The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And its working......

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

“The latest shuttering of businesses on the Boardwalk is yet another sign that it’s necessary for the city’s plan to revitalize Coney Island to succeed so that we can bring certainty to the area and give Coney Island a chance to grow and thrive,” said Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the Economic Development Corporation.

Lola Starr off the boardwalk

This is basically a business strategy where Thor is forcing the city to rezone, and none of the newspapers are really picking up on it.

NY Post excerpt -
Dianna Carlin, the popular boardwalk boutique owner who has been a vocal opponent of developer Joe Sitt's plans to build condos in the amusement district, was told he won't renew her lease.

She told The Post a Sitt employee called, "breaking the news and to wish a happy new year" in the same breath. Carlin plans to move Lola Staar Souvenir Boutique, which has been at the boardwalk since 2000, to the Stillwell Avenue subway terminal.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dyker Heights $6.5 million Banquet Hall finally opens

Brooklyn Eagle Excerpt-

Dyker Beach Golf Course’s New $6.5M Banquet Hall Finally Opens
by Harold Egeln (, published online 12-18-2008

‘A Brooklyn Wow Experience’ for Golfers, Wedding Parties, Diners
By Harold Egeln Brooklyn Daily Eagle

DYKER HEIGHTS — Dyker Beach Golf Course’s new clubhouse banquet and catering hall with more room and venues and its Grill Room dining space are places for all seasons and all reasons, from weddings and parties to social, corporate and public events, and golf tournaments.

“It’s an amazing facility for the community, making for a Brooklyn ‘wow’ experience for many public events,” said Matthew Silver, regional director of catering for NYC Events at American Golf Corporation. He led a tour of the larger renovated clubhouse at the entrance to the sprawling, world-renowned championship urban golf course at 86th Street and Seventh Avenue.

More here

Will Deno's be the only property left standing going into rezoning?

Remember folks, ULURP is supposed to start 1st quarter 09. Will most of Coney's core area be vacant by then? It's very possible this could be the developer's strategy to get Coney rezoned.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mill Basin sale for $1.3 million

Part of a new development

From Brownstoner

3. MILL BASIN $1,300,000 68 Bell Point Drive This home appears to be part of a planned community called the Bay Front Estates at Mill Basin. Interestingly, Google Maps does not recognize the address on this one. According to StreetEasy, it's a 4,313-sf, 4-bed house. Entered into contract on 11/3/08; closed on 12/15/08; deed recorded on 12/18/08.

Aviator Sports not expanding to 2 more hangars

I was told this week that Aviator has no plans to move into other hangars at Floyd Bennett contradicting what was reported in the Eagle this past summer. I was hoping for expansion.

But we do have bowling (Gil Hodges Lanes in Mill Basin) and indoor swimming (Brooklyn Sports Club in Starrett and The Paerdegat in Canarsie) nearby. I was just hoping Aviator could turn into Brooklyn's Chelsea Piers. Oh Well.

Starrett City Sale down to a single bidder

NY Times Excerpt -

Effort to Sell Starrett City Is Down to Single Bidder
Published: December 19, 2008

And then there was one.

The owners of Starrett City, the sprawling low- and moderate-income housing complex on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, are negotiating with the finalist in the bidding to buy the property: a group that includes the Christian Cultural Center, the Cogsville Group, the Clarett Group and the nonprofit Housing Partnership Development Corporation.

It does not mean that a deal will be struck in what has become a closely watched two-year effort to sell the 5,881 apartments in 46 towers at Starrett City, the nation’s largest federally subsidized housing development.

More here

2009 Forced Rezone

It's finally going to happen. Thanks Joe Sitt for making this rezoning happen for Coney. Brooklyn has been waiting for a redeveloped Coney Island for decades!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Boo Hoo Hoo Cry Cry Cry Waaaaa!

I am reading all these blogs crying that Coney businesses are shutting down. This place is deserted 9 months a year and the city hasn't rezoned it since promising development 6 freakin years ago! Cry that Coney is still in the same miserable shape since the 70s and deserted all winter. Cry that the current Coney hasn't worked for decades and that its a ghost town most of the year with no jobs or business at all most of our lives.

Nimbyism is hurting Coney and hurting Coney badly. It has no prayer at all with out year round change. Things are going to change and soon. Thank G-D! The web is full of Nimby blogs with no foresight at all. And mostly no caring about the residents of Brooklyn. It's unfortunate.

Thor forcing the city's hand........continued

Good for him. This zoning talk has gone on for 6 years almost. Things will start to move now.


Stefan Friedman, Sitt's spokesman, said the boardwalk would be "open and active" with amusements next summer if Sitt still owns the land.

Lynn Kelly, who heads the city's Coney Island Development Corp., said Sitt's behavior shows why the mayor's planned rezoning is needed, "so that the boardwalk businesses and all of Coney Island have a chance to thrive."

Sources say both the city and Sitt remain apart in sale negotiations. As the Post reported, Sitt wants $200 million to $250 million for his land; about double what he paid accumulating it over the past few years. The city, however, wants to pay well below $200 million.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Is Thor forcing the city's hand on zoning?

While MAS and CI CLEAR are voicing their opinions on Coney, we may very well be entering a period where rezoning is finally coming to fruition. Thor owns most of the prime land and the leases. The CIDC was established in 2003 and the city still has not completed rezoning entering 2009. The Planning commission has a summer/fall 2009 goal for completing rezoning listed on its website.

Will Thor have the land sit vacant until the city finally rezones? What is holding up the rezoning process for this many years and is Thor going to force the city's hand now with vacancies??? 2009 will be an interesting year.

Coney Island CLEAR mission statement

From their website

Coney Island CLEAR’S Mission Statement

November 12, 2008 by coneyislandclear
We are a watchdog group monitoring redevelopment and taking direct action to ensure redevelopment benefits present and future residents of Coney Island. This alliance advocates for Coney Island redevelopment to be the best- quality construction, but also a vehicle of career development for construction and post-construction workers.

Thirty percent of new Coney Island jobs employ residents of the 11224 zip code. These jobs should be career advancing opportunities with the appropriate skill training programs and offering compensation equaling the area standard wage and benefit package.
Establish guidelines which will hold developers, contractors and employers responsible to community and regulatory agencies.
* * * *

The benefits of redevelopment should be localized to the Coney Island community through:
The creation of long-term, family-sustaining careers for Coney Island residents that pay area standard wages and the implementation of necessary skill training programs.

Responsible contractors and developers have a track record of successfully performing the services at issue, complying with applicable public laws, and committed to a local hiring policy.
For more information or to join this cause,contact CI CLEAR at

Municipal Art Society Full Court Press for Coney

Probably more unrealistic plans with no developer

Brooklyn Eagle Excerpt

The MAS is “putting on a full court press” to ensure Coney Island’s future, according to Barwick. This effort includes a 2009 exhibition of all the plans and ideas the organization has received, several major public programs and discussions about them, and an ambitious agenda in Coney Island for summer 2009.

More here

Monday, December 22, 2008

Video - Brian Gotlieb speaks about the importance of Coney Community Benefits Agreement

Obviously the most important part of Coney Development. Will the CIDC listen to the real Coney community or will they just listen to the amusement community???

Saturday, December 20, 2008

While we wait for years for the new Coney bowling alley

Here are a couple of really nice and related south Brooklyn bowling alleys to check out this winter-

In Mill Basin - the old favorite Gil Hodges lanes right next door to the new Golds Gym

In Bensonhurst another huge old favorite - Maple Lanes

Listen to Brooklyn Aces games online

It's been a great start for the new minor league hockey team in Brooklyn this year. We have gone to 3 games at Aviator already. You can now catch some live games on audio here

And even listen to some replays here

Astroland putting rides in storage. Not selling them yet

The Bay News article is not online yet, but its says Albert is storing the rides with the hope that there will be a miracle and they will get a new lease next year. No word from the city or Thor. Astroland must clear the land by Jan 31 09. Charles Denson said land will be cleared.

It will be interesting to see if ULURP starts right after Astroland is vacated. One has to wonder if the city will pay a couple hundred mil for the land in this horrendous economy.

Cherry Hill Market at Lundy's gets the Green Light

Bay News excerpt -

Lundy’s landlord Steve Pappas is hailing the Department of Building’s November 17 decision to lift a stop work order on his Cherry Hill tenants this week - while opponents say that the new tenants still won’t be able to proceed with their original plans.

In October, Cherry Hill Market’s efforts to open up a new upscale food outlet at 1901 Emmons Avenue were stymied when the DOB hit them with a stop work order after determining that the retail food component of the operation violated Sheepshead Bay zoning regulations.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission also put a halt to work being done on the sidewalk outside the building which the city found to be questionable.

“This fella is doing a tremendous job,” Pappas said. “He’s doing a store in Sheepshead Bay that resembles a store you would see on Park Avenue using the most expensive marbles and granites. People in the neighborhood can’t wait to see this store open.”

More here

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brooklyn Paper Editorial - Another Coney Dream

They are on target again.

An excerpt from the article

But the central element of the Society’s vision has a fundamental flaw: the notion that the city can, and should, find a benevolent landlord to fly in and save Coney Island. By extending a sweetheart deal to this operator, their argument goes, the operator would have the public interest at the center of its business plan. Yeah, and we’ve got a bridge to sell you.

More here

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daily News - Youth movement fires Brooklyn boro gentrification

Youth movement fires Brooklyn boro gentrification

Tuesday, December 16th 2008, 4:00 AM

The borough’s high school and college graduation rates made a big leap since 2000 — and so did its wealth and number of people employed, according to new U.S. Census Bureau numbers released last week.

Those were three trends revealed in figures, compiled from 2005 through 2007, that proved what many had already known: Brooklyn was experiencing a renaissance.

“It’s not a surprise because it’s been visible on the streets,” said Brooklyn College sociology professor Jerry Krase. “You saw bodegas replaced by organic stores and coffee shops by juice bars, and you could tell. Those were educated, high-earning people moving in.”

The number of 25-year-olds holding at least a high school diploma soared 17%, to 1.2 million, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree rose by 30%, to 438,568 people, according to the statistics.

Brooklyn College professor David Bloomfield suggested rapid gentrification played a role. “It may reflect higher-educated adults coming in to the borough from elsewhere,” said Bloomfield. “It can be higher-educated adults from the Caribbean, from Asia and elsewhere. The result is more highly educated citizens.”

In that same period, Brooklyn public high schools’ four-year graduation rate — including GEDs — jumped dramatically to 59.8% in 2007, up from 46.6% in 2000, city Education Department data show.

More here

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is the city waiting for the end of Astroland to start rezoning?

New details on the timeline from the City Planning website -

The Department of City Planning certifies the ULURP applications as complete and refers the applications to the Community Board and Borough President.
First quarter of 2009

ULURP Completion
Summer/Fall 2009

Interesting that we are now looking at the first quarter for the start of rezoning. Astroland's lease ends January 31 2009. Coincidence? Maybe.