The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea
Thursday, April 30, 2009
A coalition of labor unions, civic groups and community residents commended the borough president for his support for quality jobs and affordable housing, but cautioned that “his recommendations don’t go far enough.”
The organization, which represents more than 250,000 workers and families, includes groups such as ACORN, SEIU 32BJ, RWDSU, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, UFCW, New York Jobs with Justice and the Pratt Center for Community Development.
“It’s clear from his recommendations that the Borough President understands quality jobs must be at the heart of Coney Island’s revitalization in order for the development to bring real benefits to the community,” said Pat Boone, president of ACORN. “When you look at current neighborhood income levels, expiring subsidy programs like Mitchell-Lama, and the phenomenon of ‘predatory equity,’ you can understand how critical it is to have the maximum possible affordable housing in the Coney Island redevelopment plan.”
Couple of things to note. There is no mention of moving the hotels from South of Surf to North of Surf in this summary, but he is for the parkland and not for an increase in the retail sizes to 10,000 square feet.
As with the CB13 recommendation, Marty's recommendation is just that a recommendation. We have 110 days to go before the final decision is made by The City Council. It now first goes to City Planning which has 60 days. I am pretty sure they will go along with the city plan. Once it goes to the City Council, Thor holds the big edge. Recchia has the CB13 recommendation to back him up, and I have huge doubts that Kruger will let Parkland pass by the June 30th deadline.
July 1st is key. That's when the City Council gets 50 days to decide the fate of Coney and the parkland issue may very well be dead at that point.
I know a lot of people don't understand the process. But I am very confident this all gets done by the end of summer. And Coney will be far better off for it. It's a great process. There could possibly be a 15 day regulatory delay with City Council revisions but that still brings us a decision by the end of summer.
Hold on tight - Coney's going to change and fast!
Ringling Bros. Seaside Summer Circus Spectacular Is Officially Underway!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2009 (Brooklyn, NY) – With a pachyderm proudly parading along Coney Island's iconic boardwalk, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced today that tickets are now on sale for more than 70 history-making performances of The Coney Island Boom A Ring.
Yes, it's true: The Greatest Show On Earth™ will be performing at Coney Island this Summer from June 18 (which will be a special opening-night "Salute To Coney Island") through September 7 -- that's a full 12 weeks of wondrous family entertainment not to be missed! And stay tuned for all the community events and special surprises we have in store for Brooklyn residents and visitors to the world-famous Boardwalk, beach and beyond.
Tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. today and are available through http://bpmediarelations.cmail2.com/t/y/l/htgdy/dteiukkh/y and http://bpmediarelations.cmail2.com/t/y/l/htgdy/dteiukkh/j and by phone at 800-745-3000.
The announcement marks the first time in its 139-year history that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will perform in Coney Island. It is also the first time ever that The Greatest Show On Earth will perform under the big top on the boardwalk in Brooklyn.
"Having The Greatest Show On Earth performing in Coney Island is an historic partnership of two great American entertainment icons," said Kenneth Feld, Ringling Bros. Producer and Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, Inc. "This is a giant step forward in the revitalization of Coney Island – which in 2009 is truly becoming New York's great staycation destination!"
The Coney Island Boom A Ring will be raising its air-conditioned tent between the boardwalk and Surf Avenue, between 20th and 21st Streets. The site will include a food court that will be accessible from the boardwalk and an Animal Open House so all ticket holders will have the opportunity to observe the beautiful and talented animals and their caregivers who are an integral part of The Greatest Show On Earth.
Justin Case serves as the hilarious host of The Coney Island Boom A Ring, in which the action bounces from one high-energy act to the next. Featuring a daring crossbow demonstration by Martti Peltonen that takes archery to new extremes, mind-boggling illusions by master magician Joel Ward and the Urias globe of steel where whizzing motorcyclists orbit within inches of a female, The Coney Island Boom A Ring is a family thrill that's not to be missed.
Of course, The Greatest Show On Earth is not complete without its amazing animal family. Vicenta Pages, one of the world’s youngest performing tiger trainers, demonstrates the bond she shares with her rare white-striped Bengal tigers in a dazzling display of acrobatic jumps, balancing and even a high-five. Ramon Esqueda performs alongside majestic Asian elephants and Diana Vedyashkina presents a delightful Daschund dog act.
The Coney Island Boom A Ring will bring Coney Island families closer to the amazing performers that make the thrilling magic happen. During the FREE all-access pre-show, which starts an hour before show time, audience members will have a chance to meet the performers -- and even learn some circus skills of their own.
The Coney Island Boom A Ring is a one-of-a-kind experience that engages all the senses while providing Children Of All Ages with a day at The Greatest Show On Earth® they never imagined possible!
Ticket prices start at just $10 and range up to $65 for intimate Ringside seating.For a complete schedule of performances and more information on The Coney Island Boom A Ring, visit http://bpmediarelations.cmail2.com/t/y/l/htgdy/dteiukkh/t.Follow The Coney Island Boom A Ring on Twitter: @RBBBConeyIsland
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
But in the end we need rezoning to happen and badly. If Thor gets this through August into the City Council vote we are going to see big big changes for Coney continuing. It's gonna be FANTASTIC! What a summer 2009 and Beyond!
More Exciting Info about the Coney Island Circus
Dear Friends and Residents of Coney Island:
I'm writing with more good news for the community about this summer's Circus in Coney Island. As I shared last week, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey "Boom A Ring" Circus is coming to Coney Island from June 18th to September 7th. And with tickets starting at only $10, it will be an incredibly affordable, family-friendly destination.
As part of the commitment by the City and Ringling Bros. to make the Circus as accessible to everyone as possible, you can save even more if you buy tickets now or join us for Opening Night:
Buy one ticket, get one FREE if you join us as we "Salute to Coney Island" on Opening Night, Thursday, JUNE 18 at the 7:00 PM performance
SAVE 20% on all other performances during this Exclusive Preferred Customer Opportunity when you order by Sunday, MAY 17 and use the Customer Code: NYC
Full details for each of these promotions are included on the attached flyer and tickets are available online at ringling.com.
We hope to see you this summer at the Circus!
WHO: Performers from The Greatest Show On Earth®, Brooklyn representatives – and a proud pachyderm – will be on hand as plans for the summer seaside circus spectacular are revealed at the new summer home of The Coney Island Boom A Ring!
Special Guests: Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clowns, a two-ton elephant and proud members of the Coney Island community including Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz; Lynn Kelly, President, Coney Island Development Corporation, and community leaders.
WHAT: The unveiling of the plans for the revitalization of the lot where The Coney Island Boom A Ring will perform under a state-of-the-art air-conditioned tent for 12 weeks this summer -- and some of the special surprises awaiting the Coney Island community. It will also be announced that tickets for the summer seaside circus spectacular – starting at just $10 – will be on sale beginning April 30 for performances June 18 – September 8.
WHEN: April 30, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: On the Coney Island Boardwalk, between 20th and 21st Streets.
WHY: Because The Coney Island Boom A Ring will perform on the Boardwalk in Coney Island from June 18 (which will be a special opening-night "Salute To Coney Island") through September 8 and will bring families closer than ever to the amazing performers that make thrilling circus magic happen. During the FREE all-access pre-show, which starts an hour before show time, audience members will have a chance to meet the performers -- and even learn some circus skills of their own. Ticket prices start at just $10 and range up to $65 for intimate Ringside seating.
For a complete schedule of performances and more information on The Coney Island Boom A Ring, visit www.Ringling.com/ConeyIsland.
Follow The Coney Island Boom A Ring on Twitter: @RBBBConeyIsland
Monday, April 27, 2009
Construction Industry Information Seminar
Please see below and the attached flyer for more information about an informational forum for community members who are interested in a career in the construction industry.
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009
Time: 4:00 - 8:00pm
Place: Liberation High School2965 West 19th Street Brooklyn, NY 11224 Parking is available/ D, F, N & Q Trains to Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island
I. Registration and Networking (4:00 - 5:00pm)
II. Introduction (5:00 - 5:30pm)
Levon Chambers of C.I. C.L.E.A.R. explaining why Unions are important!
Elected officials, dignitaries and other speakers
III. Panel Discussion: How to Enter the Construction Industry (5:30 - 6:30pm)
Nontraditional Employment for Women
Helmets to Hard Hats
Construction Skills 2000
Union representative to provide Apprenticeship Program Overview
IV. Networking with Trade Representatives and filling out application forms (6:30 -7:50pm)
V. Adjournment (7:50 - 8:00pm)
Friday, April 24, 2009
Must be completed by April 27, 2009
Exciting News for 2009
Dear Friends and Residents of Coney Island:
I am writing to share some incredibly exciting news about one of New York City's greatest treasures: World-famous Coney Island. As you can see from the attached press release, Mayor Bloomberg joined together with Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and Borough President Marty Markowitz last week to announce that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to Coney Island for the Summer of 2009!
