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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Zamperla hit with fine after Shoot the Freak demolition

Man is this getting messy

NY Post excerpts -

What the Freak?

The city yesterday slapped the operator it tapped to revive the Coney Island amusement district with a hefty violation for bulldozing the beloved “Shoot the Freak” boardwalk attraction without proper permits.

Zamperla USA, which is embroiled in a battle to evict Shoot the Freak and seven other boardwalk mainstays, was hit by the city Buildings Department with a Class 1 violation — the most severe — for authorizing the Dec. 22 demolition work without proper approvals.

The result was a city stop-work order on the job — although the damage was already done — and Buildings spokeswoman Jennifer Gilbert confirmed the case is under investigation. A Class 1 normally carries penalties of $5,000 and above.

“I really have to wonder if this is retaliation because I’ve been Zamperla’s biggest critic since they’ve arrived,” said a freaked-out Anthony Berlingieri, operator of the famous game in which patrons shoot paintballs at human targets.

Zamperla spokesman Lee Silberstein said the company “instructed its contractor to fully cooperate” with the “investigation, and is hopeful that permitting issues can be resolved as soon as possible so that the new attractions will be ready for the approaching season."

Read more:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Village Voice - Coney 8 respond

Excerpt -

Yesterday the New York Post reported that the businesses being evicted from the Coney Island boardwalk (including longtime institutions like Shoot the Freak and Ruby's Bar) had "drawn a line in the Coney Island sand" and were demanding a buyout of $2 million to leave the premises. Linda Gross, president of LCG Communications, a PR organization representing the eight businesses, says this is untrue.

According to Gross, the owners are all "unhappy and angry" because "the information received from unnamed 'city officials' was patently false."

They offered this statement:

We, the Coney Island 8, intend to stay on the boardwalk, where we belong. There have been no offers made by either side to settle this for money. The City is lying, pure and simple -- because they are worried that their scheme to take over our authentic, local Coney Island businesses and replace us with large, uncaring and unknowing foreign corporations will not be tolerated by those who love Coney Island and what it stands for. New Yorkers are not so easily fooled. We intend to fight and fight hard. For us, it's not about money.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Coney shaping up for Year Round 2011

With today's news it looks very much like the boardwalk will be going year round after build out this coming spring/summer. With the new boardwalk scene having Scream Zone to draw people during the summer it should be the biggest summer in Coney history.

Now get Henderson's down and lets get the infrastructure started for the future hotels on Surf! Coney's moving.

Barclays Center will host more than 200 events in first year

Sports Business Journal excerpt -

However, with some 50 business partners in attendance, Nets and Barclays Center officials and partners laid out a plan for an arena that was well beyond the "proposed" stage. Instead, they showcased a building that will host more than 200 events in its first year, including about 45 Nets games; 48 shows from Feld Entertainment's stable of brands, which includes the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, and various indoor motorsports shows; 12 boxing events through an association with Golden Boy Promotions; 25 college basketball and hockey games through an affiliation with IMG College; at least 20 concerts from Live Nation and other promoters; and two to three tennis events through Lagardere Unlimited. There is also thought of bringing in pro hockey games.

Looks like Dennis Holt (Brooklyn Eagle) was correct last week

12/21 excerpt -

In the category of more to come, the re-making of Coney Island will continue with more work being done on the entertainment area. The controversy over the recent eviction of a group of small businesses will be wrapped up when some money changes hands

NY Post - Coney 8 want $2 million to leave

Excerpt -

A group of storied boardwalk businesses have drawn a line in the Coney Island sand -- demanding at least $2 million before they'll agree to move out and make way for a modern amusement district, sources said.

"The tenants are holding the boardwalk hostage in order to get a big payout and then walk away," a city official told The Post.

The eight mainstays -- including Ruby's Bar and Grill and Shoot the Freak -- feel they are the ones being shafted. They were slapped with eviction notices on Nov. 1 by Zamperla, an Italian company tapped by the city to both run Luna Park and redevelop the properties that house the longtime boardwalk businesses.

Lawyers for all sides, meanwhile, have been quietly discussing a settlement plan.

Sources say the biggest holdup had been Zamperla, which doesn't want to give the businesses a dime, partly because of the way they have played on the public's sympathy.

Lawyers for the businesses and Zamperla did not return messages.

"We're confident that the boardwalk will be open for business, one way or another," city spokesman David Lombino said.

Read more:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Where would Coney Island development be without Domenic?

Probably in the same sad shape its been in the last 40 years. Thank you Domenic for giving all of us in South Brooklyn the greatest gift of all - Real Hope of Change!

Go Coney! Go Brooklyn!

From Domenic's blog

Excerpt -

Look no further than Coney Island. The beach had 14 million visitors this summer. We created 200 new jobs for the community. South Brooklyn has flourished. Next year is going to be even better, when we open Scream Zone and break ground on Coney Island Commons, a YMCA with 195 units of affordable housing. The economic future of South Brooklyn is bright, and I predict that our good fortune will ripple throughout the city.

Shoot the Freak Bulldozed

Wow, looks like the fight is getting ugly now

NY Daily News excerpt -

The owners of Coney Island's Shoot the Freak vowed to sue amusement giant Zamperla, charging their Boardwalk business was illegally razed behind their backs.

The company tore down the game and boarded up the property this week - even though eviction proceedings are still pending in court.

Shoot the Freak is one of nine longtime Boardwalk businesses the Italian amusement company is trying to boot. Their lawyer earlier sent Zamperla a letter warning not to meddle with the properties until the eviction battle is settled.

"It's like I've been robbed," said owner Anthony Berlingieri, who found all his equipment and props gone when he showed up at the site Wednesday.

Berlingieri and partner Carlo Muraco plan to ask a judge next week to declare the eviction illegal, block Zamperla from bulldozing anything else, and make them pay for the confiscated material.

The city owns the land and leases it to Zamperla. City officials said they'd review whether the move against Shoot the Freak was allowed.

Read more:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nets after Carmelo Anthony again excerpt -

Iannazone: Nets think they'll sell 'Melo on Brooklyn
Thursday, December 23, 2010
The Record

The Nets and principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov may get another chance to convince a star player to come to Newark before ushering the franchise into a new era in Brooklyn.

It didn't work with LeBron James over the summer. But the Nets are confident they can sell Carmelo Anthony on their vision of being a global team and that their future is brighter than that of the rival Knicks.

The Nets first have to get Denver to agree to take on the combination of young players, expiring contracts and draft picks to be offered in a multi-team deal. Then it may take a a good salesman to get Anthony to sign a three-year, $65 million extension.

The Nets believe they'll be able to do both.

Prokhorov, part-owner Jay-Z and general manager Billy King likely would meet with Anthony if a trade agreement was reached. No one is more self-assured than Prokhorov, and that filters throughout the organization.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily News editorial on Brooklyn Walmart

The City Council is gearing up for an anti-Walmart bash-a-thon because the giant retailer is planning to open a store in a new shopping mall in southeastern Brooklyn.

Speaker Christine Quinn says the Council will target Walmart at a hearing on Jan. 12 because, well, she and her colleagues just don't like the company's labor record and, in their view, it's a threat to mom-and-pop stores.

Does that give the Council grounds to subject Walmart to an official pummeling? No way, no how. Like it or not, the retailer has the right under the zoning law to open an outlet on a tract of land next to the Belt Parkway in East New York.

And to do so free and clear of official harassment. Just like any other properly constituted business, be it Tiffany's or a strip joint, it has the freedom to set up shop where the rules allow.

Just like sponsors of another controversial project - the so-called Ground Zero mosque - had the ability to locate downtown without being hauled before a Council committee, let alone one eager to throw punches.

Walmart is seeking a first entry into the city market. It has not confirmed plans to locate in a retail mall, called Gateway II, to be built by the Related Cos., a mega-developer. The project would be a companion to the highly successful Gateway I mall at Erskine St. next to the parkway and overlooking Jamaica Bay.

Clearly, the company believes an outlet there will be thronged. Its representatives are only too happy to distribute the results of a poll that, they say, demonstrates overwhelming support even among small business owners.

Maybe. Maybe not. Let's find out. If New Yorkers want to shop there, they should be able to.

And Quinn & Co. should leave it at that.

Read more:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Zamperla warns of Boardwalk ghost town

NY Post excerpt

Coney Island’s amusement district will be flooded with shuttered storefronts next summer -- unless eight longtime boardwalk businesses served eviction papers get out “very soon,” the area’s top landlord warned.

Zamperla USA says it would hate to see the heart of the boardwalk go dark – especially after city officials boasted that the firm’s May opening of Luna Park fueled the amusement district’s best season in 46 years.

But Zamperla -- which has a city lease to both operate Luna Park and control another three acres of prime beachfront land these businesses now occupy – says it’s prepared to deal with the repercussions of empty storefronts.

Zamperla officials told the Post they won’t allow Ruby’s Bar and Grill, Shoot the Freak and the other beloved attractions back next season – even if litigation challenging the evictions continues holding up Zamperla’s $5 million renovation of their rickety properties. Construction is already a month behind schedule.

The businesses are hoping the legal delays will force Zamperla to bring them back in 2011 because Zamperla wouldn’t have enough time to move forward with plans for a cleaner, more sanitized boardwalk featuring a swanky sit-down restaurant and sports bar.

But Zamperla says the buildings – which records show have piled up stacks of city building code violations – are unsafe and that no one should be using them as is.

“Given the deplorable condition of the properties, we are concerned that if construction does not start very soon, we will not be ready when the season begins,” said Zamperla spokesman Tom Corsillo.

Read more:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thor gets $55 million for Soho space

NY Observer excerpt -

A German investment fund has dropped $55 million on the Soho space occupied by racy British clothing store All Saints.

Invesco Immobilien Fonds IV U.S. Partners, a U.S. vehicle for German investors, has bought the 20,000-square-foot, first-floor retail space owned by Thor Equities. The six-story loft building at 56 Crosby Street on Broadway was converted to luxury condos in 2000 by Howard Katz' