island.”



This marks the second venture in the area for Vista Realty Partners LLC, one of the partners of SAM Coney Island LLC. The developer fitted the site across from the 13,000-sf Staples and leased it and a parking area to Linens ‘n Things. “We believe the area is poised for continued growth,” Marc Esrig, managing member of Vista Realty Partners LLC.

muscle1313
September 11th, 2004, 03:53 PM
CIDC Meeting


Date: Thursday, September 30th, 2004

Location: Coney Island Hospital, 2601 Ocean Parkway, 2nd Floor
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Tricoastal
September 12th, 2004, 03:10 AM
Although I did enjoy a recent village to Coney Island on my last visit, I feel it still has a long way to go before it becomes an attraction on the NYC visitors' circuit.

The new subway station and baseball stadium are great additions, however the backdrop with the menacing tower blocks in the background are a letdown.

Perhaps any redevelopment plans need to look into mixing more retail, dining, and after-hours venues, such as a movie theater complex, to improve the overall appeal.

NewYorkYankee
September 12th, 2004, 03:09 PM
The new subway station and baseball stadium are great additions, however the backdrop with the menacing tower blocks in the background are a letdown.


Whats the big deal about the towers? I saw them, who cares? Its NYC, what do you expect? :roll:

Gulcrapek
September 12th, 2004, 03:24 PM
Some of them are city projects and they're kinda ominous looking. The Luna Park complex is also right by the area and they look like projects, though I recently found out they're not. They need to get completely re-bricked though so hopefully they'll be a little cheerier in the future.

muscle1313
October 2nd, 2004, 09:04 AM
There will be a public park built around the Parachute Jump. It will be called Parachute Park. The Jump will be lit. I will try to find out a timetable on this.

Gulcrapek
October 2nd, 2004, 11:25 AM
Much coolness, I saw it on the yahoo board. It's a standing mystery of the world... why the Jump has been unlit for all these years...

ZippyTheChimp
October 2nd, 2004, 12:25 PM
Yay!


Many of the 500 illustrations in Coney Island Lost and Found are images from Denson’s 5000-plus photo archive dating from the island’s beginnings as a seaside resort in the 1800s right up to the opening of the Brooklyn Cyclones’ KeySpan Park in 2001. The Parachute Jump, the sole survivor of Steeplechase Park, is a central motif.

Denson tracked down Chuck Steen, the Jump’s daredevil chief mechanic, who explained every aspect of the ride’s operation, including "riding the hook" to the top to rescue stranded passengers. Steen also explained the real reason for the ride’s frequent stalls: "If we weren’t doing much business, and two girls came on and they looked like screamers, we’d send them up about two hundred feet and turn the motor off," he says in the book.

:P

muscle1313
October 6th, 2004, 07:20 PM
Here is a look at the CIDC public presentation from last week

http://www.thecidc.org/9-30publicpresfinal.pdf

muscle1313
October 6th, 2004, 07:24 PM
I found out the Parachute Jump will be lit next summer!!!! :D

Haven't got any solid info on a timetable for Parachute Park.

muscle1313
October 9th, 2004, 01:50 PM
Construction at the CI Subway Terminal is supposed to be totally completed in mid 2005. Does anybody have any idea about what is going in the first floor shopping mall? Any specific stores or restaurant names? I haven't heard one name mentioned yet? Very Strange. Remember all the publicity around the Atlantic Terminal.

muscle1313
November 7th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Parachute Pavilion Design Competition

http://www.vanalen.org/competitions/ConeyIsland/index.htm

BrooklynRider
November 8th, 2004, 01:17 PM
Construction at the CI Subway Terminal is supposed to be totally completed in mid 2005. Does anybody have any idea about what is going in the first floor shopping mall? Any specific stores or restaurant names? I haven't heard one name mentioned yet? Very Strange. Remember all the publicity around the Atlantic Terminal.

McDonalds will be a primary tenant in the western portion of the building. Last word, it had two floors.

muscle1313
November 8th, 2004, 07:16 PM
Man I hope Coney can do better than McDonald's. How about Red Lobster?

muscle1313
November 12th, 2004, 05:03 PM
Parachute Jump update

Parachute Jump to be
Coney Island's beacon

The Brooklyn Papers

A piece of Coney Island
history is in line for a 21stcentury
makeover.
The vintage Parachute
Jump, which rises high above
the ocean in Brooklyn, could
eventually anchor a pavilion
featuring a restaurant, park and
exhibition space, said Jonathan
Cohen-Litant of the Van Alen
Institute, which is working
with the Coney Island Development
Corp.
Designers will be invited to
submit their own "Parachute
Pavilion" plan for a currently
vacant 7,000-square-foot lot
owned by the city, Cohen-
Litant said Tuesday.
Currently, the long-dormant
ride serves as part of the background
in right field at Keyspan
Park, home of the minor-league
Brooklyn Cyclones. Borough
President Marty Markowitz
likes to call the city landmark
"Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower."
Details on the competition
will be released later this
week, according to Cohen-
Litant, although he had no
idea when a winner might be
selected. On its Web site, the
Van Alen Institute says the
new facility will operate yearround
in an effort to draw visitors
to the Brooklyn neighborhood
during the off-season.
"This is going to be something
truly beautiful," said
Councilman Domenic Recchia,
whose district includes a portion
of Coney Island. "We're going
to light up the Jump and it will
be a beautiful sight for all of
south Brooklyn. And that's just
the beginning," he said, alluding
to the formulation of a master
plan for the redevelopment of
Coney Island.
The ride dates back to the
golden days of Coney Island,
when it was one of the major attractions
with the still-running
Cyclone roller coaster. Two
years ago, the top half of the
262-foot-tall former thrill ride
was taken down for renovation
and many parts were replaced or
repaired and repainted.
The Parachute Jump was
designed by retired Naval Air
Commander James F. Strong
in the mid-1930s to train paratroopers.
But Strong began to
receive so many requests for
rides on his contraption that he
developed a more publicfriendly
version that included
seats for two and shock absorbers
at the base. He successfully
operated a 200-foot
jump in Chicago and then applied
for permits to build and
operate a jump at the 1939
New York World's Fair.
At the close of the Fair in
1940, Edward Tilyou purchased
it and brought the jump to
Steeplechase Park. It opened for
the 1941 season and offered 12
two-seater chutes.
Steeplechase Park closed in
1964, but the ride did not shut
down until 1968, when weather
conditions and high maintenance
costs led to its demise. It
was declared a city landmark
in 1977.
— with Associated Press

muscle1313
November 12th, 2004, 05:06 PM
Olympic marathon
would start in Coney

By Jotham Sederstrom

The Brooklyn Papers
Coney Island, which earlier this year
lost indoor volleyball in the city's 2012
Olympic bid, has instead been awarded
the start of a marquee event of the summer
games — the Olympic marathon —
according to the city's final proposal, to
be revealed in Switzerland on Monday.
Sources close to the project told The Brooklyn
Papers this week that planners with
NYC2012, the private group led by Deputy
Mayor Daniel Doctoroff that is responsible for
putting together the city's bid, positioned the
marathon to begin in Coney Island and end at
the proposed Jets football stadium on Manhattan's
West Side. Along the way, runners would
cross more than a dozen Brooklyn neighborhoods
on their way to Downtown Brooklyn,
where they would traverse the Brooklyn
Bridge.

The inclusion is a boon for the former beach
resort neighborhood, which had been slated to
host indoor volleyball until NYC2012 officials
decided instead to place that event at the Continental
Airlines Arena in New Jersey. Bruce Ratner's
proposed Atlantic Yards arena in Prospect
Heights is slated for boxing and gymnastics.
Until now, the summer of 2012 was shaping
up to be a very uneventful one for Coney
Island, whose leaders were faced with being
left out of the Olympic plans altogether, and
whose hopes were dashed that a sportsplex for

athletics might finally
be realized through construction
of an indoor volleyball
arena.
"Coney Island will start off
the beginning of the marathon,"
confirmed Councilman Domenic
Recchia, who said he has
discussed the Olympics bid in
detail with Doctoroff. "It's going
to bring the Olympics and
everyone else to south Brooklyn."
The marathon route, which
had not been included in previous
drafts of the bid, was included
in the detailed, 600-page
"Bid Book" to be presented to
the International Olympic Committee
in Lausanne, Switzerland.
There, officials will grapple
over the assets and liabilities
of bids submitted not only by
New York, but Paris, London,
Madrid and Moscow.
The host city will be chosen
in July.
On Thursday, Gov. George
Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg
and Brooklyn-born Athens
Gold Medalist Justin Gatlin
joined other Olympians and
Paralympians to officially sendoff
the bid.
From the Coney Island boardwalk,
runners would travel north
on Ocean Parkway, which would
eventually lead them to the borders
of Prospect Park and parts
of Brownstone Brooklyn, said a
source familiar with the plans.
The race would end at the
Manhattan stadium after a
swoop through Times Square.
Recchia, who has lobbied to
bring beach volleyball to Coney
Island despite plans for the sport
to be played in Williamsburg,
said that he spoke to Doctoroff
in August.
Although beach volleyball
will remain in Williamsburg,
and indoor volleyball in New
Jersey, Recchia said that Doctoroff's
decision to start the
marathon in Coney Island
would likely draw more eyes to
the beach.
"Hopefully, people will
spend the whole day, or even
several days, in Coney Island
because of this," said Recchia.
"It's going to be a great economic
boost."

muscle1313
November 12th, 2004, 05:27 PM
Glad we finally got confirmation in the news of the lighting. I heard this coming summer. :D


Brooklyn Papers Excerpt -

"This is going to be something
truly beautiful," said
Councilman Domenic Recchia,
whose district includes a portion
of Coney Island. "We're going
to light up the Jump and it will
be a beautiful sight for all of
south Brooklyn.

ligel
November 14th, 2004, 04:58 AM
Back to its roots. Seaside amusement and recreation.
Can't you just picture it?

http://www.pbase.com/image/17451110.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/17451034.jpg


Beautiful pics. Thanks. :D

muscle1313
November 14th, 2004, 12:06 PM
I will tell you my wife and I spend about 30-40 days on Manhattan Beach each summer with friends. We are a 10 minute walk there from where we live. We go to a few Cyclones game and watch the fireworks on CI's beach many Friday nights. The south Brooklyn beaches hold so much potential for our borough its almost limitless. Let me tell you what is happening with real estate here. In Manhattan Beach you have houses going for $1-2 million+ now. At Oceana in Brighton there are condos going from $500 k to $3 mil. There are 2 hotels being built in Sheepshead Bay - a Comfort Inn which is now open and a Best Western which is just starting construction along with countless waterfront condos. In the Bay News this week an old bus lot across the street from Keyspan Park in Coney is up for sale for the cool price of $8.5 million. Real Estate is waking up to the south Brooklyn beaches. The next step is making Coney Island a tourist attraction again. We are not too far away!

muscle1313
November 16th, 2004, 10:41 PM
Coney Island Development Corporation and Van Alen Institute Join to Sponsor Design Competition for Parachute Pavilion

November 15, 2004, New York City - The Van Alen Institute, in cooperation with the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), is sponsoring an international design competition to help create a Parachute Pavilion in Coney Island. As envisioned, the new pavilion, at the base of the landmarked Parachute Jump, will feature a small concession for a restaurant, souvenir shop and multi-purpose exhibition and event space. The competition is open to all architects and designers and related fields.

"The Parachute Pavilion will be an all-season center of activity, drawing the public onto the Boardwalk, the beach and Surf Avenue, and to a new recreational destination," said Joshua J. Sirefman, President, Coney Island Development Corporation and COO, New York City Economic Development Corporation. "Coney Island was the world's playground at the turn of the 20th Century and enjoyed many roles in the imaginations of New Yorkers and people from around the world. The goal of this competition is to generate innovative design proposals that will contribute to a 21st Century vision for Coney Island to regain the area's prominence as a destination of choice."

The 7,800-square-foot Parachute Pavilion will be located between West 16th and West 17th Streets, at the intersection of the Riegelmann Boardwalk, KeySpan Park's Surf Avenue-to-Boardwalk path, the Parachute Jump and Steeplechase Pier.

Coney Island is in the middle of a revival. Last year the CIDC was established by Mayor Bloomberg with a mandate to make Coney Island a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination through business development, job creation, new housing, neighborhood improvement, and unique cultural events. The CIDC is finalizing the Coney Island Strategic Development Plan, which is expected to be released in early 2005.

The competition calls for conceptual design proposals for the new pavilion from designers and design teams worldwide. Entries will be judged by an 11-member jury consisting of architectural and design professionals, as well as representatives of City agencies and the Coney Island community.

"During my campaign for Borough President, I enthusiastically presented the idea of finding new and creative uses for the legendary Parachute Jump on Coney Island," said Borough President Marty Markowitz. "This design contest for the Parachute Pavilion brings us one step closer to realizing Brooklyn's vision of our Eiffel Tower - the Parachute Jump - becoming an international symbol once again. From its beaches and the boardwalk to its restaurants and nightlife, the best days for Coney Island are yet to come."

The winner of the competition will receive $20,000 and the New York Prize, the opportunity to work with the Van Alen Institute to develop a program that further amplifies the goals of the competition and demonstrates the role of powerful design in improving the future of the area. Second prize will be $5,000 and third prize $3,000. Sponsors of the competition include Independence Community Foundation, Consolidated Edison and KeySpan Corporation. CIDC and Van Alen Institute are also working with New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC Parks and Recreation and NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission on the project.

"The beautification of the Parachute Jump was a long awaited project," said Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. "The Parachute Jump is the focal point of Coney Island and a beacon to the entire City. This competition is another step forward in making Coney Island once again the greatest playground in the world."

Ray Gastil of the Van Alen Institute said, "This design competition is an extraordinary opportunity for today's generation of designers. Designers will enter because the stakes are high and they will be striving to prove they have a design vision powerful enough to take its place at this legendary location."

Van Alen Institute is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving design in the public realm through a program of exhibitions, competitions, publications, workshops and forums. It is an advocate for active and accessible waterfronts. Based in New York City, the Institute's projects initiate interdisciplinary and international collaborations between practitioners, policy makers, students, educators and community leaders.

Submissions for the competition are due April 18, 2005. For complete information about The Parachute Pavilion: An Open Design Competition for Coney Island, please visit www.vanalen.org or www.thecidc.org. Entries will be exhibited at a venue to be determined in Coney Island when a winner is selected.

muscle1313
November 16th, 2004, 10:56 PM
Told Ya! :wink:

Parachute Jump Lighting Program

The New York City Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and the New York City - Department of Parks and Recreation is collaborating on a project to illuminate the Parachute Jump. The project is being funded by the Brooklyn Borough President and the lighting program is being designed by Leni Schwendinger of Light Projects Ltd. The program will include architectural lighting, seasonal lighting and special events lighting. Project completion is scheduled for June 2005.

http://www.vanalen.org/competitions/ConeyIsland/initiatives.htm

muscle1313
November 16th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Program Requirements

The following criteria and program requirements should serve as guidelines for designing the Parachute Pavilion:

Restaurant
3,000-4,000 SF (including both indoor and outdoor seating options, kitchen, bar and restrooms)

Store
1,000-2,000 SF (for Coney Island/Parachute Jump souvenirs, surfing gear, fishing supplies, etc.)

Multi-use Exhibition/Event Space
1,000-2,000 SF—a flexible and revenue producing space (rentable for private/public temporary exhibits and/or events)

Office Space
Four offices at 100 SF each (to be occupied by either city agencies/Parks Department or donated to local advocacy groups)

BrooklynRider
November 17th, 2004, 07:58 PM
It's going to be kind of small. The retail portion of the new train station is larger. But, it is a start.

muscle1313
November 17th, 2004, 08:46 PM
As long as it is lit I am happy :D I am going to stare at it during Cyclones games :shock:

A restaurant there makes it a year round attraction.

Kris
November 20th, 2004, 09:50 PM
November 21, 2004

FOLLOWING UP

A Place for Lunch Instead of Thrills

By JOSEPH P. FRIED

Do not look for parachutes to billow in Coney Island again, but the city says there will be action once more at the base of the neighborhood's 262-foot parachute jump, one of Brooklyn's best-known landmarks.

The jump was closed in the 1960's as Coney Island declined, but the ride's skeletal steel tower remained, a rusting remnant of the seaside district's heyday. Last year, though, as part of efforts to revive the area, the city reinforced and repainted the tower and said it would study possible uses for its site.

Now it has a plan: to build a pavilion at the tower's base with a small restaurant, a souvenir shop and space for exhibitions and events. A design competition for the project is under way. As for resuming the parachute rides, a dream of many Coney Island nostalgia buffs, "significant challenges" make that unlikely, said Joshua J. Sirefman, president of the city's Coney Island Development Corporation.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

muscle1313
January 2nd, 2005, 12:28 PM
It's going to be kind of small. The retail portion of the new train station is larger. But, it is a start.

Man, we were walking by there yesterday after watching the Polar Bears swim, and one of my buddies said - How in the world can they fit a restaurant in that small piece of land next to the Jump? It is really a small area. Don't know how they will fit all they want there - restaurant, souvenier shop etc.

muscle1313
January 2nd, 2005, 12:36 PM
Look at how small the highlighted area is

http://www.vanalen.org/competitions/ConeyIsland/sdiagram.htm

billyblancoNYC
January 2nd, 2005, 04:26 PM
I think it's 7000 sq. ft. That's pretty large, really.

alex ballard
January 2nd, 2005, 04:37 PM
Any chance of luring a Six flags or Disney development there? I can see a Universal theme resturan and shopping center, A Six Flags water park by the peirs, A Disney Amusement center, A rollercoaster park, And a Sports&Recreation center. That would make Coney Island a NY metro amausement center and destination. There should also be a shopping and outlet center there for the shoppers. Anyone think this is a good idea?

muscle1313
January 2nd, 2005, 04:50 PM
Any chance of luring a Six flags or Disney development there? I can see a Universal theme resturan and shopping center, A Six Flags water park by the peirs, A Disney Amusement center, A rollercoaster park, And a Sports&Recreation center. That would make Coney Island a NY metro amausement center and destination. There should also be a shopping and outlet center there for the shoppers. Anyone think this is a good idea?

I like all your ideas. You should come to the meetings. I hope some of the ideas come to fruition.

muscle1313
January 2nd, 2005, 04:56 PM
I think it's 7000 sq. ft. That's pretty large, really.

Billy - If you walk by the area you are going to be shocked how small it really is. Its a weird layout of land as well. Kind of stretched out length-wise but no width. I really cannot figure out how they will fit everything in there. I hope I am wrong.

BrooklynRider
January 2nd, 2005, 06:44 PM
The problem for Six Flags and Disney is their preference for running enclosed parks for the exclusive use of paying guests. Coney Island has a long tradition of open amusement area with fees to ride (like Astroland and Deno's).

Disney gave the idea brief consideration in the 1990's, before considering it a security nightmare. Perhaps the drop in crime can lure them back. Perhaps the new train station. Overall, I doubt they'll come as their Amusement Park Division isn't booming.

Six Flags is one of the worst amusement park companies out there. They let parks fall into disrepair, have no idea how to implement security and have been lousy neighbors to area residents where they operate. I hope they stay far, far away.

Personally, I think the best bet for Coney Island would be a group like the folks running Morey's Piers in Wildwood New Jersey. The understand the unique aspects of oceanside amusement parks and, in my opinion, are unparalled anywhere in this country on this front.

muscle1313
January 2nd, 2005, 06:54 PM
One thing you guys gotta keep in mind is this will not be just amusements. The number one goal of the CIDC is to make Coney a year round destination, not just for summertime like it is now. Hearing the plan should be out this month. I hope. They originally said November 04 so you never know but think there is a good chance we get to see the whole plan this month.

muscle1313
January 2nd, 2005, 07:10 PM
Looks like this month --

The Coney Island Development Corporation was formed in September 2003 by the Mayor, the City Council and the Brooklyn Borough President. The 13-member Board of the CIDC includes City officials, local and Brooklyn-wide business and community leaders. It is charged with spearheading and implementing a comprehensive planning process for Coney Island and creating a coordinated economic development strategy for the area. In March 2004, the CIDC selected the team of Ernst & Young LLP and Davis Brody Bond LLP to create a strategic development plan for Coney Island. In developing the plan, the consultants have devised a strategy for implementing short- and long-term improvements to the Coney Island community that include physical and economic changes. The plan builds on the existing business base and will develop vacant property and market the area for a variety of year-round uses. The plan's expected completion is scheduled for January 2005.

http://www.vanalen.org/competitions/ConeyIsland/initiatives.htm

muscle1313
January 19th, 2005, 08:10 PM
Thanks to BillyBlanco for pointing this out

NY Post

SHARK TALE IN CONEY
By PATRICK GALLAHUE

EXCLUSIVE


Coney Island is about to become a world-famous destination for sharks.

The New York Aquarium is preparing to announce a multimillion-dollar upgrade to its facilities, including a titanic expansion of its shark exhibit.

"At this point, it's all part of this master plan," said John Calvelli, a spokesman for the aquarium. "And we're going to have several kind of 'wow' exhibits in there."

Details of the upgrade — which will include new amenities, exhibits and animals — are expected to be released in the next four to six weeks. But the centerpiece of the renovation will be the $29 million, 500,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit, which will represent a massive upgrade to the shark exhibit.

The tank will have an acrylic window — clearer than old-fashioned glass — stretching 30 to 40 feet long and 10 feet high and will be designed so the viewer cannot see the rear wall of the tank, said Dr. Paul Boyle, director of the New York Aquarium.

"It will look like it goes on into the abyss," Boyle said. "There will be a lot more sharks in this tank than in our present tank, so you'll see sharks come out of the haze as if they're coming from the open ocean."

The aquarium already has a 90,000-gallon shark tank, home to 40-year-old Bertha, the oldest known sand tiger shark in captivity. But the existing shark pavilion will be torn down and the new building — with a tank more than five times the size of the current facility — will be built over it in fall or winter of this year.

The Open Ocean Exhibit will also include multiple educational features — such as graphics demonstrating the decline in shark populations and other displays to debunk sharks' man-eating mystique — as well as a separate tank for warm-water reef sharks.

"We want to tell people how important they are in their natural habitat," Boyle said. Boyle said he expects the project to be finished in 2007.

Other features of the master plan will include a recreation of Glover's Reef in Belize, to open this spring, and an animal clinic so the aquarium's marine life can be treated on site.

The total cost of the upgrades are expected to approach $50 million over 10 years and will be paid for with a combination of city, state and private money.

The 108-year-old aquarium is Brooklyn's most popular cultural institution with 750,000 annual visitors and the oldest continually operating aquarium in the country.

muscle1313
January 20th, 2005, 07:05 PM
The landmarked Child's restaurant building on the boardwalk is up for sale. A cool $8 mil.

muscle1313
January 23rd, 2005, 07:45 PM
The Brooklyn Papers

29M shark
house set for
Aquarium

The New York Aquarium,
long home to the oldest
known sand tiger shark in
captivity, will triple the number
of sea predators it cares
for as part of a multimilliondollar
makeover of the nearly
50-year-old complex in
Coney Island, starting with
the shark house.

A $29 million fix-up of the
shark habitat will add as many
as two dozen nurse sharks, carpet
sharks, pajama sharks and
leopard sharks to the dozen or
so that already live in the
aquarium. It is expected to be
completed by 2007.
To accommodate the newcomers,
officials plan to install
a state-of-the-art, 500,000-gallon
tank surrounding a walk-

way that will allow sharks to swim over the heads of their human
admirers. Asecond tank will recreate a tropical setting for warm
water sharks of the "carpet" and "pajama" varieties.
"The whole point here is that sharks are very important in marine
ecosystems," said
Dr. Paul Boyle, director
of the aquarium. "The
biggest ones are the top
predators in the ocean's
ecosystem. They're the
equivalent of lions and
tigers."
News of the aquarium-wide upgrade,
which will not be completed
until at least
2015, comes amid rumors
that officials are
seeking to relocate the
108-year-old aquarium
from its complex on
Surf Avenue at West
Eighth Street, just off
the boardwalk.
But aquarium officials said this week that the likelihood of
moving its staff and some 8,000 animals to the other end of the
boardwalk, next to Keyspan Park, was about as likely as a fish
living on land.
Last week, a local paper published an article that said the
move "is one idea being carefully studied for implementation as
part of the Coney Island Development Corporation's master
plan."
"We're absolutely not moving," said Susann Holloway, director
of communications for the New York Aquarium.
Boyle said that while he had heard the rumors, he had not been
approached by any members of the Coney Island Development
Corporation (CIDC), the group charged with creating a plan for
Coney Island's redevelopment.

Rather than a serious consideration, the idea is one among
dozens floated by attendees at a number of public development
corporation meetings, said several CIDC members interviewed
this week.
Before the new sharks arrive, however, a host of new exhibits,
an animal hospital and even a new restaurant — complete with
seafood — are slated to be unveiled by this Memorial Day weekend.
Most impressive, Boyle said, is a complete renovation of the
tank in the aquarium's lobby, which will be dressed up to look
like the coral reef system in Belize that researchers from the
aquarium are currently studying. Decorated with artificial corral
and filled with Cow Nose Rays, the new tank hopes to obscure
the visibility of its back wall, which Boyle said ruins the illusion
of actually being in the ocean.
"We actually trying to recreate a real place to let people see
and understand the reef," said Boyle.
Behind that tank, however, the aquarium is preparing to open
an animal hospital, what Boyle calls an "aquatic animal health
center." Until now, the aquariums' sea animals had to be treated
in facilities at the Bronx Zoo.
"When you're dealing with a 3,000-pound walrus that gets to be a
little difficult," said Boyle.
Also expected to be unveiled by Memorial Day is the return of
the Bathysphere, the metal tank that first dropped two underwater
explorers — William Beebe and Otis Barton — 3,028 feet below
the ocean off the coast of Bermuda. The expedition in the
1930s marked the deepest voyage under sea to that point.
Boyle said that the Bathysphere, built in 1934, had been an exhibit
at the aquarium five years ago but was removed from public view to be
repainted and touched up.
Another exhibit, called "Mind in Water," will install in the aquarium
a host of dolphin videos and interactive video games that seek to
understand how the brains of animals and humans work.

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 01:45 PM
Excerpt- from Marty's State of the Borough address this past Thursday

Everyone knows that Brooklyn is undergoing a renaissance — you don't
need me to tell you that. But there are some great Brooklyn stories
from the past year that you might have missed — and I also want to
fill you in on some exciting plans for 2005 and beyond.

Let's start this tour in Coney Island. When I was a boy, Coney Island
was the playground of New York City — and it was the neighborhood
that symbolized Brooklyn to the world. It wasn't unusual to find 2
million visitors there on a summer's day. But times change and tastes
change.

This year, the Coney Island Development Corporation will roll out a
comprehensive plan for new parkland, new entertainment venues, and
possibly new housing. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for recognizing
the unique character and limitless potential of this legendary
Brooklyn neighborhood. Already, developers from all over the world
are competing for a role in the redevelopment of this most famous
slice of Americana.

By promoting it as a year-round recreation, amusement, and commercial
center — and as a major tourist attraction, we will preserve and
celebrate Coney Island's magical personality — with a twenty-first
century incarnation of its spirit that will make it even more
fabulous than it was in its heyday.

Coney Island's resurgence is due in no small part to the efforts of
Brooklyn City Council member Dominic Recchia — who recently became
chair of the council's Cultural Affairs Committee. Thank you, Dominic.

Now, when I was running for Borough President, I promised you that I
would find a way to reclaim Coney Island's most famous landmark — the
Parachute Jump. Because what does the Parachute Jump mean to anyone
younger than 50? As a child, I never went on the Parachute Jump. To
be honest, I never went on the Cyclone either — monster rides scare
the daylights out of me. I did, however, ride the Wonder Wheel — a
ride, by the way, which celebrates its 85th birthday this year. Even
then, I would only ride in the stationary cars.

And the closest I ever got to the Parachute Jump was waving at the
people brave enough to float on down. Even so, the Parachute Jump was
an emblem of Brooklyn to me, and to every Brooklynite. So I am proud
to announce that this June, I will permanently light Brooklyn's
Eiffel Tower at Coney Island. It will be a dazzling display and a
source of pride visible from our suburbs of Manhattan, Staten Island,
New Jersey, and beyond.

It will beckon visitors from everywhere, who will say, "Hey, why
should I get in a car and go to some suburban theme park — when I can
go to Coney Island for the day?" Coney Island will once again be a
must-see for tourists. Just think — they will be able to ride the
Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel, get great franks and fries at Nathan's —
not that I personally know anything about those fries, mind you —
visit the Aquarium, and then catch a game of our champion Cyclones.

Every American amusement park has tried to copy, replace, or exceed
Coney Island — but of course none ever will. Soon, we'll have the
Parachute Jump back to light the way toward Coney Island's bright
future.

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2005, 04:06 PM
As a child, I never went on the Parachute Jump. To
be honest, I never went on the Cyclone either — monster rides scare
the daylights out of me. What a wuss!

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 06:02 PM
What a wuss!

That "wuss" is the best borough president Brooklyn has ever had. Bringing cruises, a pro Basketball team, and reviving Coney. All of them promises he made during his campaign and all coming true. Marty is Mr. Brooklyn.

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2005, 07:18 PM
Lighten up. It was a joke.

At any rate, Marty had no power to bring these things to Brooklyn. When the City Charter was revised, the borough presidents lost most of their power.

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 07:59 PM
At any rate, Marty had no power to bring these things to Brooklyn. When the City Charter was revised, the borough presidents lost most of their power.

Sure Marty had no power. Thats what you think. Marty just called Bruce Ratner every week since he was elected to tell him to buy the Nets until Ratner finally did. You think it was Ratner's idea? LOL Marty just allocated funds out of the Borough President's budget to light up the Parachute Jump and appointed his Brooklyn development director to the Coney Island Development Corporation. Marty just created the Seaside Park weekly concerts in Coney 2 decades ago. He just campaigned on all these issues - Cruises, Basketball, Coney for years. No power at all. Did anybody honestly think Marty could bring a professional sports team to Brooklyn 5 years ago when he was campaigning on the issue? I even laughed back then. Marty made it happen.

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2005, 08:46 PM
Sure Marty had no power. Thats what you think. Marty just called Bruce Ratner every week since he was elected to tell him to buy the Nets until Ratner finally did.
So, you think phone calls to Ratner is why the Nets are going to Brooklyn?

Exactly what political or financial leverage did he use?

Bloomberg put the weight of City Hall behind the Atlantic Yards project, and incidentally, Ratner and Pataki were classmates in law school.

To me, Marty symbolizes the stereotypical Brooklyn - quaint, and not to be taken seriously when it's time to sit down and hammer out big projects.

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 09:16 PM
So, you think phone calls to Ratner is why the Nets are going to Brooklyn?



Basically it was Marty's entire idea. Ratner has said as much in the press. Do some research next time. Thanks.

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 09:43 PM
So, you think phone calls to Ratner is why the Nets are going to Brooklyn?



Excerpt NY Daily News January 18, 2004 Denis Hamill column

"When Markowitz first called me about this, I told him I didn't know anything about buying ball teams or building arenas," Ratner said. "I thought he was nuts. But he kept calling. And calling. And calling. Two, three times a week."

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2005, 09:45 PM
I already have - on the political power of borough presidents. There is no way - as you say - Marty brought Ratner and the Nets to the Atlantic yards. He may have lobbied for it, but his office does not have the authority. Especially in this case, since the yards involve the MTA, and that brought Pataki into the picture. I don't even remember Marty making a speech at the news conference announcing the development.

I'll give him the Parachute Jump, though.

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 10:03 PM
This is laughable Zippy. Did you read the Daily News quote from Ratner before you posted. It was Marty's idea. Ratner didn't think of the idea or even want to buy the Nets until Marty convinced him. Look you can believe what you want to believe. Ratner has publicly stated the Brooklyn Nets will happen because of Marty. How do you explain this-

"When Markowitz first called me about this, I told him I didn't know anything about buying ball teams or building arenas," Ratner said. "I thought he was nuts. But he kept calling. And calling. And calling. Two, three times a week."

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Do you read these posts?

I asked if you believed that phone calls from a borough president, whose main function is the appointment of CB members, who themselves have no legislative power - is what brought Ratner and the Nets to Brooklyn?

I never said he didn't make phone calls.

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 10:22 PM
Legislative power means nothing if you have nobody to buy the team Zippy. Marty convinced Ratner and Ratner admitted it. He even admitted it was Marty's idea in the first place.

As for your quote that Marty wasn't at the development announcement. Here are some excerpts from the conference press release

Development spearheaded by Forest City Ratner Companies will bring professional sports to Brooklyn along with new residential units, commercial and retail space and six acres of public space including an open-air, rooftop skating rink –Brooklyn, NY, December 10, 2003 – Internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry and Bruce C. Ratner, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, today unveiled a master plan for the arena that will house the Nets basketball team that Mr. Ratner is seeking to bring to downtown Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Arena will be the centerpiece of a mixed-use development called Brooklyn Atlantic Yards. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Brooklyn-born basketball All-Star Bernard King hailed the exciting plan at a news conference in the Ceremonial Room of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall.The 800,000 square-foot Brooklyn Arena will be the focal point of Brooklyn Atlantic Yards, an urban complex of housing, commercial and retail space, as well as six acres of landscaped
public open space – including a park on the Arena’s roof, ringed by an open-air running track that doubles as a skating rink in winter with panoramic vistas facing Manhattan year-round.“

”Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said, “We are on the threshold of restoring Brooklyn to its rightful place on the national sports stage. Brooklyn is a world-class city, and it deserves a world-class team, in a world-class arena, designed by a world-class architect. This plan goes even further – creating thousands of apartments affordable to Brooklynites of every income and producing thousands of jobs. I am confident this plan will be a win-win for the communities surrounding the Arena, for all of Brooklyn and indeed for all of New York City.”

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2005, 10:38 PM
Again, please read carefully before responding.

I did not state that Marty was not at the conference. I stated that I did not remember him making a speech, because I watched much of it on TV. What I do remember is Bloomberg, at some point, reminding Ratner that it was up to him to bring the Nets to Brooklyn.
The conference unveiled the Gehry plan, but at that point, the Nets move was not a done deal.

Is that quote a text from his speech, or a comment he made to a reporter?

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 11:08 PM
Again, please read carefully before responding.

I did not state that Marty was not at the conference. I stated that I did not remember him making a speech, because I watched much of it on TV. What I do remember is Bloomberg, at some point, reminding Ratner that it was up to him to bring the Nets to Brooklyn.
The conference unveiled the Gehry plan, but at that point, the Nets move was not a done deal.

Is that quote a text from his speech, or a comment he made to a reporter?

Zippy I really have had enough of this tonight. I have video of Marty's speeches at both the Atlantic Yards conference and the Nets official announcement conference. Look you can believe whatever you want about Marty. Some of us do a little bit more than post opinions. I have spoken with Marty and his head of development on many occasions. Take care dude.

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2005, 11:24 PM
All you had to say was "Yes, he made a speech at the announcement."

Do you have a text copy of the speech?

muscle1313
January 30th, 2005, 11:43 PM
All you had to say was "Yes, he made a speech at the announcement."

Do you have a text copy of the speech?

No I don't. But I will be sure to try to get one for you. Maybe I should fedex the videos to you since we get along so well. Have a great night buddy.

muscle1313
January 31st, 2005, 07:50 PM
Again, please read carefully before responding.

I did not state that Marty was not at the conference. I stated that I did not remember him making a speech, because I watched much of it on TV.


For my good buddy Zippy. Here is some video of the conference

http://real.ny1.com:8080/ramgen/real3/00085803_031210_194338hi.rm

muscle1313
January 31st, 2005, 07:53 PM
And for those of you that have dialup instead of broadband you can read the story here and link to the video of the conference as well -

http://www.ny1.com/ny/Search/SubTopic/index.html?&contentintid=35472&search_result=1

ZippyTheChimp
January 31st, 2005, 10:39 PM
Thank you for the link.

muscle1313
February 5th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Thanks again to Billy Blanco for pointing this out

NY Post

FAMED CHILDS ON THE BLOCK
By PATRICK GALLAHUE

The owner of one of Brooklyn's most famous buildings is taking offers to turn the long-neglected historic structure into a spa, arcade or theater, among other ideas, The Post has learned.

The former Childs Restaurant on the Coney Island boardwalk is on the market for close to $8 million and it has already drawn international interest, according to the broker.

"We've gone around the globe on this," said Michael Harari, of Massey Knakal Realty Services.

"There's been a lot of interest."

Buyers have asked about turning the building into a possible theater or arcade and one potential Canadian buyer even suggested turning the building into a spa.

Built more than 80 years ago, the arched stucco building is adorned with terra cotta ornaments depicting various nautical designs. The famed structure features Neptune rising from the sea, mermaids and seashells.

In recent years it has been reduced to a graffiti-covered shell of its former self — but activists and preservationists are hopeful its latest incarnation can reinvigorate the treasured building.

"It potentially has a great future to be enjoyed by people once again," said Susan Tunick, president of Friends of Terra Cotta, which was one of the leaders in the effort to have the building landmarked by the city in 2003.

Built in 1923, the 21/2-story, 32,000- square-foot building opened as an early incarnation of a fast food joint, run by the Childs Restaurant Corporation.

Arguably the company's biggest claim to fame came when it served up 16 million hot dogs at the fabled 1939 World's Fair.

The building ceased operation as a restaurant in the early 1950s. The structure was then sold to Robert Ricci, who converted it into a candy factory.

After the building was landmarked, it was sold to another company and has been used as a warehouse since then.

Tunick said recent reports on the building indicate it's in generally good shape.

It's already been on the market for about a month, Harari said.

ZippyTheChimp
February 5th, 2005, 03:34 PM
More info on Childs Restaurant here.

Photos here.

BrooklynRider
February 5th, 2005, 08:17 PM
Was in C.I. today wandering around. The new train terminal is coming along nicely. They preserved old terra cotta work from the original BMT terminal and just completed its installation. They have incorporate lots of glass block and ornamental steel. The spire is up and seems to be ribbed - extensively - with small clear lights to revive the days of the "city of light". Should be quite an accomplishment when completed.

Now, if only it led to something SPECTACULAR on the beach...

muscle1313
March 3rd, 2005, 07:45 PM
Got an email from the CIDC. Next public meeting sometime in April. They said their timeline for a plan was extended from last year so they could make sure they cover all the issues in CI. I am so annoyed with how long this is taking. The CIDC was formed in September 2003 and still no plan???

BrooklynRider
March 4th, 2005, 11:40 AM
For the plan to be viable, it cannot be purely speculative. Giuliani's revitalization of Times Square was predicated on the removal of "smut", but built upon the solid delivery of the renovation of The New Victory Theater, Disney's commitment to restore the New Amsterdamn Theater and Durst's 4 Times Square. I would guess they are compromising behind the scenes with major organizations that are in if their needs are accomodated. The worst thing to happen would be that, after all this time, a plan is revealed / announced and it gets no reaction and garners no commitment toward development. The need to release the plan AND, in doing so, have a viable respected "partner" to prove it will work.

muscle1313
March 4th, 2005, 06:18 PM
Well then lets hope they come up with a plan that can be implemented and some big developer deals along with it. You know the plan was supposed to be 1 year from CIDC formation. That would have put it at September 04 - the last time they held a public meeting. Very annoying to see delays. And while I am complaining ( I am really good at it too!) the Subway terminal was supposed to be done February 05. Last we looked the first floor shopping mall at the CI terminal is still far from completion. And I still haven't seen one deal announced for retail or restaurants there.

muscle1313
March 11th, 2005, 03:16 PM
Coney Island property a hot commodity


By Jotham Sederstrom
The Brooklyn Papers

A soon-to-be-released plan for the redevelopment of Coney Island that is intended to restore the former seaside resort area to its place as the borough’s main attraction has sparked a real estate boom, say real estate agents and land owners.

A slew of undeveloped lots that have languished for much of the last three decades and structures that have long sat dormant have seen their values nearly double just in the last year.

From the barren, weed-strewn lot beside Keyspan Park to the former site of the famed Childs Restaurant, developers are betting on a revitalized Coney Island, particularly its C-7 amusement district. Members of the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), the group charged with reinvigorating the area, expect to release a draft of their plans within months.

