The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea
Friday, October 31, 2008
Our friends at Property Shark have done some sales numbers crunching for the year-to-date, to see where in Brooklyn the million dollar sales were happening.
Although the Aces won't have to compete for audiences with the borough's beloved Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team because their seasons don't overlap, the stakes to win the hearts of Brooklyn sports fans are still high.
Firriolo is confident his deck of Aces will make the borough proud.
"The Cyclones are a great model in a minor league. Our goal is to have the same presence," he said.
For tickets and team information, check out www.brooklynaces.com.
The Brooklyn Paper
To the editor,
Your Oct. 18 editorial (“Bloomberg’s Coney baloney”) regarding the city’s recent purchase of property in Coney Island’s amusement district misunderstands the city’s strategy for preserving the open amusements that are Coney’s defining feature.
The city’s number one goal, as part of a comprehensive plan to revitalize Coney Island, is to ensure that its iconic rides, arcades, food stands and other outdoor amusements are open and accessible in perpetuity.
While the city does propose to “map” the nine-acre open amusement area as parkland, it is not true that “virtually anything can be built” in mapped parkland. In fact, designation of property as “mapped parkland” permanently prohibits hotels, condos, convention centers and other similar commercial uses.
State legislation that will be sought by the administration will allow for a long-term lease of mapped parkland for amusement-related uses only, to promote the vitality of Coney Island’s amusement area while ensuring that incompatible uses can never be developed there.
Mapping the open amusement area as “parkland” is the best way to ensure that Coney Island’s amusements are protected irrespective of economic pressures — something existing zoning has failed to do.
The state legislation will be subject to public scrutiny. Under the zoning proposal that will be considered early next year, open amusements in the “mapped parkland” will become the centerpiece of a 27-acre year-round amusement district with — on the privately owned parcels — open and enclosed amusements, hotels, water parks, restaurants, performance venues, skating rinks and similar complementary attractions.
Amanda Burden, Manhattan
City Planning Commissioner
Local Boys Skate Their Way On to Brooklyn’s First Professional Hockey Team
by Tom Kane (email@example.com), published online 10-30-2008
Brooklyn Aces Scoops Up Talent from Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst
By Tom Kane Brooklyn Eagle
The Aviator Sports Complex at Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park will be the new home of the newest Brooklyn franchise in sports, The Brooklyn Aces.
This minor league hockey squad is the brainchild of Curtis Russel, Igor Mrotchek and Alan Friedman, and is part of the new Eastern Professional Hockey League. Head Coach Chris Firriolo is the former Syracuse Stars GM and coach, and has said, “Brooklyn is a tremendous community with such a rich tradition and long history of professional sports. I’m really excited to become a part of Brooklyn’s first professional hockey team and help continue that great tradition that has made Brooklyn the great sports town it is today.”
EPHL Commissioner Jim Riggs says of the Brooklyn team, “I am looking forward to watching a roster of junior hockey players and college players looking to strengthen their game taking the ice right here in Brooklyn.”
That is just what’s on the ice for this Aces team, a great mix of talent, hard-hitting players, with the added attraction of three Brooklyn boys on this inaugural squad. They are James Brannigan of Dyker Heights, Jerry Cardinale of Bensonhurst and Miroslav Recicar who now resides in Bay Ridge.
Brooklyn Paper Excerpt -
Lord Markowitz! Term-limit clears path for Beep-eat
By Mike McLaughlin
It ain’t over until Marty says it’s over.
The controversial term limits extension cleared the decks for a third term for Borough President Markowitz as several leading opponents quickly bowed out despite increasing scrutiny of the Beep’s ethics and overall record.
One day after the City Council’s Oct. 23 vote to extend term limits from eight to 12 years, Markowitz announced that he would take full advantage.
“It was always his dream to serve Brooklyn as borough president, and [he] would be honored to serve Brooklynites for another term if the voters allow him that opportunity,” his spokesman Mark Zustovich told The Brooklyn Paper.
And with those words, Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope) and Councilman Charles Barron (D–East New York) announced that they would campaign for other positions.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The family of a California musician who snapped his neck and died in a downhill plunge on the Cyclone sued the city Wednesday for failing to keep the Coney Island roller coaster safe.
Keith Shirasawa was in New York celebrating his 53rd birthday on July 31, 2007, when he decided to take a ride the 80-year-old New York landmark.