This is great news not only for the Coney Island community, but also for Brooklyn and for all of New York City because it highlights what a wonderful, exciting, accessible -- and perhaps most importantly, affordable destination Coney Island will be in the Summer of 2009. Despite what you may have heard, Coney Island is "Really Fun and Really OPEN" in 2009, and we want to make sure that all New Yorkers know that they don't have to travel out of town for a great time by the shore this summer.
Along with the attached information on the upcoming special installation of the Circus (which has tickets starting at only $10 dollars!), I have attached a flyer highlighting the Coney Island Fun Guide (http://www.coneyislandfunguide.com/), an online resource that contains a full list of Coney Island's attractions and events. In these tough times, New Yorkers need to know that they can find affordable, accessible family fun right here close to home.
So, while the City's comprehensive Coney Island redevelopment plan is currently still in the review process, we're working hard in the meantime to make sure that the good times don't stop. The Summer of 2009 is going to be a great one in Coney Island and we want to make sure you don't miss out on the fun. We hope to see you at the beach!
110 William Street New York, NY 10038website http://www.thecidc.org/ // email email@example.com // phone 212-312-4233
‘Jobs and housing’ Seth Pinsky, president of New York City Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit agency that operates as the city’s real estate developer: “There are 50,000 people who live in Coney Island. Sixty percent live in public housing. It has two times the unemployment rate than the rest of the city and two times the commute time of other city residents. This rezoning plan will create 25,000 construction jobs, 6,000 permanent jobs and 4,500 housing units without any displacement. The real thing people need to be afraid of is doing nothing. Doing nothing has left us with large vacant pieces of land. By embracing development, good things will come.”
Walking and talking: Coney Island
On my dime’ Joe Sitt, chairman and CEO, Thor Equities, owner of land the city needs to complete its 27-acre year-round entertainment district: “I grew up just a few miles from Coney, and I can remember what Coney used to mean to all of us. Coney represents more than just a fun place. It’s a part of our history. It’s a part of who we are as Brooklynites, as New Yorkers and as Americans. It’s a place where a working-class family can come and be amazed, maybe even shocked, by some of the wildest entertainment in the world for a reasonable price. Coney is an icon, but for a variety of reasons it has fallen on hard times. When an icon falls on hard times, I think we as Americans have a need to rebuild it and make it better than it ever was, and that’s what I want to do. “We can create more jobs and more revenue for the city [and] rebuild Coney into a 21st-century entertainment mecca on my dime, or we can spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to create a smaller, less successful Coney that acts more like a museum than a vibrant entertainment destination.”
The market will dictate’ Charles Bendit, CEO Taconic Investment Partners, owners of two large lots and the Childs Building: “This is the only opportunity in the country to build a waterfront amusement park near usable beach. That makes for a great place to live, and we can do housing on our land. I think the city’s plan will pass. What we build is based on the economy, but we think affordable housing for the middle class will stimulate growth and be an economic engine for the area and city. If we get an express train there, this should be New York’s top draw.”
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Instead of spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on land, the city merely needs to allow year-round attractions, such as bowling alleys, movie theaters and indoor rides in the area currently zoned for outdoor rides.
It would then be up to Sitt to conform to that zoning or sell to someone who would.
Hopefully we get Coney year round with rezoning this summer!
Here is another key excerpt from the editorial
As a result, the city has trumpeted its few achievements this spring as earth-shaking events. Yes, a one-ring version of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to Coney Island this summer, but when the tent stakes are pulled up in September, the same long-term problem will remain: the city will still be backing a rezoning plan that does not have broad community support and requires huge land-acquisition costs borne by taxpayers.
It's a good point but what the Brooklyn Paper fails to realize here though is that rezoning will be completed by September. The City Council will have already voted! We just gotta be patient. Coney is changing!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Having trouble viewing this email? See it online. Please add Ringling-Bros@feld-ent.com to your address book.
TICKET PRICES STARTING AT $10!(Service charges, facility and handling fees may apply.)
JUN. 18 - SEP. 7 Join us as we "Salute to Coney Island" on Opening Night, Thu. JUNE 18 at the 7:00 PM performanceBuy One Ticket, Get One FREE!**Excludes Ringside & VIP seats. Not valid for group sales. Free ticket must be of equal or lesser value. Service charges, facility and handling fees may apply.
SAVE 20%* on all other performancesduring this Exclusive Preferred Customer Opportunity when you order by Sun. MAY 17!*Excludes Ringside & VIP seats. Not valid for group sales. Service charges, facility and handling fees may apply.
Use Customer Code: Z4247
CLICK HERE to purchase online,or call 1-800-745-3000 to order by phone.
The Greatest Show On Earth® hits the boardwalk this summer for the very first time in its 139-year history! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING, an action-packed seaside circus spectacular where the energy bursts out of the ring, into the audience and bounces back to electrify the Ringling Bros.® performers. Get a one-of-a-kind, up-close and personal experience as you sit just feet away from international performers, thrilling acts, and amazing animals!
The uniquely talented Justin Case will have you gasping and laughing with his extraordinary and hilarious bicycle daredevilry, leading an amazing cast of aerialists, acrobats, and comics. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you experience the thrills of seeing a family of motorcyclists race at speeds of 65 miles per hour in the Globe of Steel, a daring never-before-seen crossbow demonstration that takes archery to a shocking new extreme, and a gravity-defying performance on the whirling Wheel of Steel high above the arena floor.
Our amazing animals leave you mesmerized; miniature acrobatic Dachshunds jump, roll, and dance in perfect synchronization, beautiful white tigers offer high-fives, and majestic Asian elephants dance elegantly around the arena floor.
THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING is a rare NYC summer time experience that engages all the senses and offers Children Of All Ages a day at The Greatest Show On Earth they never imagined possible!
Arrive an hour before show time for the All Access Pre-show - FREE to all ticket holders - and meet Ringling Bros. performers and animals, learn circus skills and enjoy a taste of the circus before the show even starts!
TO FORWARD THIS OFFER TO A FRIEND CLICK HERE
Visit us online at http://link.p0.com/u.d?Qm_rRDJMM4z9DI3e=231!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Would you make it parkland?
To make it parkland, we'd have to own it, and we're not there yet.
I got news for you guys who are against the big changes that are coming for Coney. Parkland has very little chance of passing in June. The community board voted aganst it and you actually think it will get by Kruger and the State Legislature? LOL
The City Council listens to Recchia and so does the community. He is for the neighborhood, and the residents absolutely adore him. Just go to a CB 13 meeting to see the adoration. Recchia is for year round Coney.
Sorry bloggers and Nimbys but you already lost. You are not the neighborhood. Come July 1 Parkland issue is decided. Come August 31 the City Council will have decided on rezoning and CONEY WINS! Finally............... Coney and Brooklyn have waited decades. We just got a few more months now.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
CITY'S CONCRETE PLAN FOR CONEY IS.
Under the rockwalk, we'll be havin' some fun . . .
City officials are pushing a plan that would replace the tropical hardwood that supports and covers the 86-year-old Coney Island boardwalk with a 39,600- ton concrete walkway.
The concrete, which comes tinted in pleasingly named colors like "kayak" and "autumn gold," would be cut to resemble wooden planks under the city's latest plan to save the dilapidated boardwalk.
City officials are hoping to move forward with the plan by the end of the summer season.
"A full concrete boardwalk is the best way to go from a cost-benefit perspective," said Liam Kavanagh, the first deputy commissioner of the city's Parks Department. "It lasts 40 years with little maintenance -- about twice as long as wood.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
G-D I LOVE REZONING!!!!
Check this out from the Daily News!
Mayor Bloomberg has made his final offer.
Talks to buy coveted property standing in the way of a city plan to redevelop Coney Island have come to a halt.
"The bottom line is we can only pay so much - that's it," Bloomberg said, referring to an offer of $105 million for 10.5 acres of property that developer Thor Equities owns. "The city does not have unlimited money."
The offer is significantly less than the $250 million Thor officials floated in November for the property - and $5 million under the city's last offer, officials said.
Muscle Prediction- Parkland issue dies July 1st! We are going to see Awesome Rezoning after that!!!!!
Friday, April 17, 2009
But check out these eyebrow raising comments -
In a statement, Mr. Sitt said he was “thrilled” that Ringling was coming to Coney Island, saying it would be a complement to his sideshow. He added that “all stakeholders must work together to put together a long-term, permanent plan to ensure that this is not a one-summer anomaly.”
But Friday, the mayor seemed to express more urgency, saying that “after this season, if we don’t get it going, there’s probably no way to put it back together,” referring to the amusement amenities in the neighborhood. He asserted, though, that the city and Thor Equities were “not in an impasse at all.”