In the meantime, the neighborhood has seen the rebirth of summertime throngs with the success of Keyspan Park at West 17th Street between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk, which draws thousands to see the short-season single-A Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team, as well as a brand new, grand subway hub at Stillwell Avenue that reopened in May.

Added to that has been the national attention and thousands of visitors who hit Coney island for the annual July 4 Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, the refurbishing of the old Parachute Jump, which may become the site of a pavilion, and plans to modernize the New York Aquarium.

But what really has property owners, speculators and potential developers licking their chops these days is the city-backed redevelopment plan, the details of which are expected to be released by this summer, although no exact date has been set.

Michael Harari, a broker with Massey Knakal Realty, a commercial and residential real estate firm, said that vacant lots in Coney Island have doubled in price since this time last year, with lots measuring 20 feet by 100 feet rising in value from about $250,000 to $450,000 now.

“Definitely, the level of activity has increased and the prices have jumped tremendously,” said Harari. “From a year ago until now the prices of vacant land has literally doubled.”

Despite the increased asking prices, said Harari, local and international developers are clamoring to fill old buildings with new entertainment and retail ventures. He said that besides an “Asian spa meditation” business that has expressed interest in waterfront property along the boardwalk, entertainment groups from Sweden and Norway are looking to convert the mammoth former Childs Restaurant building, a city landmark, into a nightclub or other hotspot.

That 25,400-square-foot building on the Boardwalk at West 21st Street, is on the market with an asking price of $7.9 million.

“It’s amazing how much people have heard about Brooklyn internationally,” said Harari, who estimated that his real estate company was currently marketing 10 properties in Coney Island valued at a combined $32 million. “Believe it or not, even though it has the government [public housing] projects and it’s been dormant for so long, it’s waterfront property that you really can’t replicate.”

While most of the renewed interest in Coney Island is focused on the amusement district, the urgency to invest in the neighborhood has spilled to more residential areas as well. Harari said a four-story apartment building with ground-floor commercial space at 1614 Mermaid Ave. recently fetched $800,000 and a trio of attached three-story apartments at 1411 Neptune Ave,, sold for $1.3 million. That in a neighborhood that for decades was besieged by drug dealing, prostitution and other crimes.

Among those looking to unload their properties, say real estate sources, is Hy Singer, chairman of the Kings County Republican Party, and Horace Bullard, who owns several large parcels in the amusement district. One source said that Singer had put at least five of his properties on the market within the last six months, including the building that houses Nathan’s Famous, at Surf and Stillwell avenues.

The addresses of those properties are: 3030-3068 Stillwell Ave., 1301-09 Boardwalk West, 1213-1221 Boardwalk West, 3057-3063 Henderson Walk and 1229 Boardwalk West.

Citing an illness in the family, Singer declined this week to answer questions about his Coney Island holdings, but said, “Yes, there are ongoing negotiations.”

Both Singer and Bullard’s holdings are among a slate of nearly 100 underutilized private and public lots within the confines of the Coney Island redevelopment area, defined by Neptune Avenue to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Ocean Parkway to the east and West 37th Street to the west in which the CIDC aims to spark commercial and even residential interest.

The plan, headed by Davis Brody Bond, an architectural firm, and the accounting firm Ernst and Young hopes to pump new life into Coney Island.

“I think that once those plans come out, you’ll see guns blaring away,” said Bullard, a major property owner whose holdings include the site of the legendary Thunderbolt roller coaster, featured in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” which was ordered demolished by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani with the construction of Keyspan Park in 2000.

“Coney Island is a name known all over the world and you would spend millions of dollars to get that kind of recognition,” said Bullard. “There’s definitely a lot of interest right now.”

New parking garages, hotels and a ferry to Lower Manhattan are all expected to be included in the redevelopment plan, but many within the neighborhood’s amusement industry say they are most concerned with the future of more than 50 vacant lots.

“What is important is what develops on those lots and how the whole area looks in terms of drawing people in year round and whether there has to be incentives,” said Judi Orlando, executive director of the Astella Development Corporation, an advocate for the revitalization of Coney Island. Astella prepared its own study that includes parcel-by-parcel information on who owns what in Coney Island.

“Now everyone is looking at Coney Island and, for some right now, if you’re offered ‘X’ amount of dollars and you’re of a certain age, you might say, ‘Look, why shouldn’t I get this money?’”

Dennis Vourderis is among a small group of businessmen who aren’t planning to sell property but also have a vested interest in the vacant parcels that surround them.

As a co-owner of Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the amusement park icon that can be seen for miles, Vourderis said that neighboring land must remain zoned for roller coasters, arcades and the like. Earlier this month, he and other members of the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce met with the CIDC to stress that point, which, he said, was met with approval.

Vourderis, who runs the park with his brother, Steve, said that he envisions a modern roller coaster, much like those common at Six Flags or Disney World. The appeal of a ride like the 77-year-old Cyclone, another Coney Island icon, and one of the last wooden roller coasters in the nation, is historical. But a steel coaster, built perhaps where the Thunderbolt once stood, would reestablish the neighborhood’s legacy, he said.

“I would love to see the city install a $20 million, state-of-the-art roller coaster and offer an RFP for someone to operate it,” said Vourderis, whose family first established itself in Coney Island in the 1970s as hot dog vendors. “We don’t want to see [the amusement district] shrink anymore than it already has.”

BrooklynRider
March 11th, 2005, 04:04 PM
Very exciting news. Especially the dedication to the Amusement District. I think alot of the properties being snatched up on Mermaid Ave and areas north of Surf Ave will ultimately become hotel properties. With a dedicated Amusement Area from Ocean Parkway to Childs, the rest of the peninsula comes into play as Hotel / Resort / Condos. The question is: how will the city zone or rezone outside the amusement area? The nice thing about the geography of C.I. and L.I. beach front is its east / west axis. You can build hi-rise north of the beach without any shadows on the sand.

NewYorkYankee
March 11th, 2005, 05:04 PM
I really like the ideas of hotels and a modern roller coaster. Perhaps a mini Miami?

muscle1313
March 12th, 2005, 07:53 AM
2 important things in the article -

1. Property values doubling in the last year in anticipation of the
CIDC plan.

2. Long time owners in the amusement area selling underutilized
properties.

Both very positive signs that Coney is turning at the present time.
Good times ahead.

Dynamicdezzy
March 12th, 2005, 05:41 PM
it would be very interesting to see coney island regain its previous status. I think Coney island should be NYC's atlantic city. http://www.servicemembers.com/Pictures/atlantic_city_skyline.jpg
i would definitely go to coney island more often!

muscle1313
March 12th, 2005, 06:24 PM
it would be very interesting to see coney island regain its previous status. I think Coney island should be NYC's atlantic city. http://www.servicemembers.com/Pictures/atlantic_city_skyline.jpg
i would definitely go to coney island more often!

I think if you bring gambling to Coney it would just be asking for more crime and turn away families. Coney has always been a family fun place. With the amusements, the beach, the baseball stadium and the aquarium, Coney has so much going for it as a place for adults and kids. I don't think gambling fits the picture here. More amusements, more restaurants, hotels, condos, shopping, entertainment definitely. Gambling? I just don't see it.

Dynamicdezzy
March 12th, 2005, 08:11 PM
that was just a suggestion. i see what you're saying. i was picturing more like the type of gambling that is conducted in japan (tokyo?). using their currency rather than money. Their gambling area seemed safer than both vegas and atlantic city, though i could defintely be wrong. oh well....just a thought.

alex ballard
March 12th, 2005, 10:25 PM
that was just a suggestion. i see what you're saying. i was picturing more like the type of gambling that is conducted in japan (tokyo?). using their currency rather than money. Their gambling area seemed safer than both vegas and atlantic city, though i could defintely be wrong. oh well....just a thought.

Their cutlure and ours are worlds apart, have you seen their subway? Their cuture is build and respect and tradition, ours (and NY's in particular) is built rebellion and attitude. Not gonna work...

muscle1313
March 12th, 2005, 10:27 PM
that was just a suggestion. i see what you're saying. i was picturing more like the type of gambling that is conducted in japan (tokyo?). using their currency rather than money. Their gambling area seemed safer than both vegas and atlantic city, though i could defintely be wrong. oh well....just a thought.

Keep the suggestions coming. The more interest in Coney the better. And you guys should come to the CIDC public meeting in April with your suggestions. We all love Coney here so why not have input? At the last meeting in September I went straight up to the chairman of the CIDC and told him if you guys do nothing else PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE light up the Parachute Jump. I had a really good long conversation with the guy. Of course the Jump lighting was already in the works but these guys are really willing to listen to us Brooklyn fanatics. They are very respectful. So why not go and voice your opinion?

muscle1313
April 9th, 2005, 09:04 AM
Now I am reading Parachute Jump lighting end of summer instead of June. The slowness of the CIDC process is so annoying to me.

muscle1313
April 12th, 2005, 06:39 PM
Internet rumor

http://www.thorequities.com/

Gulcrapek
April 12th, 2005, 07:46 PM
What about it?

It's the same company proposed the Gallery at Fulton Street tower:

http://www.thorequities.com/images/ir_photo.jpg

muscle1313
April 12th, 2005, 07:55 PM
What about it?

It's the same company proposed the Gallery at Fulton Street tower:



Internet rumor that they are buying up properties in Coney. I can't confirm.

Gulcrapek
April 12th, 2005, 08:01 PM
Urg. They specialize in suburban shopping stuff. Which would be good to you but not to me.

muscle1313
April 12th, 2005, 08:35 PM
We will see. Just a rumor at this point. Boggles my mind that big equity investment hasn't taken notice of Coney over all these many years. Maybe just maybe they are starting to wake up to my way of thinking.

muscle1313
April 14th, 2005, 08:18 AM
The News has hit! Wow!

Daily News

Deals may maul Coney faves


BY DEBORAH KOLBEN
DAILY NEWS WRITER


The famed Coney Island Boardwalk might soon get a facelift after developer bought chunk of land.

A shopping mall developer has quietly snatched up property along Coney Island's famed Boardwalk - sparking fears that beloved attractions could be replaced by a mall.
Thor Equities has bought property on W. 12th St., where a go-kart track stands, and along the Boardwalk where "Dunk the Creep," a souvenir shop and a gyro stand reside.

The businesses were told to be out by the end of the summer, owners told the Daily News.

"We are looking for a new home," said the manager of the gyro stand, who goes by the name Joey Clams. "Are they going to take us out and replace us with an Applebee's or Olive Garden? Knishes, hot dogs, shish kebab - that's what makes Coney Island."

Other operators also are worried because their landlords have only offered short-term leases with sky-high rent hikes.

Shop owners and landowners said Kings County GOP Chairman Hy Singer, who owns several Coney Island properties, was negotiating with Thor to sell land whose tenants include Nathan's on the Boardwalk and the venerable Ruby's bar.

Singer refused to comment.

A Thor spokesman was tight-lipped about what the developer plans to build, but promised it would revive the area.

Originally published on April 14, 2005

BrooklynRider
April 14th, 2005, 09:39 AM
Shop owners and landowners said Kings County GOP Chairman Hy Singer, who owns several Coney Island properties, was negotiating with Thor to sell land whose tenants include Nathan's on the Boardwalk and the venerable Ruby's bar.

Singer refused to comment.



Despite everone always blaming Horace Bullard for the stagnancy in C.I., we can now point to the Republican Party as well. One has to wonder how a "politician" affords all of this beach front property. I'm sure he carried on the historic crooked ways of C.I. politicians.

muscle1313
April 14th, 2005, 04:03 PM
Internet rumor - Indoor Waterpark/Shopping Mall??

Schadenfrau
April 14th, 2005, 04:08 PM
I certainly hope that's a rumor. Where are we, Peoria circa 1986? The last thing that area needs is a shopping mall/waterpark.

muscle1313
April 14th, 2005, 10:10 PM
Big Changes Coming To Coney Island?
By Eyewitness News' Stacey Sager
(Coney Island, Brooklyn -WABC, April 14, 2005) — Tonight changes are in the works for Coney Island, but some say the character of the landmark may be at stake. Is the famous Coney Island hot dog about to disappear?

Eyewitness News reporter Stacey Sager has more.

When you think of Coney Island you think of sunny beaches, boardwalk, hot dog eating contests and certainly the famed parachute jump. But long time merchants say a cyclone may be blowing through here soon, and it's the kind they fear - development - a mall, that in their opinion, could change this boardwalk for the worse.


Images From The Story
Franki Colorio, Restaurant Manager: "It's all money. That's all it is, money. They don't care about the people. It's all money I think, honestly."

Gloria Hacken, Coney Island Resident: "I personally am going to get as many people in the community to fight this."

A development company called Thor Equities has gradually been buying up property here. But today Thor's CEO spoke openly about his goals, for the first time.

Joseph J. Sitt, Thor Equities CEO: "I mean, it was fabulous. The history of Coney Island is amazing."

He insists that the nostalgia of Coney Island is what he's trying to preserve, especially having grown up in Brooklyn. But make no mistake - there will be some sort of indoor-outdoor mall here if his company succeeds.

Joseph J. Sitt, Thor Equities CEO: "We think that the right mix of a business, to make a center successful, is a good balance between locals and nationals and that blend - it's sort of like soup, you have to have a little salt, a little pepper and together the whole thing comes together."

But which locals might be priced out? They just don't know, especially newcomers, like the Shoot The Freak paintball game on the boardwalk.

Anthony Berlingieri, Shoot The Freak Owner: "Not knowing if this year is your last season, if next year it's all gonna change and then again, who knows if whatever they're gonna put here is gonna work."

But the truth is, some of the owners of these properties told us off camera that this deal may be too sweet to pass up, despite what it could mean for Coney Island.

No one doubts that it would mean - big change in Coney Island.

muscle1313
April 15th, 2005, 07:06 PM
I was told next CIDC meeting is May 3rd at Coney Island Hospital. Info should be on the CIDC website next week. Hope to see you all there!

NYguy
April 17th, 2005, 10:33 AM
DAILY NEWS

Concern in old Coney
Developer's mall plan gives veterans jitters

BY DEBORAH KOLBEN
April 17, 2005


The shopping mall developer who has been buying up property in the heart of Coney Island plans to build an indoor amusement complex along the Boardwalk, the Daily News has learned.

"Our dream is an amusement, entertainment and adventure destination," said Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities.

Thor has been quietly buying properties between the Boardwalk and Surf Ave, The News reported last week.

"Our goal is to restore Coney Island to its great past and history," he said, adding the mall would have rides and that there would be an active outdoor Boardwalk in the spirit of Coney Island.

Sitt refused to say what would happen to the rides and other honky-tonk games like "shoot the freak" now on the Boardwalk - sending waves of worry through Coney Island in recent days.

"If a new owner comes in and builds a mall, it means the end of Coney Island as we know and love it," said Dick Zigun. Zigun is president of the nonprofit Coney Island USA, which runs the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, otherwise known as the freak show.

Zigun's landlord has given him only a year's renewal on his 10-year lease on Surf Ave. and upped the rent 50%.

Thor has built shopping malls across the country, such as the Gallery at Fulton St. in downtown Brooklyn and the Gallery at CocoWalk in Coconut Grove, Fla.

The city is to release a master plan in the next few months to attract developers and bring life to the once-grand area that took a dive after World War II.

Coney Island has had a modest rebound in recent years with the new KeySpan Park, Mermaid Parade and the $280 million renovation of the Stillwell Ave. subway station.

But the megadevelopment plans have the locals on edge.

"If development is going to happen in Coney Island, it's a good thing," said Dennis Vourderis, the owner of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement & Kiddie Park.

But he added, "We don't want a shopping mall on the seafront property."

In February, he sold a chunk of his Boardwalk property to Thor.

"My father started as a food vendor in the park and ended up owning it," Vourderis said. When his father died, Dennis took over.

Old-timers in the area are beginning to worry about what will become of them.

"I worked here all my life," said Michael Finley, 50, who runs a clown water racing game on a rundown strip of the Bowery. He started blowing up balloons for games when he was just 8.

"I can't imagine a mall here," he said. "Where will we go?"

Some local businesses are already being squeezed out.

The Go-Karts, a gyro stand, a souvenir shop and an arcade along the Boardwalk were all told they must be out by the end of the summer, owners said.

Even at 78, Sergio (Sammy) Rodriquez returns every summer from Puerto Rico to manage Ruby's - a popular Boardwalk saloon with faded photos celebrating Coney's storied past.

"If this happens, where are the poor people going to go?" Sammy said from his perch on the Boardwalk.

muscle1313
April 17th, 2005, 11:49 PM
April 18, 2005
In Coney Island's Future, Looking to Past Glory
By JOSEPH BERGER

For decades, talk about a revival of Coney Island was shrugged off by the area's veterans as a distortion in a fun house mirror. Such talk was about a Coney Island of the Mind that did not match the reality of a shrunken and forlorn stretch of boardwalk concession stands and down-at-the-heels amusement rides.

But despite a long history of shattered dreams, there are signs that perhaps this time a rebirth is in the offing. Not only is a new stadium for the minor-league Brooklyn Cyclones drawing full houses, but the vacant lots that were the legacy of the arson-plagued 1970's are being snapped up at double the prices of five years ago.

One national mall developer, Thor Equities, is buying many of the hot-dog stands and honky-tonk arcades between the Boardwalk and Surf Avenue so it can build a colossal indoor complex that, rumor has it, will include a water park.

Landowners who held on to their properties for decades waiting for casino gambling or another white knight are finding Thor's prices irresistible, said Charles Denson, the author of "Coney Island: Lost and Found."

"It's really happening," he said. "For someone like me who studies Coney Island, this is it."

More than 10 million people streamed to the 2.7 mile-beach last summer - five times as many as in 1998, by Department of Parks and Recreation estimates - as the newest immigrants and European tourists discovered the bracing Atlantic surf and the gaudy anarchy of the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and Nathan's Famous.

This year, beachgoers will arrive through a new solar-paneled Stillwell Avenue terminal for the D, F and Q trains that replaced one rank with urine. And even the restored Parachute Jump, a 262-foot Brooklyn icon, will soon be newly illuminated, though no entrepreneur willing to pay the sky-high insurance premiums for operating an actual ride has emerged.

To manage the growth, the Bloomberg administration will soon release a blueprint for turning Coney Island into a year-round pleasure site that would include shops and apartments facing the sea.

But some of these trends worry ride operators and concessionaires, who fear that sanitized chain restaurants will replace the more raucous outdoor joints where hot dogs are dished out by a crusty character, not a teenager trained to mouth formulaic pleasantries. They are concerned that the place will lose the flamboyant look of hand-painted signs with lurid block lettering advertising fried clams, cold beer and hot knishes.

"People come to this beach because they can't afford a vacation," said the manager of Gyro Corner, who gave his name as Joey Clams. "They bring their own food. They don't need expensive restaurants."

Dick D. Zigun, a tattooed impresario who runs what he says is America's last 10-act sideshow of sword swallowers, fire-eaters and snake charmers, says that a mall might prompt the city to abandon Coney Island's amusement zoning altogether and replace carnivals with condos. Coney Island would get too clean, upscale and homogenous.

He said he did not entirely believe assurances by the Coney Island Development Corporation, which is drawing up the renewal blueprint, that it will retain the old flavor. Not a single amusement operator is on its board, he noted.

"They say, 'Don't worry,' but everyone's worried," said Mr. Zigun, who is treated as Coney Island's unofficial mayor. "Coney Island has a rich history just like Times Square, and to lose that would be a shame."

Joshua Sirefman, president of the development corporation, said, "We've worked very hard to develop a strategy that balances new growth while respecting the core of what makes Coney Island Coney Island." He declined to provide specifics about what might be included in the plan.

The building that houses Mr. Zigun's Coney Island U.S.A. - a charmingly garish sideshow stage as well as a one-room museum with old carousel horses and fun house mirrors - is for sale, and Mr. Zigun has been given only a one-year extension on his expiring lease.

Ten years ago, Orestis Plaitis did his small part in the revival by buying Gyro Corner. The building he rents has now been bought up by Thor, and Gyro's manager, Joey Clams, said that Mr. Plaitis might become a casualty of renewal. "Now that it looks like something's going to happen , we'd like to be included in the future of Coney Island," he said.

When asked to confirm talk that the mall might include an indoor water park and hang-gliding rides, Lee Silberstein, a spokesman for Thor, which has a $2.4 billion portfolio, said only that it would include "a mix of amusements and retail that would build on Coney Island's history."

In the early decades of the 20th century, Coney Island was America's funfair, with fantasylands like Luna Park and Steeplechase Park drawing families hungry for release from daily solemnities.

But starting in the 1950's, as a result of air-conditioning, inexpensive travel, television, and the popularity of Jones Beach, Coney went into a decline as steep as the drop from the Cyclone's peak.

The city bulldozed tenements and modest houses and replaced them with housing projects, whose residents were sometimes blamed for a surge in crime. Coney Island had always had its sordid alleyways, but gangs, drugs, prostitutes, graffiti and arson took the fun out of the area, and it became more of a pathetic eyesore than a cotton candy treat.

There were dreams of rescue by casinos or Disney. But as crime plummeted in the 1990's, Coney Island began turning around on its own. The New York Aquarium proved to be an irresistible lure, drawing almost 800,000 visitors yearly. The operators of Astroland, the Wonder Wheel and other amusements dug in their heels.

"It's a business you get attached to because it's a business in which you make people happy," said Astroland's co-owner, Carol Hill Albert. She said that her business had doubled in a decade and that she had spent $1.5 million on new equipment in the last year.

Coney ringmasters like Mr. Zigun, 51, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, and others introduced larks like the annual Mermaid Parade, drawing artists and bohemians. A more polyglot generation of immigrants began wondering what Coney's hoopla was about.

"Even if you don't speak English, if somebody swallows a fire or hammers a nail into their head, you're entertained," Mr. Zigun said.

To be sure, Coney has a long way to go. But as the city's parks commissioner, Adrian Benepe, put it, "One gets the feeling that the magic of Coney Island, which had been reduced to a little ember, is now back."

BigMac
April 18th, 2005, 01:13 PM
Also from the above article:

Slide Show: Signs of Revival at Coney Island (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2005/04/18/nyregion/20050418_CONEY_SLIDESHOW_index.html)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/04/18/nyregion/18coney_lg.jpg
An overview of Coney Island/.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/04/18/nyregion/18coney2_lg.jpg
Donald Thomas, also known as the fire-eater Diamond Donny V, performs at the Coney Island Circus Sideshow.

muscle1313
April 22nd, 2005, 04:40 PM
Thor is on a buying rampage. Yes! --

Mall plan makes waves in Coney

Storefronts on the Coney Island boardwalk, like these next to Deno's
Wonder Wheel Park, may be bought up and converted into an indoor
amusement and retail center.

The Brooklyn Papers / Tom Callan


By Jotham Sederstrom
The Brooklyn Papers

Plans to build a colossal indoor amusement and retail complex at
Coney Island's famed boardwalk were met by seaside locals this week
with as much enthusiasm as a Nathan's hotdog without a bun.

Why, business owners and officials wondered, has the developer not
met with the city-sponsored panel charged with rejuvenating the
seaside neighborhood?

While an exact location for the amusement mall has not been revealed,
Lee Silberstein, a spokesman for Thor Equities, confirmed that the
development company has indeed purchased land within that fabled
swath, in addition to parcels on either side of Keyspan Park and west
of Stillwell Avenue.

Thor Equities is owned by Joseph Sitt, who redeveloped the Gallery at
Metrotech, an ailing indoor shopping mall abutting the Fulton Street
Mall in Downtown Brooklyn, after it was abandoned by Metrotech's
developer, Bruce Ratner. Sitt renamed his mall the Gallery at Fulton
Street.

Describing the project as a mixture of "amusement, adventure and
entertainment," Silberstein said this week that the complex would
bloom within steps of the boardwalk, though he declined to say where
specifically. He confirmed, however, that Thor had purchased both
vacant and built-up property as far west as 21st Street and as far
east as 12th Street, all for the purpose of developing the
entertainment complex. Whether Thor hoped to build one gigantic
complex or develop several similarly themed spaces was not clear by
press time.

"I can't say a whole bunch right now," said Silberstein, who
acknowledged that principals with Thor Equities had not met with
members of the development corporation. But he said they had
intentions to do so within the next several months.

"But what I can say is, Thor plans to do a development that builds on
Coney Island's history," said Silberstein. "It will definitely fit
into the neighborhood."

The plan could hit rough waters if it clashes with those of the Coney
Island Development Corporation (CIDC), formed by the mayor and
Councilman Domenic Recchia nearly two years ago to revitalize much of
the same area eyed by shopping mall developer Thor Equities.

"Right now, there's more left of ancient Rome than there is of
historic Coney Island," said Dick Zigun, president of the nonprofit
Coney Island USA. "The concern is, even before the city reveals its
plan, [Thor] is going to blow out everything that exists between
Stillwell Avenue and West 12th Street."

Zigun said that early drafts of the CIDC plan safeguard much of what
he called historic Coney Island, an area that runs along the
boardwalk between Stillwell Avenue and West 12th Street.

Among the properties purchased as recently as last month by Thor is
the site of what was once the historic Washington Bath House, on West
21st Street between the boardwalk and Surf Avenue. Horace Bullard,
who owns much of Coney Island's real estate, said that he sold the
200,000-square-foot parcel to Thor within the last two months. He
said he was told by executives with the development company that the
site would be among those used to build a large complex, which he was
told would be a mixed-use facility with amusement rides, games and
retail.

Of Sitt, Bullard said, "He's become another one of those Coney Island
dreamers — but this time one with money."

Bullard added, "From listening to both Thor and the city, yeah, I
think they're on the same wavelength."

While Thor Equities is known for developing malls across the country,
Silberstein said the Coney Island complex would be "very different
than traditional retail," though he declined to elaborate further.

But many involved in Coney Island's current and future resurgence
worry that Thor, or other big-name developers, may scoop up not only
vacant buildings but fully operational businesses on or near the
boardwalk, whose owners could be left out on the street.

Zigun, for one, who operates the Sideshow by the Seashore, said that
his landlord at 1208 Surf Ave. recently rejected his request to renew
a 10-year-lease, offering instead a one-year-lease and a rent hike.
The decision, he said, is one many landlords are making, thanks to
the glut of developers interested in buying Coney Island property.

Michael Harari, a broker with Massey Knakal Realty, said that vacant
lots in Coney Island have doubled in price since this time last year,
with lots measuring 20 feet by 100 feet going from about $250,000
last year to about $450,000 now.

"Definitely, the level of activity has increased and the prices have
jumped tremendously," said Harari. "From a year ago until now the
prices of vacant land has literally doubled."

Despite the increased property values, said Harari, local and
international developers are clamoring to stuff old buildings with
new entertainment and retail ventures. He said that besides an "Asian
spa meditation" business interested in operating near the beach,
entertainment groups out of Sweden and Norway are looking to convert
the landmarked Childs restaurant building into a nightclub or other
hotspot.

That 25,400-square-foot building, on the boardwalk at West 21st
Street, is on the market for $7.9 million.

"It's amazing how much people have heard about Brooklyn
internationally," said Harari, who estimated his company was
marketing 10 properties in Coney Island valued at a combined $32
million.

While most of the renewed interest in Coney Island is focused on the
amusement district, the urgency to invest in the area has spilled to
more residential areas. He said a four-story apartment building with
a commercial overlay at 1614 Mermaid Ave. recently fetched $800,000
and a trio of attached three-story apartments at 1411 Neptune Ave.
sold for $1.3 million.

Among those looking to unload their properties, say real estate
sources, is Hy Singer, chairman of the Kings County Republican Party.
One source said Singer had put at least five properties on the
market, including the building housing Nathan's Famous, within the
last six months.

The addresses of those properties are: 3030-3068 Stillwell Ave.; 1301-
09 Boardwalk West; 1213-1221 Boardwalk West; 3057-3063 Henderson
Walk; and 1229 Boardwalk West.

Silberstein could not say whether any of those properties had been
bought by Thor, but a published report claims that Thor had indeed
scooped up the Nathan's building.

Judi Orlando, president of the Astella Development Corporation and a
member of the CIDC, said that she and others are concerned that
projects like those proposed by Thor Equities could swallow up new
visitors to Coney Island, who may shop and eat at the complex and
then return home without visiting other boardwalk establishments.

Although she hesitated to comment on the Thor plan until the
development group presented her with the proposal, she said that on
the surface the idea seemed to mesh with what most want to bring to
the boardwalk. At a CIDC meeting last year, several community members
in attendance suggested developing an indoor extreme sports facility
as a way to generate crowds year-round.

"The biggest thing is, you have to be able to connect to the existing
community," said Orlando. "You don't want something that's going to
pull people in, but then keep them captive in the building without
giving them a chance to see the rest of the neighborhood."
The CIDC plan is expected to be released to the public as soon as
next month.

muscle1313
April 22nd, 2005, 04:43 PM
CIDC site-

Board Meetings

The CIDC will be holding two public sessions in Coney Island in order to hear your ideas and get your feedback. Please join us on one of the following dates:

Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Location: Coney Island Hospital, 2601 Ocean Parkway, 2nd Floor | Directions

Time: 7:00 p.m.


Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Location: United Community Baptist Church, 2701 Mermaid Ave at West 27th Street

Time: 7:00 p.m.

billyblancoNYC
April 22nd, 2005, 09:18 PM
Well, youhave to wait in see. A mall would not be great, but cool retail, restaurants, and bars would be. Amusements are a MUST and the city should not allow anything without a lot of it. It should be funky but not too trashy and things like Nathan's and the Sideshow needs to be maintained and made permanent. We'll see, but it's good to see actually progess possibly being made.

I just hope the red-hot residential market doesn't alter the area. This should be a major entertainment area. The Rockaways should be heavily developed with condos. I think some existing residences (especially the PJs) should be razed and relocated. I mean, how much entertainment can there really be with too many people living around. Noise often times does not mix well with bedrooms.

muscle1313
April 23rd, 2005, 02:26 PM
Its exactly what I wanted for Coney. A big developer with money to
come in and make Coney a year round attraction. After reading about
this now I don't see a big fight at all. Who is going to argue? Maybe
some of the businesses that rent but thats about it. What can they
really do? The landowners are selling for top dollar. The community
will get year round economic development. Property values are
soaring. The CIDC wanted year round development. Thor wouldn't invest
millions unless they had a plan that will get approval and he has
hundreds of millions of dollars backing his company up. Coney just
hit the jackpot from what I can see. I said it when Keyspan Park was
built - Coney will attract bigtime development because of that
baseball park. I knew it then. Its happening now. Bullard even
admitted it in the article that the difference is Thor is a developer
with big money. Coney has not had that. They have it now.

To me its very similar to Ratner building downtown Brooklyn. Once big
development money comes in the area becomes huge!

BrooklynRider
April 23rd, 2005, 10:53 PM
Well, youhave to wait in see. A mall would not be great, but cool retail, restaurants, and bars would be. Amusements are a MUST and the city should not allow anything without a lot of it. It should be funky but not too trashy and things like Nathan's and the Sideshow needs to be maintained and made permanent. We'll see, but it's good to see actually progess possibly being made.

I just hope the red-hot residential market doesn't alter the area. This should be a major entertainment area. The Rockaways should be heavily developed with condos.

I gotta agree with you on these points.

STT757
April 24th, 2005, 12:48 PM
<img src=http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/04/18/nyregion/18coney_lg.jpg>

Imagine a new stadium for the Mets on the lots by the parachute jump and the Minor league stadium, the foot traffic the games would attract would bring to life all those concession stands and pedestrian walks all over Coney Island. It would the ultimate family outing, having All Star games with National Tv covergae. ESPN etc.. hosting Baseball tonight or Sports Center from Coney Island during a All Star game or Playoff run, new hotels, bars, restaraunts etc..

ESPN Zone restaraunt, Mets fan club, they could build a tv studio with a glass wall over looking the Boardwalk for the new Mets tv network being developed.

That would totaly revitalize that part of the City unlike anything seen in Urban planning, totaly surpass what Camden Yards has done.

muscle1313
April 24th, 2005, 01:27 PM
<img src=http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/04/18/nyregion/18coney_lg.jpg>

Imagine a new stadium for the Mets on the lots by the parachute jump and the Minor league stadium, the foot traffic the games would attract would bring to life all those concession stands and pedestrian walks all over Coney Island. It would the ultimate family outing, having All Star games with National Tv covergae. ESPN etc.. hosting Baseball tonight or Sports Center from Coney Island during a All Star game or Playoff run, new hotels, bars, restaraunts etc..

ESPN Zone restaraunt, Mets fan club, they could build a tv studio with a glass wall over looking the Boardwalk for the new Mets tv network being developed.

That would totaly revitalize that part of the City unlike anything seen in Urban planning, totaly surpass what Camden Yards has done.


All great ideas, but unfortunately I have never read a thing about the Mets coming to Brooklyn. With Thor confirming in the news articles they bought a lot of land west of Deno's to build an indoor amusement park I think the setup for Coney to be huge again is already there. You already have an aquarium, 2 outdoor amusement parks, a baseball stadium, a boardwalk, a beach and an indoor amusement park coming - all of it on the same strip. Anybody who thinks Coney won't be huge again is nuts.

muscle1313
May 2nd, 2005, 07:26 PM
Reminder CIDC Meeting Tomorrow

May 3rd 7PM Coney Island Hospital 2nd floor. Come see whats in store for the new Coney Island.

muscle1313
May 3rd, 2005, 09:35 PM
CIDC meeting thoughts-

I don't know if any of you guys got the same impression, but to spend almost 2 years and still just have concepts in a plan to me is just disappointing. Lets get something implemented already. They seem pretty intent on doing some mixed residential on the north side of Surf above retail/entertertainment on the ground floor. I will tell you I love condos but if they turn Surf into a bunch of condos it wouldn't be Coney Island. I suggested restaurants at least on the first floor. All nice stuff about Parachute Park, SteepleChase Plaza, the Midway on Stillwell, Cultural Center in the western part of Coney, restoring the Shore Theater and Childs, and bringing the aquarium to the beach but STILL JUST CONCEPTS. All I said to Marcie afterwards is thank goodness a big developer like Thor bought because this CIDC is going to talk concepts until I retire. Great, a plan with a bunch of concepts. These guys work slow as mollasses.

Seeing JoeG and Eddie was great. JoeG insulted Oceana condos right in front of me while pointing at me which I LOVED - highlight of the night. I begged for an indoor Water Park as usual. I think JoeG might be on NY1. They interviewed him.

Gulcrapek
May 3rd, 2005, 09:38 PM
I was gonna go tonight, looks like I missed some fun ;)

muscle1313
May 4th, 2005, 08:26 AM
NY Daily News

Advance to Boardwalk!

Coney Island overhaul plan

BY DEBORAH KOLBEN
DAILY NEWS WRITER


Artist's rendering of new Coney Island mixes staples like Nathan's and Astroland amid open-air cafes, theaters and arcades in glitzy outdoor covered midway.

It's a Coney Island that will blow your mind.
In a cross between Las Vegas and Disneyland, the city plans to transform the fading honky-tonk amusement area into a flashy year-round entertainment destination.

Imagine a hotel and spa on the beach. Open-air cafes along the Boardwalk. A grand glass entrance to the aquarium. A glitzy outdoor covered midway on Stillwell Ave. with fire jugglers on unicycles and flashy neon signs.

"This is the beginning of a dream come true," said City Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Coney Island).

After years of neglect, the city unveiled a draft master plan for Coney Island last night that also includes movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades and apartment buildings.

A final plan is expected this summer.

"Our goal is to capitalize on Coney Island's world-class waterfront location and transform the area into a year-round destination," said Joshua Sirefman, president of the Coney Island Development Corp. and chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff.

The once-grand seaside resort took a dive after the Depression and never fully recovered.

Critics fear the city's plans will destroy Coney's legendary nitty-gritty flavor that comes from beloved attractions such as Dunk the Creep and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, otherwise known as the freak show.

Advocates of the plan say similar arguments sought to preserve the peep shows on W. 42nd St., which has now been transformed into one of the city's brightest jewels.

The new plan for Coney Island - which covers W. Fifth to W. 37th Sts. between the ocean and Neptune Ave. - aims to bring visitors back to the Boardwalk with restaurants, cafes and a revived aquarium.

The plan also proposes a new ferry at Stillwell Ave., just blocks from the new $280 million solar-paneled subway station.

The shuttered Child's Restaurant on the Boardwalk - known for its long-gone singing waiters - could be buzzing with diners once again, if the city has its way. The historic three-story building with marble columns is now covered in graffiti and peeling paint.

A multicultural center with a gym and pool is also planned for area residents.

The plan envisions a revitalized Boardwalk and beach, with a new beach club/spa, organized events and improved changing facilities.

"Everybody is very hopeful," said Charles Reichenthal, district manager of Community Board 13 and a member of the Coney Island Development Corp. "This could spell a great future for all of Coney Island."

Originally published on May 4, 2005

BrooklynRider
May 4th, 2005, 09:24 AM
NY Daily News

Advance to Boardwalk!

Coney Island overhaul plan

BY DEBORAH KOLBEN
DAILY NEWS WRITER


...nitty-gritty flavor that comes from beloved attractions such as Dunk the Creep and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, otherwise known as the freak show...



This lady is a foreigner. It is SHOOT THE FREAK and the C.I. Circus Sideshow advertises itself as "Sideshow by the Seashore". She really ought to get out and visit the place.

muscle1313
May 4th, 2005, 10:20 AM
Dunk The Creep is different than Shoot the Freak. Its in the Playland building on the boardwalk next to Deno's. That building was sold to Thor according to news reports a couple of weeks ago.

billyblancoNYC
May 14th, 2005, 01:50 AM
http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/brooklyn/nyc-coney-pdf,0,6248074.acrobat

BrooklynRider
May 16th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Interesting presentation. It's always exciting to see renderings - even if they are never likely to come to fruition.

Most disappointing was the last slide - Short-Term & Long-Term Actions. It's so undefined.

GowanusGuy
May 27th, 2005, 09:25 PM
All is still calm before the storm...

BROOKLYN
May 30th, 2005, 06:03 PM
Finally, The "N" Train Will Now Be Joining The "D", "F" And "Q" Trains To Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Station. While It May Take A Short Time To Get Over The Shock, The Station Is Now A 21st Century Modern Station. It Of Course Is In No Way Like The Old Coney Island Station, But Times Change Of Course. Coney Island Is Finally Becoming Revitalized Just Like Manhattan And The Rest Of The Boros. If You Want To Remember What Trains Do Go To Coney Island, Since The Subway Lines Have Changed Throughout The Years, Remember This Particular Phrase As Follows:
Nathan's (N) Quality (N) Franks (F) Are Delicious (D). And The Bees (B) Have Disappeared From Coney Island. For That You'll Have To Visit Brighton Beach For The (B) Train.
By The Way, The "9" Train Has Also Disappeared, Just Like Channel "9" Was Never A Popular Channel.

Gulcrapek
May 30th, 2005, 06:36 PM
You Might Want To Give The Capital Letters A Break. ;)

muscle1313
June 26th, 2005, 09:28 AM
Stadium pitch falling a bit short
Local experts say despite KeySpan Park success, wealth hasn't spread to Coney Island area bit short

BY RANDI F. MARSHALL
STAFF WRITER

June 26, 2005

Standing on the top deck of KeySpan Park, a virtual who's- who of Brooklyn hobnobbed as they watched the minor league Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team open their season last week on Coney Island. The view was grand, with a newly painted, brightly clean stadium framed by the boardwalk, the bay and the famous Cyclone roller coaster in the background.

But those who turned away from the ballgame for a moment, looking in the other direction out at Surf Avenue, saw a very different picture: one of empty, weed-covered lots, boarded-up buildings, rundown housing and businesses down the street either closed or void of customers.

Those very different scenes bring present-day Coney Island into focus. Four years ago, upon the opening of KeySpan Park, a project funded in part with $39 million of city money, officials talked about a revitalized area, with new restaurants, shops and other businesses that would follow the stadium. They talked about the jobs and the dollars that would stream in, too.

That hasn't really happened.

Park wealth hasn't spread

While the stadium, which holds 7,500 people, and the team, have been quite successful, the wealth hasn't spread much to the neighboring merchants and residents.

About 250 people work for the Cyclones or the ballpark, nearly all part-time. Businesses say they get a small pickup on game days, but since that's just 38 home games a year, it doesn't really add up. And many fans say they come only for the game and the stadium and don't often explore the area or frequent the stores, except, perhaps, to buy a quick hot dog at the flagship Nathan's Famous restaurant.

"I expect a few people stopping by, but at the end of the night when the game is over, they all run out," said Sergio "Sammy" Rodriguez, who manages Ruby's Bar & Grill on the boardwalk. "They serve beer at the park; they [the fans] won't come here afterwards."

Business, Rodriguez said, hasn't really changed since the Cyclones came to town. And, except for the two restaurants that opened as part of the stadium complex, there's been little new economic development.

Some area experts aren't surprised. "Who's going to start a business based on foot traffic that comes 30 times a year?" said Jonathan Bowles, research director of the Center for an Urban Future, a city think tank. "It's unfortunate, because the team has been a wild success, but the stadium hasn't translated into a lot of economic benefit for the neighborhood."

Coney Island still attracts hordes of beachcombers on a summer weekend, but it lies virtually dormant the rest of the year. Visitors can still enjoy the rides at Astroland amusement park, the shows at the aquarium, the clams or ice cream on the boardwalk or a relaxing day at the beach. But if they take a walk down the main drag of Surf Avenue, they'll see the old Shore theater, vacant since the 1970s, and plenty of empty spots, closed businesses and struggling merchants. Walk a block or two farther to the north or west and the picture grows even more dim.

Now, however, city and Brooklyn officials are talking about a much broader plan for Coney Island, which will include residential and commercial redevelopment. A piece of that puzzle is nearly completed, one more important than the stadium, business owners say: the recent $280-million renovation of the Stillwell Avenue subway station.

Some, such as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, credit the ballpark as a catalyst for the redevelopment efforts.

"The stadium ... has caused the City of New York and its mayor and its executive agencies to focus in on the future of Coney Island," he said. "That would have never happened - or it would have been far more difficult - had KeySpan Stadium and the Cyclones not become part of the Coney Island and Brooklyn family."



Development plan due

An official full-scale development plan is to be released within the next month, according to the Coney Island Development Corp. Rumors about the area's future, however, are already flying, especially because developer Thor Equities, known in part for shopping malls, has been quietly buying lots of property in the area. But, says Markowitz: "Nobody wants to see a mall."

Joseph Sitt, the chief executive at Thor Equities, is a major player in Coney Island's redevelopment, sources say. A Thor Equities spokesman declined to comment.

Developers such as Sitt, politicians and others must now figure out how to incorporate the region's heralded past with the desire to improve it in the future, according to Josh Sirefman, president of the Coney Island Development Corp.

"The biggest challenge is ... how to respect that phenomenal legacy, but also set the stage for new growth," Sirefman said.

That's a tall order, according to Coney Island's unofficial mayor, Dick Zigun, who heads Coney Island USA, a not-for-profit arts organization that, among other things, runs the annual Mermaid Parade, which took place yesterday. It's especially true, Zigun noted, when planners are looking at so many different parts of the area.

"If you do that, you better make sure the center is going to hold," he said. "The problem is the center is not holding at the moment."

Even without an official plan, private developers are already getting ready by buying up available land, according to commercial real estate marketer Massey Knakal.

"Now you have investors and developers putting their money where their mouth is," said Mike Harari, the area's sales director for Massey Knakal. "They're not just talking about it; they're risking their money to do it."



Shorter leases offered

Those decisions, however, are having an unintended negative effect on current business owners, Zigun said, noting that landlords are no longer offering long-term leases with small increases. Coney Island USA's 10-year lease is expiring in November, and the landlord is offering a one-year lease at a 50 percent increase, Zigun said.

"The families who have dedicated their lives to Coney Island for generations have no security," he added.

Some of those owners are wary about the proposals for year-round development. "If they think that, they're crazy," said Peter Agrapides Jr., whose family has owned Williams Candy Shoppe and Pete's Clam Shop, side-by-side on Surf Ave., for 75 years. "When it's 20 degrees in Central Park, it's 20 below here."



Park brings visitors

While the stadium has provided only about a 5 percent jump in business for Agrapides on game days, he says, it has helped bring more visitors to the area, though it's impossible to measure.

"People ... come to Coney Island to go to a game, and then they come back," said Cyclones general manager Steve Cohen.

Brooklyn Heights resident Richard Klass agrees. "It's bringing a lot of new people to the area who didn't used to come here," said Klass, who has season tickets to the Cyclones and brings his children Sophia, 6, and Miles, 3.

Yet, Klass drives to the games - and usually doesn't stick around afterward. "They're a little too young to hang out in the amusement park," he said.

Still others, however, do take advantage of the area before and after the games. Park Slope residents Bradley and Vivian Boolbol take their children, Christian, 4, and Bradley, 7, to all the games. After Tuesday's opener they headed straight for Nathan's.

Its history and location means Nathan's can be more of a draw for postgame crowds. Another winner is Peggy O'Neills, a restaurant and bar that opened in 2002 at the base of the stadium. There, owners James Quigley and John Imbriale offer a deal - a ticket to the game, burgers and all you can drink for $20. "We wanted to be [in on the] ground floor," Quigley said. "We heard a lot of talk of people wanting to invest here."

But even Quigley agrees the ballpark isn't helping everyone. After all, two of the stadium's four retail spaces are still empty. And, Quigley said, fans won't often walk all the way to the amusement park.

So, Coney Island's miniature golf course is left relatively quiet on game days, even with all of the sports fans and families just a few blocks away, owner Norman Kaufman said. He noted that cars are often directed from the stadium's parking lot away from the golf course, rides and games, for traffic control.

"I thought it would help more," Kaufman said. And referring to business from fans, he added, "We don't get any of it."

Those involved in the planning process are hoping that will change, and they all have their dreams. For Markowitz, it's a revolving restaurant around the parachute jump. For Ken Adams, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, it's a performance arts space at the base of the Shore Theater - with apartments or lofts above.

They all agree Coney Island has a long way to go to make a comeback and the ballpark is only a tiny step.

"No one should have had the hope that KeySpan Park by itself would revitalize Coney Island," Adams said. "Coney Island needs bold moves. It's not the place for timid development driven by political correctness."
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzcycl26x4320784jun26,0,40396,print.story?coll=ny-business-headlines

muscle1313
June 26th, 2005, 10:34 AM
Can you just feel the big money development coming?

Favorite quotes from the article

"Now you have investors and developers putting their money where their mouth is," said Mike Harari, the area's sales director for Massey Knakal. "They're not just talking about it; they're risking their money to do it."

"No one should have had the hope that KeySpan Park by itself would revitalize Coney Island," Adams said. "Coney Island needs bold moves. It's not the place for timid development driven by political correctness."

muscle1313
June 28th, 2005, 09:09 PM
I like the Blimp! -

Village Voice

Scary Ride at Coney Island
Extreme makeover not amusing to everybody in the amusement district

by Neil deMause

Last Saturday, the 23rd annual Mermaid Parade drew record throngs to
Coney Island for Brooklyn's yearly celebration of homemade spangle
and semi-nudity. With Corona-swigging hipsters commingling with the
polychromatic crowds that populate the beach on most summer weekends,
the parade has become the defining feature of a Coney Island that is
beginning to reclaim its throne as the city's locus of low-budget
populist entertainment.
But Coney Island's success, some fear, may prove to be its undoing.
Both a city redevelopment agency and a private developer are sniffing
around the suddenly hot amusement district, and the result could be a
makeover that leaves the home of the Cyclone dramatically altered.

"To be nostalgic for the Coney Island we have known the past 20 or 30
years, which is an emaciated shell of its former self, is wrong—you
want things to be built in Coney Island," says Coney Island USA
director Dick Zigun, founder of both the Mermaid Parade and Sideshows
by the Seashore. His worry, he says, is that because of the direction
the process is heading, "the people who have put their hearts and
souls in, the smaller operators in this amusement park, are going to
get screwed."

Once a mile-long strip of carnival rides and other budget-priced
attractions, Coney Island's amusement district shrunk to a handful of
blocks by the 1960s, as Robert Moses-spawned housing projects and
vacant lots replaced such landmarks as Luna Park and Steeplechase
Park. In recent years, though, as the city has poured hundreds of
millions of dollars into neighborhood improvements—a refurbished
boardwalk, the Brooklyn Cyclones ballpark, and the soaring new
Stillwell Avenue subway terminal—planners both public and private
have begun eyeing the area as ripe for a makeover.

The first to get involved was the Coney Island Development
Corporation, formed two years ago by the city to explore ways
to "revitalize" the area. What this means, says CIDC president (and
City Hall development official) Josh Sirefman, is "finding ways to
balance capitalizing on Coney Island's extraordinary allure as an
oceanside location, while also looking for opportunities to create
year-round activity." Early drafts of the master plan include
rezoning parts of the amusement district (mostly vacant lots across
Surf Avenue from the stadium) to allow for low-rise housing with
stores on the first floor.

More recently, amusement owners' ears perked up when Thor Equities, a
developer that specializes in targeting "underperforming" properties
and then developing them as shopping malls—their main local
achievement is the depressing Albee Square Mall (now the Gallery at
Fulton Street) in downtown Brooklyn—began buying up properties left
and right in the amusement district. Thor CEO Joe Sitt (who did not
return calls for this article) recently told local business owners
that he hopes to build a multi-story mall and indoor water park along
the boardwalk behind Nathan's and the current Coney Island USA
building. Topping it would be a mooring pad for a blimp that would
sail the city skies touting the virtues of Coney Island.

Which if it sounds kinda crazy, that would certainly be Coney Island.
And while the mom-and-pop operators who run most of the amusement
district would prefer more carnival-friendly additions, like a
resuscitated Parachute Jump, they wouldn't turn down the new foot
traffic that year-round attractions would generate. But some worry
that the sort of year-round tenants that Thor would want—and that the
CIDC is seeking to provide shopping and jobs for local residents—
would drive up rents to the point where the seasonal businesses would
be priced out. Already, Zigun notes, he's been offered only a one-
year lease renewal, at a 50 percent increase; he's currently scouting
around for a place to relocate.

Sirefman insists that it will be possible to balance the growth of a
year-round community with the needs of the summer crowds. But those
in the district remain concerned. The CIDC "certainly seems to be
making a real effort to keep the old Coney Island concept central to
it," says Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert. "It's just going to take
a gargantuan imagination to translate what's always been a summer
business into year-round."

http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/0526,demause,65370,15.html

muscle1313
July 3rd, 2005, 11:10 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/324835p-277528c.html

NY Daily News

Coney Island is on a roll

Developers are coming to Coney Island and they're thinking big.
Thrills! Spills! Amusements like never before! Only problem is -
they've got to tear down all the gritty little guys in their way.
Should we let 'em?
The answer to that question over a century ago was: Yes.
Steeplechase, Luna Park and Dreamland were all built between 1897 and
1904 and, according to The Encyclopedia of New York City, "soon
replaced the concessions of small businessmen who lacked the
foresight and the capital to undertake commercial development on a
large scale."

Most New Yorkers would agree that that extreme makeover was for the
best. If we miss anything about the Coney Island of yore, it's not
the corn dog stands, it's Steeplechase itself. That's why even a bona
fide nostalgia (and corn dog) nut like me is glad the city is
redeveloping Coney Island. I'm even cautiously psyched about private
developers like Thor Equities, a company currently snapping up prime
chunks of Coney with mysterious plans for something huge and new.

"Thor's vision is to develop Coney Island to its glory days when it
was the No. 1 destination in America," said company spokesman John
Marino. He couldn't say more, except to hint that plans probably will
not include a shopping mall, despite rumors.

Let's hope he's right. Coney is a place for taking off your clothes,
not buying new ones. But if it takes some serious money or even
suburban amenities to ramp up the renaissance, I say: Bring on the
Body Shop!

Strolling the boardwalk the other day, it was clear the place is on a
roll. "I've been coming to here since I was 1," said Tony Braccia,
55. "When we were kids it was like coming to Disneyland. But in
the '70s, heroin took over." The place emptied out.

"Then [Mayor Rudy] Giuliani cleaned the city up," piped in his
friend, John Amino.

Crime went down. The beach filled up again. "I was here July 4 two
years ago, you couldn't even see the water, that's how packed it
was," said Tony.

Barry Glass, a retired teacher working at Coney Island Souvenirs,
sees even more evidence of an upswing: The sand is clean. "Too clean!
We used to be able to find money, gold jewelry. The best I could do
last year is I found a MetroCard in the water with $1.50 on it."

Part of the credit goes to the revamped subway station that looks
like something out of "The Jetsons." The brand new bathrooms along
the beach are a huge boon, too. And while I was against the Cyclones
Stadium, I was wrong: It brought life to Coney. So far, the city's
redevelopment has shown both sensitivity and vision.

Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA and as devoted to historic
Coney as anyone, also is pleased. He likes plans for future upgrades.
But he worries about what might happen if the developers tear down
too much of what makes Coney Coney - including his sideshow, which
was given only a one-year lease renewal.

If the city continues its wise ways, it will save what needs saving
and spruce what needs sprucing, even as developers give us enough
thrills and spills to make Coney Island as exciting as it was a
hundred years ago.

Originally published on July 3, 2005

muscle1313
July 10th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Marty was in Coney today. Talking about the Parachute Jump at the Coney Island Beauty contest- (Some real hot chicks there). Phase 1 - Parachute Jump lit permanently at the base and top in late August. Phase 2 - A design of lights depicting parachutes in 1 to 2 years.

QueenTiye
July 25th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Hi! New here. I found this forum on a search trying to find out what ever happened to plans to Disneyfy Coney Island. The thread was really old - 2003, and so I thought I'd go ahead and start a new one. Whatever happened to the rumors of a Disney takeover? Is there going to be one? Etc., etc., etc.....

Just visited Coney Island yesterday after not having been in more than 19 years. It was really wonderful seeing all the sites, but the place could use some sprucing up.... I'd like to see it retain its unique Brooklyn charm though... ;)

QT

QueenTiye
July 25th, 2005, 01:17 PM
Gah.... that's what I get... I didn't even see that that thread was stickied.... guess I'll go reading some more!

QT

BrooklynRider
July 25th, 2005, 02:57 PM
There's lots of info at WiredNY and you can dig deeper at the Bulletin Board at www.coneyisland.com

ZippyTheChimp
August 9th, 2005, 12:44 PM
http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=1&aid=52654#

City To Buy Coney Island Carousel For Almost $2 Million

August 09, 2005

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday that the city's bid to buy the Coney Island Carousel for $1.8 million has been accepted.

The city wanted to buy the carousel to keep it from being sold to another city.

Last week the city increased its offer to more than $1 million, but the president of the auction house hired to oversee the sale said the city's bid was still too low, adding the carousel could be worth up to $3 million.

The carousel has stood at Coney Island's Surf Avenue since 1932. It was shut down in May after the owners decided to sell it.

BrooklynRider
August 9th, 2005, 05:14 PM
This is another INVESTMENT in Coney Island by the city. Things are looking up!

Gulcrapek
August 9th, 2005, 06:50 PM
That was odd. I didn't even consider the city purchasing it.

BigMac
September 15th, 2005, 11:54 AM
NYC.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 351-05
September 14, 2005

MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FUTURE OF CONEY ISLAND

Mayor Commits Additional $50 Million to Carry Out Implementation, Raising Total Funding Commitment to $83.2 Million

Public Improvements Will Spur More Than $1 Billion In Private Investment, Creating 2,000 Permanent And 10,000 Construction Jobs In Area Over Next 20 Years

http://www.nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2005/09/14/7932/14991/58AD0062b.jpg

Video (http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2005b/media/pc091405-coneyisland.asx) (56k)
Video (http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2005b/media/pc091405-coneyisland300k.asx) (300k)

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today unveiled the strategic plan for Coney Island, which will transform the area into a year-round entertainment destination with seaside attractions and a stronger residential community. The Mayor also announced an additional $50 million to implement the plan after previously pledging $23 million. Combined with the Brooklyn Borough President's $7 million and Congressman Jerrold Nadler's $3.2 million, a total of $83.2 million is now dedicated to making improvements to the area. The Coney Island Strategic Plan calls for enhanced entertainment attractions that take advantage of the area's unique appeal, a new community center for job training and recreational uses, and the increase of affordable housing on vacant City-owned land. Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr., Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff, Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) Chairman Joshua Sirefman and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined the Mayor for the announcement on Coney Island's historic boardwalk.

"Coney Island holds a special place in New York City's history, and the redevelopment plan will celebrate its unique character while ensuring a spectacular future through infrastructure improvements, enhanced public spaces and appropriate development of vacant property," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We will capitalize on key assets such as the beautiful waterfront and KeySpan Park while attracting diverse new businesses that will transform Coney Island into a year-round visitor destination. Our collective commitment of $83.2 million will jumpstart the infrastructure improvements required to attract the kind of private development partners necessary to make these goals a reality. This has been an extraordinary planning effort over the past two years, and I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to bring us to this important milestone."

"Coney Island has been much imitated but never duplicated," said Borough President Markowitz. "This plan will preserve Coney's famed freakishness and fun-loving spirit, while residents and businesses benefit from their neighborhood's rebirth as a 24/7 tourist and family destination. The whole world knows that Coney Island is the ultimate in American character and funk. Coney Island has been called America's playground and it will be so again."

"I am thrilled that in collaboration with Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Miller, the Coney Island Development Corporation has produced a brilliant and visionary strategic plan for the future of Coney Island," said Council Member Recchia. "Coney Island has always been New York's playground and I am confident under the guidance of this plan, Coney Island will once again be the playground of the world."

The $83.2 million public investment will be used to make necessary infrastructure and public environment improvements. These include the creation of new streets and open space, better parking and transportation solutions and site preparation work, along with targeted projects that reflect the character of Coney Island such as improvements to the aquarium, parachute pavilion and the construction of the community center. It is anticipated that these public improvements will lead to more than $1 billion in private investment over the next 10 years, creating about 2,000 permanent jobs and 10,000 construction jobs in the area over the next 20 years. As part of the next phase of the plan, the Department of City Planning will work with CIDC to refine the zoning strategy by setting design guidelines and determining the appropriate square footage for entertainment, retail and hotel space as well as the number of residential units and square footage of new parks and open space, while also ensuring the protection of the existing amusements.

Mayor Bloomberg, working closely with the City Council and Borough President Markowitz, established the Coney Island Development Corporation in September of 2003 to develop and implement a comprehensive planning process and economic strategy for Coney Island. The 13-member board held dozens of meetings with community constituents including amusement operators, local businesses and residents, and held numerous public outreach meetings to ensure that all facets of the Coney Island community were represented in the planning process.

The vision for Coney Island in the plan includes:

- The transformation of Stillwell Avenue into Stillwell Midway, a spectacular public open space connecting existing amusements with new development.

- A redesigned Steeplechase Plaza incorporating new open space around the iconic Parachute Jump between KeySpan Park and the boardwalk. It will feature the winning design of the Parachute Pavilion Design Competition by the London team of Kevin Carmody, Andrew Groarke, Chris Hardie and Lewis Kinneir.

- New entertainment uses and retail amenities east of KeySpan Park that will further support the existing amusement attractions.

- An increase of year-round activity on Surf Avenue including the possible addition of a hotel and spa.

- The establishment of a multicultural community center that will contribute to making western Coney Island a vibrant residential neighborhood and provide essential job training and community services.

- The development of affordable housing on City-owned property in the residential area.

- Improving the public environment and making improvements to both Surf and Mermaid Avenues.

- Enhanced boardwalk activity with added cultural activities, changing facilities and connections to the beach and boardwalk.

- Better integration of the New York Aquarium with the adjacent amusement area by building on the aquarium master plan.

- Improvement of the area's parking and transit infrastructure.

Design and implementation of the public components of the plan will begin immediately, with the majority of the projects expected to be completed in the next few years. For example, it is anticipated that improvements to the boardwalk will be completed by the end of 2007, while the revamped steeplechase plaza, the redesigned midway and the community center will be built by 2009.

"This comprehensive plan takes advantage of Coney Island's incredible waterfront location and historic past, while providing a substantial and sustainable basis on which we can build a very promising future," said CIDC Chairman Sirefman, who also serves as Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff. "Special thanks go to Borough President Markowitz, Councilmember Recchia, Congressman Nadler, the CIDC board and the many members of the community for their tremendous support, cooperation and input that made this plan possible. I am extremely grateful for the countless hours and the incredible dedication of all the members of the Coney Island Development Corporation."

The amusements and seaside attractions have been drawing visitors from all over the world for more than a century. According to the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce, an estimated 5.3 million people visit the area via public transportation each season. In recent years, the City has invested $39 million for the construction of the highly successful KeySpan Park baseball stadium, and $18 million toward the restoration of the Riegelmann Boardwalk and construction of new comfort and lifeguard stations. Last month, Mayor Bloomberg announced the City's plan to acquire the historic Bishoff & Brienstein (B&B) Carousell for $1.8 million to make sure this wonderful attraction remains in Coney Island. The 50-horse amusement attraction has been a fixture on Surf Avenue for over 70 years and will be restored and preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. In addition, the Metropolitan Transit Authority completed a $240 million renovation of the Stillwell Avenue subway station, and the New York Aquarium is currently undergoing a $45 million master plan and renovation.

http://www.nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2005/09/14/7932/14993/58AD0223b.jpg

http://www.nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2005/09/14/7932/14994/58AD0305b.jpg

Copyright 2005 The City of New York

ZippyTheChimp
September 15th, 2005, 02:45 PM
CIDC Strategic Pan brochure (http://www.thecidc.org/cidcbrochurelo.pdf)

tmg
September 16th, 2005, 11:37 AM
To those of you who have been following this process closely: Were any of the details of this announcement new or surprising, or was this just a kick-off for plans we already knew about? Any other reactions?

BrooklynRider
September 17th, 2005, 12:13 AM
The only thing "new" was the Mayors assertion that the sea and Keyspan park were the assets of Coney Island as opposed to the Amusement Zone.

Also, the talk of a Stillwell Ave Midway connecting the "Amusement Zone" to new development, cryptically alluding to the fact that "new development" property in the C7 amusement zone west of Stillwell may be rezoned.

Apparently, Thors plans are published in the coming issue of New York Magazine.

I think Bloomberg is getting ready to put his fist up the arse of the C.I. loving public.

NYguy
September 18th, 2005, 08:18 AM
DAILY NEWS

Coney plan tops Vegas, mag sez


By MELISSA GRACE, JEGO ARMSTRONG and TRACY CONNOR

The first glimpse of a developer's plans for Coney Island is being revealed by New York magazine - and it makes the Bellagio in Las Vegas look like a monument to minimalism.

Thor Equities magnate Joe Sitt has dreamed up a garish $1 billion entertainment and retail complex that's part Taj Mahal, part Xanadu.

If he gets his way, a shimmering double-flanked, 500-room hotel with a waterfall cascading down one side will loom over the Boardwalk. Blimps will land on the roof, a 100-foot slide will anchor an indoor water park, fireworks will explode off a new pier and an enormous carousel will leave visitors dizzy.

"We want to evoke the same feeling you get when you're in Vegas," he told New York's Greg Sargent. "It's exciting. It's illuminated. It's sexy."

It's also just a fantasy - for the moment.

Sitt has snapped up a dozen properties in Coney and is negotiating for more, but he still has to raise cash from investors and get the city to sign off on his plans.

Joshua Sirefman, chairman of the Coney Island Development Corp., called Sitt's sketch "just a conceptual image."

"There is a lot of work to be done to understand the scale and the style," he said. "We care a lot that the character of Coney Island is maintained."

The owners of most Coney Island fixtures - the freak show, Astroland, Ruby's bar, Faber's arcade - support development, as long as they're not displaced or eclipsed.

But Kenny Kaufman, 33, who owns the batting cages, go-carts and minigolf course near the Boardwalk, was aghast when he saw a drawing of the Thor complex.

"Unless you're planning on putting a casino here, there's no way that hotel is going to make any money," he said. "This is not something the people of Coney Island want."

Customer Eric Murooney, 25, of Sheepshead Bay called Sitt's vision "a monstrosity."

"It would be a shame if you took all this away," he said of the shabbily enchanting landscape around him.

Still, Donna Vernon, 52, who lives on Mermaid Ave., said she would welcome any change in the neighborhood - even a hotel that charges $300 a night.

"I'm tired of them saying that they're going to build something up in Coney Island," she said. "Just do it already."

BrooklynRider
September 18th, 2005, 09:49 AM
...Joshua Sirefman, chairman of the Coney Island Development Corp., called Sitt's sketch "just a conceptual image."...

All this time and they don't even have the balls to stand behind the project. Watch for a bait and switch.

lofter1
September 18th, 2005, 09:55 AM
Coney plan tops Vegas, mag sez
The first glimpse of a developer's plans for Coney Island is being revealed by New York magazine - and it makes the Bellagio in Las Vegas look like a monument to minimalism...Thor Equities magnate Joe Sitt has dreamed up a garish $1 billion entertainment and retail complex that's part Taj Mahal, part Xanadu.
Any images of this plan?

NYguy
September 18th, 2005, 11:47 AM
Any images of this plan?

It'll be in the current issue of New York magazine which isn't online yet. Here's the Daily News image...


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/49416613/large.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/49416617/medium.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/49416635/medium.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/49416736/medium.jpg

lofter1
September 18th, 2005, 11:55 AM
^ YIKES!!!!

(and thanks for the post)

Schadenfrau
September 18th, 2005, 03:44 PM
Wow, that's hideous.

lofter1
September 18th, 2005, 04:11 PM
I wonder what they were thinking ...

Could it be:

http://www.honeymoons-by-sunset.com/images/Atlantis-Med1.jpg

Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

http://www.atlantis.com/atlantis_layers1024.asp

TLOZ Link5
September 18th, 2005, 04:37 PM
Wow, that's hideous.

Well, the Luna Park-ish towers are interesting, as is the bridge between them. But they need to work on the hotel slab. A lot.

BPC
September 18th, 2005, 04:42 PM
Coney Island is fine the way it is. I was over there a few weeks ago, and the place was jam-packed. It has a retro charm about it. This hideous new development will be a step backward.

TLOZ Link5
September 18th, 2005, 05:26 PM
Coney Island is fine the way it is. I was over there a few weeks ago, and the place was jam-packed. It has a retro charm about it. This hideous new development will be a step backward.

They might have said that when Dreamland was first planned.

ZippyTheChimp
September 18th, 2005, 07:52 PM
Coney Island isn't fine, but when you drink Tequila with a late dinner, this is the kind of vision you have.

BrooklynRider
September 19th, 2005, 12:03 AM
If Liberace and Diana Ross had a mongloid love child - and then put it on steroids and speed - we'd then have a partial explanation of the the glitterati crapola we are having hoisted upon us. C.I. was always chaep - but never in such an ostentatious and utterly nouveau riche way.

Oy - I can see the JAPS from Great Neck descending upon us now/// Is this real LETH-ah?


Bleccch! Give me poor - give me cheap - give me real....

lofter1
September 19th, 2005, 12:24 AM
Thor Equities magnate Joe Sitt has dreamed up a garish $1 billion entertainment and retail complex ... "We want to evoke the same feeling you get when you're in Vegas"

This is typical marketing / developer BS.

Vegas is designed to drain money out of your pockets. That is the entire purpose behind the Vegas experience. The interiors are designed to disorient people so that they lose awareness and enter into a non-conventional mental state. This keeps the folks gambling -- where the odds are way in the favor of the casino.

In other words: it is a CON.

Vegas and the essence of Coney Island are two entirely different visions -- this jerk Joe Sitt has revealed himself -- and his project should not be allowed to be built.

I guess you can tell that I HATE THIS PROJECT.

Muscle13
September 19th, 2005, 12:34 AM
NY Magazine

The Incredibly Bold, Audaciously Cheesy, Jaw-Droppingly Vegasified,
Billion-Dollar Glam-Rock Makeover of Coney Island
A first look at its not-preposterous future.

By Greg Sargent
An early conceptual rendering of the shopping, entertainment, and
hotel complex real-estate mogul Joe Sitt wants to build in Coney
Island. (Photo credit: Joshua Lutz)

Joe Sitt is pacing the Coney Island Boardwalk.

"Imagine something like the Bellagio hotel right now—just stop and
see it," he says, sweeping his hand in a long, slow arc over his
head. "The lights. The action. The vitality. The people. We wanna
evoke the same feeling you get when you're in Vegas. It's exciting.
It's illuminated. It's sexy."

Behind him is an aggressively down-market stretch of fast-food
stands, dingy arcades, and cheap souvenir shops that have as much in
common with the Bellagio as does a three-card-monte table. But when
this wiry, frenetic 41-year-old looks at the seediness, he sees an
opportunity to do something big. And he can—because all those
ramshackle properties belong to him.

Over the past few years, Sitt's real-estate company, Thor Equities,
has quietly spent nearly $100 million buying up a huge swath of Coney
Island from multiple owners, painstakingly overtaking perhaps twelve
acres of land along the boardwalk, mostly between KeySpan Park, home
of the Cyclones, and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Sitt, a
little-known Manhattan mogul who's made his fortune building inner-
city shopping malls across the country, now lays claim to Coney's
prime turf, its real-estate trophy. It's no surprise, then, that
Sitt's mysterious plans have stirred plenty of rumors among Coney
locals, who worry he's plotting to develop a shopping mall or a Wal-
Mart on their hallowed grounds.

But Sitt's scheme for reviving the world's once-premier amusement
park is far more ambitious than the whispers suggest. He plans to
build a glittering resort paradise right next to the Coney Island
boardwalk—a retail and entertainment colossus every bit as outrageous
and flamboyant as the Bahamas' Atlantis. The plan includes
megaplexes. An indoor water park. A 500-room, four-star hotel—four
stars, in Coney Island!—and, at the center of it all, an enormous,
psychedelic carousel laced with visual cues to a Coney Island that
Timothy Leary could have dreamed up. Equally spectacular, Sitt hopes,
will be a blimp that will take off from the complex's roof, carrying
tourists on joyrides over the city as it flashes the resort's name in
giant technicolor letters: THE BOARDWALK AT CONEY ISLAND. "The
dirigible will leave every ten minutes," Sitt says, jabbing his
finger excitedly toward the sky. "On an ongoing basis. Another.
Another. Another. Lifting off and taking people on a tour, spreading
the message that this is the place to be." The total price tag: $1
billion, which Sitt hopes to raise from private investors. Sitt has
seen Coney Island's future, and it looks like Vegas—turned up a few
notches.



As we talk, Sitt's cell phone repeatedly interrupts his reverie. He
takes the calls, standing not far from a wooden sign advertising a
game called SHOOT THE FREAK, a glaring reminder of the enormous gap
between Coney's present state and Sitt's decadent vision. He's in the
middle of closing a $230 million deal to buy the Palmer House Hilton
in Chicago, an old, underperforming property he hopes to turn around.
This is how Sitt has gotten rich—by pouncing on real-estate and
retail opportunities others have overlooked, either because they were
decrepit or in undesirable neighborhoods. The son of a Brooklyn
textiles merchant, Sitt had his first big financial success in 1990,
when, at the age of 26, he took a then-unusual gamble and founded
Ashley Stewart, a chain of shops for plus-size, upward-aspiring
African-American women.

Sitt was among the first to sense the vast untapped purchasing power
of urban ethnic customers, then being ignored by national retail
chains. As Alan Barocas, senior vice-president of real estate for the
Gap, puts it, "When national retailers were concentrating on suburbs
and exurbs, Joe saw a void. Instead of running, he saw opportunity."

Not long after founding Ashley Stewart, Sitt had a second revelation:
The inner-city landlords renting to his stores were asking for far
less rent than he—and other retailers, he suspected—would willingly
pay. So Sitt began buying up cheap properties in decaying urban areas
and opening malls on them. Thor Equities eventually amassed an empire
of about 14 million square feet in a dozen cities.

Though Sitt's scheme for Coney Island is also a massive gamble on a
down-on-its-luck part of the city that many have written off, this
deal has another element: personal nostalgia. Sitt grew up in nearby
Gravesend, and trips to Coney were an integral part of his childhood
in the late sixties and early seventies, when memories of Coney's
glorious early-twentieth-century heyday were already fading. He still
lives near Coney (albeit in a much bigger house) and jogs on the
boardwalk. "I love Coney Island," he says, frequently—giving in to a
gushing sentimentality about the project that worries some of his
Thor executives. To them, the scheme seems fraught with frightening
unknowns: Will the right mix of businesses agree to take a chance on
a neighborhood that remains something of a dump? Can a high-end hotel
survive so far from midtown? Would a Vegas-style entertainment
complex shatter the patchwork quality that gives Coney its mystique?



Behold the Freakenspiel, a merry-go-round and water fountain topped
by a pyrotechnic elephant.
No one knows the answers, which gives rise to even bigger questions:
Is Sitt's Coney scheme the product of the same business acumen that
created Ashley Stewart and his real-estate empire? Or is it merely a
hugely expensive sentimental journey for Sitt, a nostalgia-fueled
boondoggle-in-the-making?

To realize his vision, Sitt needs the support of another New Yorker
who hopes Coney's best days are ahead: Michael Bloomberg. City
officials say they're not prepared to publicly comment on Sitt's plan
until they review it in detail, but they're generally
supportive. "Although we haven't gotten into specifics of his plan,
I'm confident we'll be able to get together on a project that helps
achieve our vision for Coney Island," says Josh Sirefman, City Hall's
point man on Coney redevelopment. While city officials have worked
successfully with Sitt before—such as on an office tower he's
building in downtown Brooklyn—and are encouraged by his ideas for a
water park, carousel, and music venues, there are still potential
sticking points. For instance, they don't want to see Coney Island
become "a huge mall gussied up with a bit of entertainment," one
Bloomberg aide says. "We want a large entertainment component,
because that will preserve Coney's heritage and protect its
authenticity and uniqueness."

Another potential cause of friction, they say, could arise over the
project's scale. To be economically viable, Sitt says, the complex
has to be at least 2 million square feet, a size that could overwhelm
the low-rise neighborhood. "We have a lot of work to do—we have to
figure out the appropriate scale for Coney," the aide says.



Mindful of the powerful symbolism of reviving Coney, the Bloomberg
administration has invested tons of capital, political and otherwise,
in the area. Last spring, officials unveiled a new $240 million
subway terminal at Surf and Stillwell Avenues, Coney's main
intersection. And last Wednesday, Bloomberg journeyed out to Coney's
boardwalk to announce that the government was committing a total of
$83 million for neighborhood improvements such as new parking and a
community center. He also said the city had completed a master plan
for the area, a general set of guidelines meant to encourage private
developers—like Sitt—to try to turn Coney into a revitalized, year-
round destination.

But the dream of a reborn Coney has proved elusive since the sixties,
when Mayor John Lindsay built the low-income housing that hastened
the neighborhood's decline. Since then, a string of failed revival
schemes have come and gone. Ed Koch's plan for casinos tanked when
the State Legislature failed to legalize gambling. A subsequent plot
by Horace Bullard, the flamboyant founder of the Kansas Fried Chicken
chain, to rebuild Coney Island's historic Steeplechase Park died amid
a bitter squabble with the city.

Coney's historical resonance as the birthplace of the beach-based
amusement resort—not to mention the hot dog—has made its decline all
the more dispiriting. Unlike other historically significant
neighborhoods—places like Times Square and 125th Street, whose
heydays, declines, and subsequent rebirths have embodied the larger
story of New York—Coney hasn't rebounded. The 2001 opening of KeySpan
Park has given only a modest boost to local merchants because fans
largely disappear after games. Come autumn, everyone disappears. Six
months of the year, Coney Island is desolate—or, as Gregory
Bitetzakis, who owns two restaurants there, puts it, "cold. Very
cold. Not a soul around."

Who in their right mind would travel to Coney Island in February?
Sitt's biggest problem, so far, is that his plan conspicuously lacks
a single economic engine, the way Atlantic City has casinos. He's got
his blimps, his carousel, the fireworks he wants to launch from a new
pier jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. He also hopes to entice Cirque
du Soleil, the House of Blues, and other name-brand draws. Another
idea is turning Coney's major winter liability—proximity to the wind-
whipped beach—into a visual asset. "Imagine kids going down a 100-
foot-tall waterslide in an indoor water park on a frigid day in
January, staring at the ocean outside," Sitt says. But he says he
needs 13 million people a year to spend money in his complex. That's
going to have to be some waterslide.

Another big challenge for Sitt is attracting the right retailers.
Sitt says he's currently in talks with movie-theater companies Loews
and UA/Regal, the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum chain, and Cold
Stone Creamery ice cream. Done right, the complex could entice New
Yorkers who now drive to Atlantic City or Great Adventure. But well-
heeled retailers may yet conclude that the neighborhood's traffic is
too shallow-pocketed to support them, and Sitt could find himself
stuck with down-market chains (Foot Locker, Tad's Steaks). Think Rye
Playland in the middle of a freezing, forbidding urban landscape.



An early sketch of Sitt's Coney Island resort, complete with landing
pad for blimps.

Experts say that for the project to work, its stores need to command
about $400 or $500 per square foot in sales. (By way of comparison,
Times Square retailers net up to $1,000 per square foot, experts
say.) Those are ambitious numbers, but they're in the realm of what
other big retailers, including Banana Republic, the Gap, and Express,
make in places like the Kings Plaza mall or Brooklyn Heights,
according to Gene Spiegelman, executive director of Cushman &
Wakefield real estate and the company's expert on Brooklyn retail.

"That's a sign that the Brooklyn market remains very underserved by
retail—which suggests that this project can move those numbers," says
Spiegelman. "Across the country, there's typically an average of
twenty square feet of retail to each person. In Brooklyn, the ratio
is six to one, and that's in a community—Brooklyn—with 2.5 million
people."

Then there's the problem of getting a big hotel operator. Sitt's own
analysts say it would have to charge from $250 to $300 per night and
have at least 70 percent occupancy year-round. "To achieve that,
we'll need to figure out how to position the hotel—whether as a
meeting place for conventions or more as a resort-type tourist
attraction," says David Malmuth, managing director of Robert Charles
Lesser & Co., which Sitt has hired to crunch the plan's numbers.

In Sitt's conviction that retailers and hotel operators will come,
it's easy to hear echoes of his softheaded side. "Quality purveyors
will fit right in here," he insists. "It's got the beach, the
boardwalk, the brand—Coney Island! It's got sooo much potential!"



Sitt, of course, is hardly the only person enamored of Coney
Island's "brand," and his billion-dollar vision is stirring some
worry among locals who harbor their own deep nostalgia for the place.
Take Dick Zigun, the unofficial "mayor" of Coney and founder of Coney
Island USA, which runs the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island
Museum. He hopes Sitt's cosmopolis will help the community, but as
the self-appointed guardian of Coney Island kitsch, Zigun feels
protective of the neighborhood's heritage. His museum is housed on a
property not owned by Sitt, and he worries about eviction. What
better way for Sitt to prove good intentions toward Coney, Zigun
asks, than to rent the museum a home in the new complex?

"We'd like him to rise to the occasion and earn us as his partner,"
Zigun says. "He hasn't said no, but he hasn't said yes, either."

Zigun also wonders about the fate of locals operating food shacks and
souvenir stands on Sitt's property. "There are businesses here I love
very much, like Ruby's Bar [on the boardwalk]," he says. "Let's be
realistic—some of them won't be able to afford the new rents, thanks
to what's unofficially called `progress.' "

Sitt is working to win over the locals. Mindful that an isolated
monolith could be unpalatable to the community, his chief designer,
Stan Eckstut, is working on a plan to weave the complex seamlessly
into the neighborhood beyond. "This can't be self-contained, like
something in downtown Stamford," says Eckstut, who also designed the
MGM Mirage City Center in Vegas. "It has to be accessible to everyone—
kind of the town center of Coney Island."

Or, as Sitt puts it: "Our vision is lights, camera, action,
entertainment. But it can't be too cleaned up. It has to have that
special Coney flavor."



Though such hopes have proved vain for nearly half a century, the
moment may be ripe for Coney's big comeback.



He's promised local merchants whom the project will displace that
they will get first crack at renting space in the new project. And as
Sitt well knows, his local-boy-made-good bio is a big help in selling
his scheme. He often makes the rounds among Coney locals, always
calling himself "Joey."

These efforts have slowly made Coney denizens warm up to Sitt—perhaps
partly because they're all desperate for a cash infusion into the
area. "Joe is a Brooklyn guy that wants to do right by Coney Island,"
says Dennis Vourderis, who's owned Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
with his brother for almost 25 years. "The general consensus here is,
we would love him to succeed. If he succeeds, so does Coney Island."

Though such hopes have proved vain for nearly half a century, the
moment may be ripe for Coney's big comeback as the next step in
Brooklyn's astonishing resurgence over the past two decades. The
irony is that until now, big builders have played little role in
Brooklyn's bounce-back, achieved largely by gradual gentrification,
through entrepreneurship and the rehabbing of neighborhoods one
warehouse at a time. The result has been an enormous boost of
disposable income that's made Brooklyn safe for big-time investment.
In other words, after all the hard work by small businesspeople and
fixer-upper homeowners, the cashing-in stage has arrived for the big
developers: Witness plans for high-rises on the Williamsburg
waterfront; Bruce Ratner's planned arena on the Atlantic rail yards;
and now, Sitt's plan for Coney Island.


It's tempting to see Sitt as a kind of Coney Island Bugsy Siegel
(sans the wiseguy ties), the notorious gangster who reimagined a
grubby little town in the Nevada desert as the gambling mecca of the
United States. "I feel like him," Sitt says. "Bugsy Siegel went into
a town and there were a couple of small gambling casinos. His dream
was to take the inspiration from what was there before and magnify
it. Give it more variety. Give it choices . . . That's exactly the
turnaround opportunity that we see here in Coney Island!"

Sitt starts jabbing at the air again. "People said I was nuts for
opening upscale stores in the middle of some of the toughest African-
American neighborhoods in the United States," he practically
yells. "You know what? They were wrong."


Find this article at:
http://www.newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/realestate/features/14498/index.html

BPC
September 19th, 2005, 01:07 AM
Coney Island isn't fine, but when you drink Tequila with a late dinner, this is the kind of vision you have.

Wrong!! It was vodka at Tatiana's. Coney Island rules!

Schadenfrau
September 19th, 2005, 01:32 AM
Even absinthe, nay-acid, would ever cause me to imagine such a monstrous sight.

Does someone think Donald Trump is too much of a high-brow WASP?

lofter1
September 19th, 2005, 02:11 AM
^ It is projects like this that drives me to pray for an economic downturn. A recession deep enough to drive a stake through the heart of Mr. Sitt's nightmare. Sure we'd all suffer -- but not as much as if / when this thing gets built.

13 million visitors a year? At 300 - 400 $$ a night?

You know he's done the math.

So, how much is Sitt counting that each and every person will pull out of their pockets so they can have a nice day at the boardwalk?

And you know Sitt and his gang won't be wanting anybody hanging around good old Coney Island beach if they're not throwing money at Sitt's folly.

This is bad news all around.

NYguy
September 19th, 2005, 08:16 AM
More pics and quotes from NY magazine:

NEW YORK MAGAZINE
http://newyorkmagazine.com/nymetro/realestate/features/14498/

The Incredibly Bold, Audaciously Cheesy, Jaw-Droppingly Vegasified, Billion-Dollar Glam-Rock Makeover of Coney Island

A first look at its not-preposterous future.


http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/realestate/features/coneyisland050919_3_400.jpg

An early sketch of Sitt's Coney Island resort, complete with landing pad for blimps.


http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/realestate/features/coneyisland050919_1_400.jpg

An early conceptual rendering of the shopping, entertainment, and hotel complex real-estate mogul Joe Sitt wants to build in Coney Island. (Photo credit: Joshua Lutz)


By Greg Sargent

Sitt’s scheme for reviving the world’s once-premier amusement park is far more ambitious than the whispers suggest. He plans to build a glittering resort paradise right next to the Coney Island boardwalk—a retail and entertainment colossus every bit as outrageous and flamboyant as the Bahamas’ Atlantis.

The plan includes megaplexes. An indoor water park. A 500-room, four-star hotel—four stars, in Coney Island!—and, at the center of it all, an enormous, psychedelic carousel laced with visual cues to a Coney Island that Timothy Leary could have dreamed up. Equally spectacular, Sitt hopes, will be a blimp that will take off from the complex’s roof, carrying tourists on joyrides over the city as it flashes the resort’s name in giant technicolor letters: THE BOARDWALK AT CONEY ISLAND.

http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/realestate/features/coneyisland050919_2_175.jpg

Behold the Freakenspiel, a merry-go-round and water fountain topped by a pyrotechnic elephant


Sitt grew up in nearby Gravesend, and trips to Coney were an integral part of his childhood in the late sixties and early seventies, when memories of Coney’s glorious early-twentieth-century heyday were already fading. He still lives near Coney (albeit in a much bigger house) and jogs on the boardwalk. “I love Coney Island,” he says, frequently—giving in to a gushing sentimentality about the project that worries some of his Thor executives...

To realize his vision, Sitt needs the support of another New Yorker who hopes Coney’s best days are ahead: Michael Bloomberg. City officials say they’re not prepared to publicly comment on Sitt’s plan until they review it in detail, but they’re generally supportive. “Although we haven’t gotten into specifics of his plan, I’m confident we’ll be able to get together on a project that helps achieve our vision for Coney Island,” says Josh Sirefman, City Hall’s point man on Coney redevelopment. While city officials have worked successfully with Sitt before—such as on an office tower he’s building in downtown Brooklyn—and are encouraged by his ideas for a water park, carousel, and music venues, there are still potential sticking points. For instance, they don’t want to see Coney Island become “a huge mall gussied up with a bit of entertainment,” one Bloomberg aide says. “We want a large entertainment component, because that will preserve Coney’s heritage and protect its authenticity and uniqueness.”..........

Coney’s historical resonance as the birthplace of the beach-based amusement resort—not to mention the hot dog—has made its decline all the more dispiriting. Unlike other historically significant neighborhoods—places like Times Square and 125th Street, whose heydays, declines, and subsequent rebirths have embodied the larger story of New York—Coney hasn’t rebounded. The 2001 opening of KeySpan Park has given only a modest boost to local merchants because fans largely disappear after games. Come autumn, everyone disappears. Six months of the year, Coney Island is desolate—or, as Gregory Bitetzakis, who owns two restaurants there, puts it, “cold. Very cold. Not a soul around.”......

Sitt is working to win over the locals. Mindful that an isolated monolith could be unpalatable to the community, his chief designer, Stan Eckstut, is working on a plan to weave the complex seamlessly into the neighborhood beyond. “This can’t be self-contained, like something in downtown Stamford,” says Eckstut, who also designed the MGM Mirage City Center in Vegas. “It has to be accessible to everyone—kind of the town center of Coney Island.”

Or, as Sitt puts it: “Our vision is lights, camera, action, entertainment. But it can’t be too cleaned up. It has to have that special Coney flavor.”

These efforts have slowly made Coney denizens warm up to Sitt—perhaps partly because they’re all desperate for a cash infusion into the area. “Joe is a Brooklyn guy that wants to do right by Coney Island,” says Dennis Vourderis, who’s owned Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park with his brother for almost 25 years. “The general consensus here is, we would love him to succeed. If he succeeds, so does Coney Island.”

lofter1
September 19th, 2005, 09:59 AM
As much as I detest the "vision" behind this proposal, I gotta admit that this looks like fun:


http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/realestate/features/coneyisland050919_2_175.jpg

Behold the Freakenspiel,
a merry-go-round and
water fountain topped by
a pyrotechnic elephant

BrooklynRider
September 19th, 2005, 01:05 PM
... You know he's done the math...


I think you mean "meth".

Clarknt67
September 19th, 2005, 01:51 PM
My god, I live in Brooklyn Heights and I'm afraid this spectacle will keep me awake at night!

TLOZ Link5
September 19th, 2005, 02:24 PM
Whatever Sitt has been taking, I'd like to order a kilo of it.

Schadenfrau
September 19th, 2005, 03:25 PM
Clark, I'm afraid I'll be kept awake at night for just having looked at the pictures!

ablarc
September 19th, 2005, 05:45 PM
As much as I detest the "vision" behind this proposal, I gotta admit that this looks like fun...
So, what's to detest?

.

normaldude
September 19th, 2005, 06:23 PM
I think it would look better without the Taj Mahal bulbs/spires.

Example attached..

ablarc
September 19th, 2005, 06:42 PM
I think it would look better without the Taj Mahal bulbs/spires.
Not as exotic.

lofter1
September 19th, 2005, 10:01 PM
Originally Posted by lofter1
As much as I detest the "vision" behind this proposal, I gotta admit that this looks like fun...

So, what's to detest?
I was referring only to the "frankenspiel" carousel as "fun".
The rest I detest.

ablarc
September 20th, 2005, 08:10 AM
The rest I detest.
What's to detest?

lofter1
September 20th, 2005, 10:10 AM
What's to detest?
The philosophy behind Sitt's project: Vegas is a faulty model for NY. As raised in the article, what is the economic engine to make this successful? What will be the enticement to draw visitors willing to pay the high cost during the "off" months that will be necessary to keep this machine running? I don't think either a glass enclosed water slide or a winter blimp ride will do the trick.

Also, from the renderings the plan is essentially a huge wall between the boardwalk and the existing community.

Maybe I'm wrong. I'm open to hearing viewpoints as to what will make this successful.

NYguy
September 23rd, 2005, 05:28 PM
BROOKLYN PAPERS

VEGAS BY THE SEA
Developer shows new vision of Coney

http://brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol28/28_38/28_38vegasconey.jpg

Artist renderings of an indoor mall envisioned by developer Joseph Sitt, of Thor Equities, for constuction along the Coney Island boardwalk. The plan could transform Coney Island into a year-round destination.

By Ariella Cohen
The Brooklyn Papers

Over the next few weeks, the city Department of Parks and Recreation will decide who gets to operate Brooklyn’s favorite rickety ride — the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster.

But while the Cyclone is obviously an icon of Coney Island, it may soon become a remnant of its past.

Joseph Sitt, owner of Thor Equities, the development company that operates the Gallery at Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn and owns over 12 acres of seaside property in the faded amusement mecca, has visions of a glitzy boardwalk entertainment strip that looks more Vegas than Astroland.

In digital renderings sent to The Brooklyn Papers this week, a Nike-sponsored climbing wall takes up one region of a sweeping indoor amusement zone. A fiberglass elephant gleams upon a double-tiered carousel.

The House of Blues plays ground-floor anchor to another glassy, indoor-entertainment zone, much like the national chain does at its boardwalk location on the ground floor of the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City or at Barefoot Landing on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

In describing his vision for the amusement complex to a New York magazine reporter, Sitt also talked about a 100-foot-tall waterslide in an indoor water park and reported that he is currently in talks with movie theater companies Loews and UA/Regal.

So far, Sitt’s vision has generated enthusiasm, albeit that of the guarded and slightly ambivalent breed, among those whose properties would be affected.

“I have spoken with Sitt and other interested developers and I am sure they know that no matter the grandeur of their designs they will have to retain the feeling — I don’t know how to describe it — that will allow it to blend to Coney island as it is now,” said Horace Bullard, a Coney Island property owner and founder of the Kansas Fried Chicken chain, who at one time planned to rebuild Coney’s historic Steeplechase Park.

“I’ve read a lot of things, but I guess I am like a lot of people — I’ll wait and see what happens,” said Cyclone roller coaster manager Mark Blumenthal, an employee of Astroland for the past 24 years.

Bullard sold the former Washington Baths on West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, where Sitt plans a condo development, but still owns a vacant, 4-acre tract where a roller coaster once stood. He agrees with Sitt that all-season attractions like the climbing wall or a giant indoor water slide would keep true to the resort’s pleasure-zone heritage and of course, make Coney Island a year-round draw for the city.

“It is an exciting plan, as I am sure many that will be proposed will be,” he told The Brooklyn Papers.

While Sitt did not offer comment on his company’s plans or wishes for the Astroland property, he has made no promises to the current operators.

Adding tension to the Cyclone negotiations, a misaligned piece of track on the 85-foot-tall, wood-and-steel roller coaster sent four riders to the hospital with whiplash two weeks ago, an accident attributed by the Astroland operators to old age. The famous ride was shut down during the Labor Day weekend as a result of the accident.

The low-tech attraction, which is 78 years old, is owned by the Parks Department and, as stipulated by law, bid out every 10 years. Two weeks ago, the city closed its bidding period.

The bidding yielded proposals from a number of interested parties — the number of bids and their content are under wraps until the city makes its decision — a parks spokesperson said.

Aside from Astroland’s owner, the Albert family which currently operates the roller coaster, none of the bidders have publicly come forward.

Blumenthal said he had not heard of rival bidders.

“We are getting ready for next year,” he said. “At this time, there is no indication we are not going to be here.”

Yet, as change wafts, as sure as the scent of a Nathan’s hot dog, over the boardwalk there are questions about who will take over area leases.

“Landlords are only giving one-year extensions on leases now,” said Dick Zigun, president of Coney Island USA, the nonprofit community arts organization that organizes the annual Mermaid Parade on the boardwalk and Surf Avenue.

This November, the 10-year lease Zigun holds on Coney Island USA’s current Surf Avenue location will expire and he wants to move to a derelict bank building at Surf Avenue and West 12th Street that was recently bought up by Thor Equities.

Coney Island USA has already sent a letter of intent to Sitt and is now awaiting a response.

“He appreciates what we do,” said Zigun. “He hasn’t said, yes, but he hasn’t said, no.”

chaekit
September 28th, 2005, 07:25 PM
does anybody here know
'til when coney island are open?

I saw on a website that they only open 'til labor day..
it said museums and all opens all year but all other rides and stuffs are closed for good this year?

I'm a amature photographer and wants to take pictures of this historic place now, especially if it's really going to be torn apart soon.

Somebody please let me know.
I'm wondering when will be the best time to go there.

thank you in advance!

Dynamicdezzy
October 10th, 2005, 12:29 PM
If coney island is to be a year round destination, Why don't they (who ever they are) consider doing what the officials in charge of Bryant Park are doing? Having temporary (portable) ice skatings rinks during the winter time? I'm pretty sure alot of brooklynites would like that? ..no?

BrooklynRider
October 10th, 2005, 04:21 PM
The have an indoor skating rink there now - the Abe Starkman Rink next to the Parachute Jump.

Dynamicdezzy
October 12th, 2005, 10:49 AM
really? I didn't know that. THanks.

krulltime
May 28th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Coney Island to get $1 billion makeover


http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2006/TRAVEL/05/27/coney.redux.reut/vert.coney.ap.jpg
Pedestrians move about Coney Island's
boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York,
Thursday.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's springtime in Coney Island, with all the familiar signs of the coming tourist season: The beer flows at Ruby's on the boardwalk, a help-wanted sign rests outside Nathan's Famous, stuffed animals appear in the cramped arcades.

A soft ocean breeze rolls off the Atlantic -- but by next summer, the winds of change will blow hard through the venerable Brooklyn beachfront where millions of Americans have frolicked and where both the hot dog and the roller coaster debuted.

After a half-century of neglect, Coney Island is targeted for a $1 billion renovation aimed at creating a year-round attraction to compete against the theme parks that nearly obliterated the neighborhood. The work is at least a year off, but it's already the buzz of the beach.

"Coney Island seemed like it was in a time warp, and would never change," said Dick Zigun, operator of the local Sideshows By the Seashore attraction. "Why not have a bigger, better, more exciting Coney Island?"

Other local merchants agree -- although some wonder if the unique local flavor will disappear once Thor Equities starts developing its $100 million in recently purchased properties.

"People are worried about losing the certain character that Coney Island has always had," said Carol Albert, whose family runs the legendary Cyclone roller coaster and the Astroland Amusement Park. "It's a fine line. You don't want to lose the character, but ..."

The "but" rests with Thor, developer of a three-block-long, one-block-deep section off the boardwalk, along with some other properties. Its CEO and founder, Joe Sitt, has a personal interest in the Coney Island project: he's a Brooklyn native and still jogs along the boardwalk.

Sitt's local roots were a boon in avoiding the pitfalls that often plague major development, said Chuck Reichenthal, head of Community Board 13 in Coney Island.

"He really does understand what Coney Island was, what it is and what it can be," Reichenthal said.

The developer hopes for a final plan by July 1, with a variety of projects including a high-end hotel (perhaps shaped like a roller coaster), a water park, retail outlets and residential property.


'Start of a new era'


Today, the area along the boardwalk is a mix of vacant lots and vintage storefronts.

Some things will remain untouched. The Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and what's left of the Parachute Jump are all designated landmarks.

But other sections demand attention: The rotting home of the old Playland arcade, or the once-grand Child's Restaurant, now splashed with spray paint and sealed with metal grates.

Once finished, the plan will need city approval. Then, if everything goes right, construction could start by July 2007. Sitt has guaranteed all businesses on Thor property a location in his development, said Lee Silberstein, a spokesman for Thor.

"Those lots may be boarded up next summer," said Silberstein. "But at the end of the process, you're going to have something very special in Coney Island."

Coney Island once was something special, the most popular resort destination in the country. But "America's Playground" suffered though a long post-World War II decline.

When the Cyclone opened in 1927, Coney Island was already the apex of American entertainment. Charles Lindbergh came to ride the great roller coaster. Sigmund Freud stopped by the Dreamland amusement park.

However, a 1944 fire destroyed one of the great amusement areas, Luna Park. Developer Robert Moses, no fan of Coney Island, designed highways that made it easy to bypass the city beach -- or just abandon it for the suburbs.

City housing sprang up in the '60s and '70s -- towering "vertical slums," as the locals called them. Crack arrived in the '80s.

City officials also are betting on a revamped Coney Island. A new $240 million subway station was opened at Stillwell Avenue, once one of the dingiest stops in the entire transit system.

And $83 million -- including $73 million from the city -- has been pledged to create better parking, new streets and open space. A new cultural center is expected to open by 2009.

"It's a long process," said Reichenthal. "But people should come down this year and imagine what all those empty lots are going to look like in a couple of years. It's the start of a new era."


Copyright 2006 Reuters.

antinimby
May 31st, 2006, 01:19 AM
Very exciting, can't wait to see the rebirth. Will definitely be one of the first in line in 2009 to see it all, for myself. :)

Eugenious
June 5th, 2006, 11:14 AM
Very exciting, can't wait to see the rebirth. Will definitely be one of the first in line in 2009 to see it all, for myself. :)

Lol, good luck! It'll take much more then a billion dollars to change that area, the ghetto projects will still be there.

What they need is to open club's, cabarets, and pubs all along coney island. Make it like Miami Beach, now that I would applaud.

SuddenImpact
June 18th, 2006, 06:31 AM
America's Playground redevelopment plan unveiled for Coney Island

NEW YORK (AP) — An $83 million Coney Island redevelopment plan with a goal of restoring the fading beachfront attraction to its former status as America's Playground was announced Wednesday. (Photo gallery: Top boardwalks)

The Coney Island Strategic Plan, two years in the making, aims to transform Stillwell Avenue into a public open space, possibly add a hotel and spa on Surf Avenue, create a multicultural community center and make improvements to the famed boardwalk.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the city will pledge $73 million to the plan, while Brooklyn will kick in $7 million and the federal government another $3.2 million.

"Coney Island holds a special place in New York City's history, and the redevelopment plan will celebrate its unique character while ensuring a spectacular future," Bloomberg said.

The plan will create about 2,000 permanent jobs, 10,000 construction jobs and more than $1 billion in private investment over the next two decades, the mayor's office said.

Work on some aspects of the plan will begin immediately, with boardwalk improvements expected to finish by the end of 2007 and the redesigned Stillwell Midway and new cultural center anticipated to open by 2009.

The world-renowned beach is home to the Cyclone roller coaster and the Astroland amusement park with the famous Wonder Wheel. Coney Island hosts more than 5 million visitors every summer ; its more famous visitors from its halcyon days included Charles Lindbergh and Sigmund Freud.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This AP article appeared in USA Today last fall and I was wondering about the part which I've highlighted. Does Coney really draw 5 million each summer? I've heard 2 million, but 5???

SuddenImpact
June 18th, 2006, 06:33 AM
One more question. I'll ask it again on the Child's thread. Does anyone know what that building is behind the old restaurant? Has that been Land Marked as well? (Thanks in advance!)

Eugenious
June 18th, 2006, 08:37 PM
June 18, 2006

nytimes.com
In Coney Island, Marbury Has Message but No News

By HOWARD BECK (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=HOWARD%20BECK&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=HOWARD%20BECK&inline=nyt-per)

At the opening of his annual basketball tournament in Coney Island, Knicks (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/newyorkknicks/index.html?inline=nyt-org)Stephon Marbury (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/stephon_marbury/index.html?inline=nyt-per) pledged yesterday to build "a new movement" to help children move out of poverty — and out of Coney Island.
Marbury, surrounded by a couple of dozen children, spoke of self-reliance and job creation and invoked the names of Oprah Winfrey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/oprah_winfrey/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Jay-Z (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/j/jayz/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Sean Combs (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/sean_combs/index.html?inline=nyt-per). Point guard Marbury grew up in the neighborhood's Surfside Gardens projects. His tournament, now in its 11th year, is held in honor of Jason Sowell, a high school teammate known as Juice who was shot and killed nearby in 1995.

"My message to the kids of Coney Island is: 'Don't want to live here. Don't want to be in Coney Island all your life,' " Marbury said. "And if somebody tells you different, don't deal with them people, because they want you to stay here. So what I'm doing is trying to give kids hope, and allow them to understand that with hard work and dedication, preparation, all of those different things, they'll be able to succeed."
Marbury spoke of creating jobs and other avenues out of poverty. He said he would pay barbers in his former neighborhood to give residents free haircuts.

He also said he would sponsor a line of low-cost sports apparel, to be marketed and sold by the Steve and Barry's chain, which has a location in Manhattan.

"The sneaker's going to be $14.98, the same exact shoe that you can go and spend $220 for," Marbury said. "What we're trying to do is allow kids to understand that we can still have the fly stuff, and we don't got to pay a whole bunch of money. The way how this world is right now, we need more people like me."

Marbury declined to talk about the Knicks — he chastised a reporter who asked about the team — but did mention Coach Larry Brown (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/larry_brown/index.html?inline=nyt-per), who is expected to be fired soon. Brown and Marbury openly clashed throughout the season.

Marbury called the past year "the best year of my life," explaining that "my mind was trapped, and now my mind is free." When asked what opened him up, Marbury said, "Larry Brown."

"I love Larry Brown, period," he said. "I was tested. But that's all it was, was a test. I passed the test. I'm moving on to the next phase."
Marbury told reporters he would answer questions about the Knicks during a conference call today. A team spokesman later said that no call was planned.

Scruffy88
June 18th, 2006, 08:55 PM
it would be fantastic to lose the coney island houses but that would never happen. it would cost too much to relocate a couple thousand people

TREPYE
June 22nd, 2006, 04:15 PM
This ought to be really nice to see at Coney Island.

From today's Daily News:

Bright idea in Coney

Coney Islands's long-defunct Parachute Jump is set to become the beacon of the Boardwalk.
With the flick of a switch, the Brooklyn landmark will be bathed in lights come July 7.
The amusement mecca’s tallest structure will be lit by 17 flood lamps, 150 light fixtures and 450 LED lights in a display that will be seen from as far away as Long Island.
"Once a symbol of Coney Island’s bygone era, lighting the Parachute Jump signals its return as a luminous landmark of the Brooklyn of today and generations to come," said Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Manhattan artist Leni Schwendinger designed six lighting schemes for the 277-foot landmark, including a red, pink and amber sequence that will last through the summer. On weekends, pulsing white flood lights and a red LED strobe will dance along the Boardwalk.
"It’s incredibly exciting," Schwendinger, 53, told the Daily News. "It’s just a spectacular structure, and a total challenge to light."
The Parachute Jump will be illuminated from dusk until midnight May through October. The remainder of the year it will be lit from dusk until 11 p.m.

Kris
July 4th, 2006, 02:30 AM
July 4, 2006
Down by the Boardwalk, a $1 Billion Revival Plan
By CHARLES V. BAGLI

Joey Coney Island is making a stand at the corner of Stillwell and Surf Avenues, amid the fortune tellers, the freak shows, the bumper cars and the Boardwalk.

It is here that Joey, better known in the business world as Joseph J. Sitt, chairman of Thor Equities, unfurls his grand $1 billion plan to revive what is left of Coney Island's historic amusement district.

There are drawings of high-tech arcades, a glass-enclosed water park, hotels, restaurants and waterfront condominiums. He describes an entertainment complex that features the most far out, "over the top" attractions, from an indoor ski hill and a giant Ferris wheel to a dirigible and helicopter landing station atop a tower.

"I view Coney Island as a national and international treasure," said Mr. Sitt, 41, who lives only blocks away. "The trick is to create a venue that will entertain families and young adults. My mission is to create a one-stop amusement complex that would have great rides and interesting retail."

Like any carny barker's patter, Mr. Sitt's dreams for Coney Island can sound far-fetched. He is at least 18 months away from construction and needs city approval for some elements of his plan, including a proposal to build luxury apartments in the amusement district.

But unlike previous promoters, Mr. Sitt has spent more than $100 million buying property here. He has the deep pockets to develop the project, and at least for now, some support from city officials, local politicians, the community board and old-timers on the Boardwalk.

"There'll be a lot of debates, no doubt," said Chuck Reichenthal, the longtime district manager of Community Board 13, which covers Coney Island. "But everybody is looking forward to things happening that can help the community and the amusement district."

Mr. Sitt, whose company buys and develops commercial, residential and retail properties nationwide, grew up nearby, frequently ducking out of school to hang out at the amusement parks, earning him the nickname Joey Coney Island.

Despite the beaches that still draw millions of visitors on summer weekends and a minor league ballpark that attracts sell-out crowds, Coney Island does not look like a treasure. It can be ghostly quiet in the winter. The amusement district has shrunk. There are many empty storefronts along Surf Avenue, which parallels the waterfront, and vacant lots covered in weeds.

The heyday of Coney Island dates back to the first half of the last century, when it was the most popular resort in the country. The subways brought visitors by the millions to Steeplechase and Luna Parks, as well as the beaches, restaurants and hotels. The area fell into decline after World War II. Since then, developers have periodically presented plans for a revival, or a gambling hub, that have quickly disappeared.

The Bloomberg administration, however, has focused on Coney Island, completing a $240 million renovation of the Stillwell Avenue subway terminal and committing $83.2 million for neighborhood improvements, including new parking, a community center and a facelift for Surf and Mermaid Avenues. Residential developers have moved in, driving up land prices.

And the Coney Island Development Corporation has spent several years devising a zoning plan to preserve and expand the amusement district, while encouraging new apartments houses and stores nearby. The corporation expects to put the plan through the city's approval process this fall.

With a residential building boom on the city's waterfront, Mr. Sitt began buying property in Coney Island three years ago, much of it, he said, from the descendants of Nathan Handwerker, who founded the Nathan's Famous hot dog stand, and George C. Tilyou, whose Steeplechase Park was a prime Coney Island attraction from 1897 to 1964.

Mr. Sitt is now focused on more than four blocks south of Surf Avenue, from 12th to 15th Streets. After complaints from residents and city officials, he scrapped earlier plans for an indoor mall with warehouse-style stores and a theater for Cirque du Soleil in favor of designs that are more open to the neighborhood and in line with Coney Island.

"Too Bellagio," Mr. Reichenthal said, referring to the Las Vegas resort.

Nathan's would remain in place. But Mr. Sitt plans to replace the bumper boats and go-cart track with a year-round water park on the east side of Stillwell Avenue that would be connected to a family-oriented, S-shaped hotel, which would include apartments and time-share units.

On the west side of Stillwell, there would be a second, more luxurious, 500-room hotel and a condominium tower on the Boardwalk. Plans call for a dramatic entrance to the complex. The towers, ranging from more than 20 stories to more than 30 stories, would sit atop a shopping center, a modern game arcade and a multiplex theater.

"Our approach to regenerating Coney Island amusements is to make them an integral part of an authentic urban district," said Mr. Sitt's architect, Stanton Eckstut, who was the master planner for Battery Park City and for the MGM Mirage project in Las Vegas. "It will be year-round, mixed-use, with real streets."

Mr. Sitt says he is talking to Nickelodeon about a family-oriented hotel and to the race car driver Mario Andretti about a racing attraction. But his proposals for high-rise towers and housing in the amusement district are not what the Coney Island Development Corporation had in mind when it devised its plans.

Joshua J. Sirefman, chairman of the Coney Island Development Corporation and interim president of the city's Economic Development Corporation, said the administration was willing to consider Mr. Sitt's proposal "if it makes the project more viable and we can ensure the amusement and entertainment uses are protected."

The project has won an endorsement from Anthony Berlingieri and Carlo Muraco, co-owners of Shoot the Freak, a shooting gallery on the Boardwalk where patrons fire paint balls at a heavily padded "freak" who sprints around a courtyard wedged between a food stand and a souvenir stand. Although they say Mr. Sitt is a fan, they are also worried that Coney Island's traditional attractions may be squeezed out.

"We're for anything good for Coney Island," Mr. Muraco said. "We just want to be part of it. I question, will we be able to afford the rent? Nobody's getting rich here."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

TREPYE
July 8th, 2006, 02:58 AM
Flower of a Tower Is Relighted in Coney Island

By ANDY NEWMAN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/andy_newman/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: July 8, 2006
For 41 years, darkness was upon the face of the Parachute Jump in Coney Island.
Skip to next paragraph (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/08/nyregion/08parachute.html#secondParagraph) Enlarge this Image (javascript:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/07/07/nyregion/09parachute.1.ready.html', '09parachute_1_ready', 'width=370,height=600,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,r esizable=yes'))
http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/07/07/nyregion/190-parachute.jpg (javascript:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/07/07/nyregion/09parachute.1.ready.html', '09parachute_1_ready', 'width=370,height=600,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,r esizable=yes'))Richard Perry/The New York Times
After 41 years of darkness, the lights on the Parachute Jump on Coney Island were turned on.



The 277-foot tower, shaped like a giant blossom at the end of a tapering stalk, dropped its last screaming rider in 1965 and fell silent. For years it rotted, a skeletal symbol of Coney Island's long decline, narrowly escaping demolition.
Last night, the city turned the lights back on. As an eager crowd jammed the boardwalk, a switch was thrown and the Parachute Jump was bathed in red and purple light, as shivering patterns chased each other across its girders.
There are still no riders, and no parachutes, but the jump is back in the night sky above the boardwalk.
"Not exactly how it was when I was a kid," said Brooklyn's borough president, Marty Markowitz, "but it will be a beacon of light for this and future generations, harking and heralding Coney Island as a place where dreams come true."
The reviews from those assembled were muted. Phyllis Carbo, 70, who rode on the Parachute Jump as a girl, hesitated when asked for her opinion. "I'm running for Assembly on the Republican line, so I have to be very careful," she said. "I'm impressed."
Even the evening's master of ceremonies, Dick Zigun, one of Coney Island's leading boosters, pronounced the light show "very subtle."
Others were less restrained.
"Did they light it already? Is this it?" asked Joe Joya, 63.
His wife, Jane, 61, said, "I thought it was going to be a lot brighter. I thought that the lights were going to be more of a Vegas type of thing."
Her husband added: "You're not going to see that from Staten Island."
A few feet away, Marsha Lightman, 50, disagreed: "I think it's awesome. This isn't Vegas, it's Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York."
Her friend Joy Harvey, 55, stood transfixed next to her, taking a video of the lights with her digital camera. "It's amazing," Ms. Harvey said. "This is Coney Island."
"This is what it was," Ms. Lightman said.
"Is," her friend corrected.

ablarc
July 8th, 2006, 08:39 AM
The reviews from those assembled were muted. Phyllis Carbo, 70, who rode on the Parachute Jump as a girl, hesitated when asked for her opinion. "I'm running for Assembly on the Republican line, so I have to be very careful," she said. "I'm impressed."
What does that mean?

Eugenious
July 8th, 2006, 10:31 AM
What does that mean?

I think she either forgot to take her alzheimers medication today or republicans dont want no parachute jumps in coney island.

Anarchy77
July 8th, 2006, 12:43 PM
I haven't read each page of this thread and this may have come up, but are the gangs running the streets of coney island like they were back in the 80's?

lofter1
July 8th, 2006, 08:09 PM
From http://www.gothamist.com/ :

http://www.gothamist.com/attachments/garth/2006_07_08_parachute.jpg

ablarc
July 8th, 2006, 09:35 PM
^ Looks right purty.

lofter1
July 8th, 2006, 11:34 PM
It'd be even purtier with actual parachutes ...

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/FIP/NY-00261-C~Parachute-Jump-Ride-Coney-Island-New-York-City-Posters.jpg

http://www.astelladevelopment.org/images/jumping.gifhttp://www.astelladevelopment.org/images/parachute.gif

lofter1
July 9th, 2006, 12:39 AM
It seems some folks aren't happy with anything ...

***

lofter1
July 9th, 2006, 01:51 AM
http://www.freakingnews.com/entries/13000/13271-Shocking-Revelation_w.jpg (http://www.freakingnews.com/register.asp)

http://www.freakingnews.com/view.asp?entry=16700&display=photoshop

lofter1
July 9th, 2006, 01:55 AM
Munch Meets Pollack


http://www.freakingnews.com/entries/13000/13258-Munch-Meets-Pollack_w.jpg (http://www.freakingnews.com/register.asp)

Edvard Munch ("The Scream")
Jackson Pollack (whatever)

http://www.freakingnews.com/view.asp?entry=16684&display=photoshop

lofter1
July 9th, 2006, 01:57 AM
Alien Autopsy

http://www.freakingnews.com/entries/13000/13270-Alien-Autopsy_w.jpg (http://www.freakingnews.com/register.asp)

'Anatomy of a Scream' is a composite of Rembrandt's 'Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp' (http://www.karlloren.com/ultrasound/images/batulp.jpg) and Munch's 'The Scream' (http://www.wooster.edu/history/gshaya/imag/munch_scream.gif).

http://www.freakingnews.com/view.asp?entry=16696&display=photoshop

krulltime
July 26th, 2006, 01:28 PM
This is from http://www.eekarchitects.com


http://63.240.68.122/FirmFiles/8/images/Site-Plan-lg.jpg

http://63.240.68.122/FirmFiles/8/images/Aerial-View-lg.jpg

http://63.240.68.122/FirmFiles/8/images/Stillwell-Walk-Night-lg.jpg

http://63.240.68.122/FirmFiles/8/images/Stillwell-lg.jpg


Coney Island Redevelopment

Brooklyn, New York Redevelopment of 10-acre site into a mixed-use entertainment complex which will include residential, hotel, retail and a new waterpark. This redevelopment fits into the master plan as developed by the Coney Island Development Corporation.

pianoman11686
July 26th, 2006, 02:12 PM
I believe these architects are the same people leading the design of the new MGM Project City Center in Las Vegas. It shows.

Dagrecco82
July 26th, 2006, 03:18 PM
Is that a Ferris Wheel on the water's edge???

tmg
July 26th, 2006, 03:51 PM
Coney Island's rides are thrilling in part because they're high above the ground - or give the perception of being high above the ground. I think the illusion and therefore the thrill would be lost if they are dwarfed by such big towers.

This really doesn't seem consistent with the site plan we saw before.

BPC
July 27th, 2006, 12:35 AM
hate it

ZippyTheChimp
July 27th, 2006, 12:58 AM
Luxury housing on the beach. I knew it would come to that.

They should clean up the creek and put the housing on Neptune Ave.

Fabrizio
July 27th, 2006, 05:43 AM
All of these entertainment style environments are starting to look tired...Vegas/Atlantic City/42nd street/Disney etc....over manufactured...planned spontaneity....no charm there.

No more room for the hand-painted, weathered, rickety, ...not even one blown light bulb.

ablarc
July 28th, 2006, 09:46 PM
I guess we just like things run down.

BPC
July 29th, 2006, 12:01 AM
It's what Zippy said. Coney Island is treated in this plan just an after thought, to be swallowed up by a giant beachfront luxury condo complex. Is this really the best we can hope for one of NYC's cultural treasures?

ablarc
July 29th, 2006, 08:32 AM
What I don't like about it is that it's dull, derivative, lacking in conviction, relies on cliches. It's got no class. Reminds me of the new Times Square.

It has the same deadly tedium as Disney World.

BPC
July 29th, 2006, 12:35 PM
That too.

lofter1
July 29th, 2006, 03:16 PM
I guess we just like things run down.

For my own experience it's more that I respond to something that seems organic -- that has evolved in bits and pieces to become a whole of interesting and varied aspects. Where I can sense the individual creative energy that was put into a particular ride, game, side-show, sign ...

The corporate creations such as Disneyland, Six Flags, Universal Studios, etc. are,i,n their own way, fun as all get-out. But give me a ride on the Cyclone anyday -- where the open sky looms above and the ocean reaches out towards infinity. The limitlessness of the surroundings frees the mind to experience the other-ness that is essential to a great roller coaster ride.

Enclosing / encircling / book-ending the Coney Island boardwalk area with high-rise development will diminish the experience and should be avoided.

Just move the big new ones back a bit ...

virtualchoirboy
July 30th, 2006, 12:09 PM
What I don't like about it is that it's dull, derivative, lacking in conviction, relies on cliches. It's got no class. Reminds me of the new Times Square.

It has the same deadly tedium as Disney World.

I have heard this about Tiems Square before. I don't see what the problem is with the square. It may be filled with tourists, but thats to be expected. I remember Times Square before and if given a choice...I take this one.

I am curious, what would you change about the area.

lofter1
July 30th, 2006, 12:39 PM
Somehow ^^ get the tourists to figure out that when 5 of them stop at a crosswalk that says "WALK" to pull out their map and figure out where they're going that they're not making any friends in NYC ...

Please, step to the edge of the buildings when your parade halts -- get out of our way and let us NYers continue on with our business :cool:

***

ablarc
July 30th, 2006, 01:08 PM
I don't see what the problem is with the square. It may be filled with tourists, but thats to be expected. I remember Times Square before and if given a choice...I take this one.
There's no real problem with the Square. The tourists find it amazing and it's great to pass through on your way to a show. But as a repeat destination for a New Yorker (or even a frequent visitor) it's boring compared with a dozen other places.

I would not have sanitized it quite so thoroughly.

There have been proposals to divert vehicles. If done with intelligence, this might be worth a trial.



Oh, and to my eye, the old neon was better than the new digital signs.

BrooklynRider
July 31st, 2006, 05:57 PM
This conceptual plan obliterates the Amusement Zone and brings condos to the beach. It is totally inappropriate and drives a nail in the coffin of te Coney Island brand, which could be used top great fiscal advantage by the city. BUILD AMUSEMENTS IN THE AMUSEMENT ZONE. Rebuod the Tornado, Thunderbolt and Bobsled Rollercoasters. This is a real affront to the histry of the area. How long before people in these hideous buildings start complaining about "noise" and "qualit of life" issues in the Amusement Zone.

NO WAY!

ablarc
July 31st, 2006, 07:22 PM
How long before people in these hideous buildings start complaining about "noise" and "qualit of life" issues in the Amusement Zone.
You could write in their leases or deeds that they understand they're living in an amusement park, and that such complaints cannot be made. Other than this issue, the mixed use doesn't bother me as much as the pallid design.

BrooklynRider
July 31st, 2006, 10:27 PM
This is the only C7 district left in the city and it is the Coney Island C7 Amusement Zone. Housing and Hotel buildings do not belong there AT ALL.

BPC
July 31st, 2006, 11:27 PM
I simply do not believe that this City cares so little for its history as to allow this atrocity to happen. Coney Island may be down on the heels, but it still brings joy to hundreds of thousands of persons every year. To transform this priceless piece of NYC history into a backdrop for a oceanfront condo development is just plain obscene.