Shirasawa was descending the ride's first hill when his neck snapped and he fractured several bones in his neck, a suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court charges. He died five days later.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Finally! After delays and ballooning costs dating back to the Pataki administration, construction at Brooklyn Bridge Park is slated to get underway next month.
That's the promise of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp.
"I'm sure we are starting this November - really sure," said BBPD President Regina Myer. "We actually have the money to build. This is a very important step."
Using state and city funds, the corporation awarded a $47 million contract last week to Skanska USA for the first phase of park construction. The money covers construction on Pier 1 and a new entrance to the park at Old Fulton St.
"Every park needs a great entrance," Myer said. "And there will be two wonderful viewing lawns with new topography to accentuate the views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the upper harbor."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The absolute reason Coney must and will change.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz discussed yesterday another Coney Island project: a $64 million plan to build a partially-enclosed amphitheater at Asser Levy Park — located at West Fifth Street and Surf Avenue, near the New York Aquarium. He wants the spot to be on par with Jones Beach, the Garden State Arts Center and Radio City Music Hall as a stop on musician’s summer world tours. In the winter, he hopes it could be used for ice skating, junior soccer leagues or other recreation.
City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden welcomed ideas to enhance “Coney Island's unique edgy character and open accessibility.” But she issued a statement saying, “It is imperative that the rezoning process and timeline not be jeopardized by any reconsideration of our proposed rezoning boundaries.”
Burden expects the seven-month public approval process to begin in January.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Full statement below:
As part of the public planning process, the City has engaged in scores of meetings with a wide variety of local and citywide stakeholders in shaping its current rezoning proposal for a year-round 27-acre amusement district with outdoor and enclosed amusements. We of course welcome innovative ideas for a 21st century destination that keeps and enhances Coney Island's unique edgy character and open accessibility.
However, it is imperative that the rezoning process and timeline not be jeopardized by any reconsideration of our proposed rezoning boundaries or urban design parameters. After two scoping sessions and significant public input, we expect to begin the public approval process in early 2009, which will culminate in a vote on the plan by the City Council in the summer of 2009. It is imperative that this rezoning proceed expeditiously, otherwise the Coney Island amusement area that we know and love will cease to exist. We welcome ideas about how to best design, structure and program a year-round amusement district with an open and accessible Amusement Park as its centerpiece.
Quite obviously city plans are not changing.
5 years of the CIDC and no rezoning yet??? Get it done already for goodness sake!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Excerpt from Oct 20th
MARTY MARKOWITZ'S MILLIONS
Blog post: Atlantic Yards follow-up from No Land Grab
Blog post: Markowitz press release on Atlantic Yards from Coney Rocks
LOL Baby steps
* * *IMAX SYSTEM To Come To Sheepshead Bay.
The IMAX digital-projection system will be available starting Thursday at the U.A. Sheepshead Bay Stadium multiplex theater in Brooklyn.
Using the IMAX digital projection system, this theater and others in the Regal chain will showcase Hollywood movies that have been digitally remastered into the IMAX format.
“We are extremely pleased to open our newest IMAX locations and to utilize the new IMAX digital project system at these theaters,” said Dick Westerling, senior vice president of Regal Entertainment Group.
Several of today’s biggest Hollywood releases, including “The Dark Knight,” “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Spider-Man 3” and others, have been converted into the IMAX format.
WALLS OF DARKNESS
Brooklyn's Newest & Scariest
Haunted House Experience
From Oct 10th-Nov 1st
Hours Friday & Saturdays 6:00PM-12:00PM
Sunday - Thursday 6:00PM- 10:30PM
For complete details on the walls of darkness, haunted hay ride, pumpkin picking and more
call 917-567-7030 or 917-567-7441
The supermarket giant Whole Foods has revealed that it cannot develop its toxic, Gowanus Canal zone site by itself and must now call in an outside developer to finish the stalled project.
The announcement led to concerns that the long-stalled project, at Third Avenue and Third Street at the western end of Park Slope, would expand into a larger shopping center.
“They might want to make this into a bigger project,” said Ken Fisher, a land-use lawyer and former councilman from Brooklyn Heights.
Launch Set For Oct. 27
Compiled by Linda CollinsBrooklyn Daily Eagle
The Municipal Art Society (MAS) has invited a team of world-class architects, amusement designers and economists to come up with a new vision for Coney Island.