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Coney Island's biggest property owner is forking over $2.5 million to spruce up the area's rundown seaside district for the summer and bring it new rides and attractions.
"By directly handling many components of our entertainment program, we are confident that Coney Island residents and tourists alike will enjoy great rides, great food, and a great time in the summer of 2009," said Sitt spokesman Stefan Friedman.
Monday, April 13, 2009
As I said, once July 1st roles around, if the state legislature has not passed the parkland issue, the Nimbys have no chance at all. Everything changes July 1st.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Does Thor sell to the city or does Thor wait to play this out during the summer? The question I keep asking is why in the world would Thor sell before the parkland issue is settled and before the City Council vote? Coney's property value may very well shoot up this summer with no parkland and a favorable Council vote.
Nobody knows if a deal will be made before all this happens. But there is no doubt there are several moving parts to this equation.
But the Bloomberg administration fears that Mr. Sitt, who has in the past put forward his own billion-dollar proposal, will subvert its effort with the help of his childhood friend, City Councilman Dominic M. Recchia Jr., when the matter reaches the Council later this year.
Mr. Sitt, who contends that the city’s plan is not economically feasible, favors a smaller amusement park and many more large stores and taller, time-share hotels to offset the costs of the special entertainment district.
The city acknowledges that it may take a decade for its vision to be realized.
But some urban planners and executives wonder exactly who will build this entertainment district and whether the city’s plan will suffer the same fate as a half-dozen other redevelopment strategies that came before it.
“I view Joe as someone who took a chance when no one else wanted to get involved in Coney Island,” Mr. Recchia said. “He is willing to work with the administration to see that something happens.”http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/nyregion/11coney.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
Those are some really key excerpts from the article. The way I see this playing out (and the press has still missed out entirely on this parkland piece) is by the end of June, if the parkland is not passed by the state legislature and this whole plan gets into the City Council, then Thor is in the driver's seat. And maybe just maybe we can finally see a real plan for getting Coney developed in a timely manner.
Basically the Nimbys will have no say in what happens once this process gets to July 1st.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Remember though that the city only has through June to get the Parkland issue passed. My prediction is Rezoning with no parkland as Thor continues to baffle the Nimbys who are in complete disarray right now and don't even comprehend the time schedule.
The rides and marketplace will create a “Festival by the Sea” that the developer claims will create 800 seasonal vendor jobs and 200 additional positions.
“We have put together a comprehensive plan that will revitalize the area and entertain, thrill and delight the millions of visitors to Coney this summer,” Mr. Sitt said.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Mr. Sitt is expected to reject the offer, which expires Monday. The city said Mr. Sitt paid $93 million for the land about five years ago. According to Thor, the land cost $130 million, including mortgage, land assemblage and other expenses.
“Thor is moving full steam ahead. We have to do something with the land to generate revenue,” said a spokesman for Thor, which did not disclose how much it has invested in its summer park plans. “Joe is committed to Coney. He is not committed to selling.”
In Thursday’s announcement, Thor revealed that it has partnered with Dreamland Park Amusements to open rides like the Flying Bobsled, Ring of Fire and Miniature Roller Coaster. In addition, John Strong III and his collection of circus freaks including Tiny the 17-inch horse and a 200-pound python named Julius Squeezer will make their Coney Island debut. The amusement area will create 700 summer jobs, said Thor, and will remain open till Labor Day.
Last month, Community Board 13 approved the city’s redevelopment project with 20 amendments, which included one that would quadruple the size of retailers. Brooklyn Borough President Mary Markowitz is reviewing that plan and is expected to make a decision at the end of the month. If approved, the rezoning plans will move to the City Planning Department and the City Council for final approval. The process will last through the end of the summer.“We want a plan that is a reality, not a dream,” said Brooklyn City Councilman Domenic Recchia, who is a friend of Mr. Sitt’s, but claims that he is not supportive of any one plan.
More Coney baloney
In the midst of one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, Mayor Bloomberg wants to spend $105 million more of your tax dollars to buy out Coney Island’s principal landowner — and then spend at least another $100 million more of your money on a fantasy vision of the former People’s Playground.
One thing I don't understand is why in the world would any of this happen before the end of June when the issue on the Parkland will be decided on? What if the Parkland doesn't pass the State Legislature? I would think the value of the land would then go up significantly. Why would Thor consider selling now??? I just don't see it happening before the summer.