The MAS will launch an initiative to develop the new ideas at a press conference at noon on today, Monday, Oct. 27, at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Titled “Imagine Coney,” the new initiative will feature a global web-based call for ideas and a charrette (an intense design workshop), featuring international amusement and design experts from Tivoli Gardens in Denmark, Broadway theaters in Manhattan and former Disney executives.
Participants in the press conference will include Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and representatives from the Coney Island Development Corporation, the Department of City Planning, Coney Island USA, the Astella Development Corporation, the New York Aquarium, Creative Time, and other local stakeholders.
When Marty gets involved in a Brooklyn neighborhood, that area development will get done! Good news!
“One of my philosophies is that what ‘once was’ can be again,” he said.
In New York, where Mr. Sitt owns 11 waterfront acres of Coney Island, he is having a hard time proving the point. (His plans for hotels and condominiums have failed to win city approval, and the future of the area is in doubt.)
But in Chicago, Mr. Sitt has restored the Palmer House Hilton, a huge hotel he bought in 2005. The hotel had been a dowager for so long, according to Mr. Sitt, that Chicagoans were skeptical about his promises to bring it back to life. But the renovation has not only improved the hotel, it has also helped revive a once-downtrodden section of the Loop.
Never underestimate a tough Brooklyn kid like Joe!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
• We’ve repeatedly asked why the Bloomberg Administration feels it must rezone Coney Island’s amusement area from its current “amusement only” zoning to “park land.” City officials told us that such “park land” zoning would protect Coney’s amusement area better than the “amusement only” zoning — but on further investigation, city officials admitted that virtually anything can be built on “park land.” As a result, the mayor’s “park land” rezoning is hardly an insurance policy for Coney’s future as “the people’s playground.” The city plan calls for buying land — at a cost of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars! — rezoning it, and then turning it over to a hand-picked developer. And what happens when that developer comes back and says the revenue projections have fallen short? Thanks to “park land” zoning, the city could allow that developer to build a hotel or anything else. So much for an amusement-only zone!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Internal Revenue Service issued rules Tuesday on whether the Nets basketball arena planned for Brooklyn can access $800 million in triple tax-free bonds.
The Nets' owner, Bruce Ratner, had considered the tax ruling crucial to plans for a new Brooklyn arena, the centerpiece of the Atlantic Yards development. Mr. Ratner has said he wants to pay for the $950 million arena by raising up to $800 million in tax-exempt bonds
28. City Councilman Domenic Recchia, Coney Island landowner Thor Equities' main ally in the city, threatened to block the rezoning proposal if concessions weren't made to allow for more privately-owned hotel rooms and entertainment retail while reducing the city-owned amusement area. He also had a hand in killing the perimeter redesign for the New York Aquarium in favor of a flashy shark exhibit. The New York Observer observed that Recchia "holds a seat of more power than perhaps any other figure involved with the historic amusement center’s future right now."
Thank goodness that Domenic is making sure Coney development is happening!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
You probably don’t know David Isaev, owner of Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, and he likes that. Wearing a fitted navy blue dress shirt, he dipped a sugar cube in his cup of tea and dissolved the cube in his mouth.
Isaev comes off as confident if not arrogant. He looks like a James Bond-type character, not sure if he’d be the charming good guy or the villain.
He is considered both by residents of Sheepshead Bay. Some see a visionary, intent on injecting life into the Bay by providing a quality market where one can buy cooked meals and them on a balcony overlooking store.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Here is a link to the website for the theater
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Expect more twists and turns between now and the start of the rezoning process, which at last word from the city was slated to begin in December and run through next summer.
A logical starting point as Coney Island's core is deserted during the winter. There is no better time to start the process of approving a year round plan.
By 2013 the Atlantic Yards arena (Barclay's arena) and the new Coney (including the amphitheater) should both be complete as Brooklyn catapults itself into direct competition with Manhattan as the center of NYC.
This Brooklyn development renaissance has been going on for well over a decade and will not be stopped. Nimbys can complain. The economy can have its ups and downs.
The Big Picture is Brooklyn is growing and changing. Nobody can stop it. The competition with Manhattan is inevitable. Basically we will be seeing a new Times Square (Coney) and a new Madison Square Garden (Atlantic Yards /Barclay's) tranforming Brooklyn.
These successful Manhattan models of huge development are definitely where Brooklyn is heading.
BP MARKOWITZ STATEMENT ON STATUS OF ATLANTIC YARDS PROJECT
“I am disappointed by the recent New York State Appellate Division denial of the motion to dismiss the eminent domain suit filed by opponents of Atlantic Yards.
I truly believe that in the current economy, Brooklyn needs the kind of investment that Atlantic Yards will bring—the union jobs and affordable housing it will create. Projects like this one are catalysts for job creation and growth, and Atlantic Yards is a very important part of the effort to help Downtown Brooklyn, which is so well-served by public transit, become the kind of live-work hub and center of cultural life that our borough of 2.5 million has long deserved.
Though it’s certainly unfortunate that it now faces a delay during a time when our borough needs good jobs and housing more urgently than ever, I remain optimistic that Atlantic Yards will be built and that it will indeed be a strong economic engine for Brooklyn and New York City far into the future.”
—Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
Coney Island's history is defined by change ("Coney Gains a Big Amusement Spark," Oct. 16).
About every 20 years, a renewed Coney Island has emerged, but that 20-year cycle of renewal ended by the 1950s. Since then, the only major changes were the beautiful new subway station and Keyspan Park.
Along the amusement stretch of the boardwalk, the only addition has been the arrival of Shoot the Freak, which operates in the open air on a sliver of land formerly occupied by a dilapidated building. Is that progress?
Coney Island contains some of the most valuable, but underutilized, real estate in Brooklyn, perhaps the entire city. It's long past the time to bring this asset up to date. Sadly, the wait is getting longer.
Chris Bischof, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Much of the area is currently designated under a highly restrictive zoning category, known as C7, that permits only large amusement rides. This has contributed to the area’s decline, as many amusement properties that have closed have not been replaced or redeveloped.
The city plans to begin a seven-month rezoning process late this year or early next year. “It would be optimal to have as much support as possible,” said Seth Pinksy, president of the Economic Development Corporation, the agency that handled the negotiation for the city.
He said that by the time the process was completed, he hoped to have support “from all the local players.”
The city and Thor Equities, the largest landowner in the area, had been at loggerheads despite a proposed compromise by the Bloomberg administration to shrink the city-owned amusement area that would be protected in perpetuity to 9 acres from 15. “We continue to stand behind the rezoning framework,” Mr. Pinsky said. “We think it’s the right plan for Coney Island both from an amusement perspective and for the larger community.”
Asking $6.5 Mil
1205 - 1207 Bowery Street
Asking $4.5 Mil
December 29, 1907, Sunday
Page 7, 650 words
Full article here
Sunset Park is a fast-rising neighborhood with old-fashioned New York diversity. Across the street from a park with one of Brooklyn's great swimming pools, this 44-unit building straddles a full-fledged Chinatown and an area with great Latino flair. Through the FHA, the building offers first-time homebuyers with incomes below $75,000 a full $7,500 tax credit. Halstead Properties is handling the sales; call (718) 878-1792 if interested.
Catering to the entire neighborhood, sales people fluent in English, Spanish and Chinese are on staff. One Sunset Park is the perfect building for those looking for emerging neighborhoods with a huge upside in appreciation.
“Someday, I see the Gowanus as the Venice of Brooklyn. I really do!” Markowitz enthused. But even the ever-optimistic borough cheerleader doesn’t recommend swimming in the Gowanus. “But you can already take a little canoe there; they have that regularly,” he said. “But there are no fish that have been sighted there yet," Markowitz cautioned. "And if there are, I wouldn’t suggest you eat it.”
Friday, October 17, 2008
Ratner revealed this week that a recent decision by the courts would keep the Nets from moving into their yet-to-be-built Downtown digs until 2011 at the earliest – that’s a four-year delay from the original land date proposed by the real estate magnate back in 2004 when he took control of the franchise. “Let me be clear that the project will go forward,” insists Ratner, who is featuring the Downtown arena as the centerpiece for his plan to reshape the Brooklyn skyline with up to 16 new skyscrapers.
SHEEPSHEAD BAY —
A new European-style residential building is ready to launch sales on the waterfront in Sheepshead Bay.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony last week attracted Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to join John Reinhardt, president and CEO of Fillmore Real Estate, the exclusive sales agent for Bay Breeze Bay Breeze is described as a high-end, European-style residence offering studios to penthouses at relatively affordable prices — from the low $200,000s to the $800,000 range.
“Bay Breeze’s Sheepshead Bay neighborhood is enjoying a renaissance,” said John Reinhardt, Fillmore CEO. “Proximity to the water, boating and fishing activities, and a plethora of fine shops and amenities make it one of Brooklyn’s most desirable communities.”
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Basically amusement parks are not a very profitable business so those 9 acres will not be worth much. In my opinion that is most likely why Thor backed out of buying that 1 acre, but do notice that Ward's property on Surf Avenue was not part of the deal with the city. Thor was said to be after that property too. No further word on that.
I think Deno's kiddie park is staying where it is for the next decade and I would not at all be surprised if the city acquires the rest of the 5 acres of parkland from Thor and puts amusements there too. Why would Thor want to run low profit margin amusements in that area? Let the city handle it.
The rest of the property Thor owns in the core ( outside of the parkland) should become hotels, restaurants, indoor amusements and retail very similar to Times Square. Extremely attractive for development profitability and a year round economic boom for the community.
Basically, with Bloomberg most likely staying for another 4 year term, the city's plan is extremely likely to pass. It's a good compromise plan with a balance of amusements and indoor year round development which Coney desperately needs.
Yesterday's buy was a key indicator that the city is moving towards passing their plan quickly. And that is very good news for Coney development.
Entitled Bloomy's Coney Baloney -
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Bloomberg administration had been rushing to move forward with a rezoning of the area before Mayor Bloomberg was slated to leave office by the end of 2009, despite there being no clear resolution in sight with Thor. But with the potential for a third term lingering, the city says its timeline will stay the same.
"As far as we're concerned, it's still full steam ahead with exactly the timeline that we put forward before," said Lynn Kelly, president of the city-run Coney Island Development Corporation. The city plans to enter the seven-month public approval process for the plan this winter, she said.
Bloomberg News excerpt -
The land being purchased is between Wonder Wheel and the boardwalk and mostly contains rides for children. Wonder Wheel Park has a lease to operate the property through 2020, according to the city. The acre doesn't contain the ferris wheel or the entire park.
The land on Surf where the hotel is supposed to go was not mentioned as part of this deal. Interesting.
This was an $11 million deal for 1 acre of the 9 acre proposed parkland piece. So it looks very likely that the city is moving ahead with its very logical plan announced in June.
Another excerpt from the Bloomberg piece that is very telling -
``This important deal brings us one step closer to our twin goals of maintaining what is best about Coney Island, while simultaneously building a vibrant, modern mixed-use community,'' said EDC president Seth Pinsky.
Friday, September 19, 2008 7:59 PM EDT
To The Editor:
In regard to your recent article, “Recchia heirs on Coney plan,” I am disappointed to find that the people looking to succeed me know so little about the redevelopment proposed for our community.
First, rents will not double, or triple. We have made extensive efforts to ensure current residents will not be forced out. We are even building more affordable housing.
New York City Housing Authority rents prices are stable, and are not dictated by economic development.
Second, the proposal does have a component for a new school at Surf Avenue and West 29th Street – one that will meet and surpass the evolving needs of our city’s children. During the negotiating process, I insisted on this to handle the influx of new residents.
Third, the people of western Coney Island are not being ignored. Besides the benefits they would reap from revitalization – including jobs – they are getting a state-of-the-art community center and continued improvements to Kaiser Park.
Finally, these negotiations are not going on “behind the scenes.” The plan has been on the table, the mayor has been actively involved and there have been countless meetings and focus groups with the community to discuss the future of Coney Island.
I understand the difficulty in redeveloping our community. I also know that the only way we are going to create local jobs, spur the economy all year long, retain the spirit of Coney Island and move toward the future is to work together. Spreading incorrect information is a stumbling block on the road to revitalization.
Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is cashing in big-time by being a favorite of Mayor Bloomberg.
Since 2003, the Bloomberg administration has handed out at least $2.7 million in taxpayer cash to three nonprofit groups Markowitz set up to fund "free" concerts and other pet projects, a Post investigation has found.
The programs funded have been instrumental in boosting Markowitz's popularity and helping him get re-elected, critics charge.
Democrat Markowitz, in turn, has been a huge supporter of Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent.
He's campaigned hard for Bloomberg, calling on his own strong central Brooklyn constituency to back the mayor, political pundits say. And he's backed just about every Bloomberg development project for Brooklyn.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
America Public Media
For those of you that think Coney isn't about to change drastically- Think again!
An excellent year round plan that I am expecting to be finalized summer 2009.
IMAX and Regal Sign 31-Theater Deal
Source: IMAX Corporation
March 24, 2008
IMAX Corporation and Regal Cinemas, Inc. today announced a joint-venture agreement to install 31 IMAX® Digital projection systems at Regal locations in 20 major U.S. markets. The theaters will feature IMAX's Digital projection system which is being developed for the IMAX MPX® theatre design. The 31 IMAX® theaters announced today will expand the joint venture partnership between IMAX and Regal Cinemas to 38 theaters, and bring Regal's total number of IMAX theaters to 52 by the end of 2010.
Owners agree with HUD and reject purchase offers from the NHP Foundation and Greater Allen Development Corp.
The field of Starrett City bidders has been cut in half as the complex’s owners have officially rejected proposals from two groups. The NHP Foundation and the Greater Allen Development Corp. submitted bids despite a last-minute ruling from state and federal housing officials that they didn’t have the financial or managerial capacity to run the 46-tower development. Now, owner Starrett City Associates has followed suit and withdrawn the two bidders from contention.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
"I'm very happy the mayor is going to stay and, hopefully, get re-elected," he said. Recchia said his own extensive, but unfinished work on the rezoning of Coney Island is one reason he'd like to see four more years of Bloomberg.
"What happens if the next person doesn't pick up on the rezoning process?" he asked. "What happens if the new mayor goes in and wants to do something different?"
As for voters, he said, "If they're unhappy, they can vote him [Bloomberg] out, vote me out."
Councilman Domenic Recchia just released a statement calling on the Working Families Party to postpone its plans to interview candidatesfor the 2009 Brooklyn borough president's race tomorrow night, sayingthe labor-backed party should wait until the term limits question is settled.
"We should wait until the term limits situation is resolved, not just because it would radically alter the electoral landscape, but out ofdeference to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz," Recchia said.
"Marty has done a phenomenal job as Brooklyn Borough President and deserves the opportunity to be considered by all organizations that will be endorsing candidates for the 2009 election."
"As councilman for the 47th District, I believe there is no better champion for Brooklyn than Marty, and would whole-heartedly supporthim if he chooses to run for re-election."
Recchia, according to his Council colleagues, has been at the forefront of pushing for a term limits extension.
With Coney Island, where do talks stand with the largest landowner, Joe Sitt?
We have told Joe for well over a year that we would be interested in acquiring his land; that we believe that the long-term iconic nature of Coney Island can only be preserved—can best be preserved by a statute of parkland there that will provide longer-term certainty around use there; and that we would certainly be open to talking there. And we have discussions after discussions after discussions. Kind of one step forward, two steps back. He's a very smart guy, clever; spent a lot of time crafting the acquisition plan he's got there. He spent a lot of money doing it as well, so I think he vacillates a bit on whether or not he really wants to sell to the city.
What's your plan at the end of the year if he doesn't agree to sell? Do you still intend to move forward with the rezoning?
With his property, too?
Yep. We're going to take that strip of land—the nine acres in the middle there—and reaffirm that C-7 [amusement] zoning.
Would you make it parkland?
To make it parkland, we'd have to own it, and we're not there yet.
I also believe that by January/February, Astroland (if it truly is not coming back) will be a vacant lot. Then the question will be what is left to fight to save and that's when ULURP starts.
It should be completed end of August. Then about 4 years to build it. I assume Taconic starts right after zoning is completed and I would expect to hear some lease deals from big names in hotels restaurants, amusements and retail on Thor's property. But that doesn't happen until after zoning is completed.
If Thor does not sell the 9 acres to the city (which I expect he won't) I don't see how the parkland issue moves forward smoothly. But I am expecting rezoning to happen fairly quickly with or without parkland passing the state legislature.
As promised - The article on the new IMAX Theater coming to South Brooklyn. Not Coney, but right next door in Sheepshead Bay.
Bay News excerpt-
Soon, Brooklyn moviegoers won’t have to travel as far to super-size their cinematic experience.
The borough’s first IMAX theater will be opening before the end of the year, this newspaper has learned.
The United Artists Sheepshead Bay is in the process of converting one of its 14 auditoriums into an IMAX theater, known for a mammoth screen and high-end digital effects.“Designers and construction crews are already underway transforming one of the auditoriums,” said Russ Nunley, vice president of marketing and communications for Regal Entertainment Group, which comprises United Artists Theaters.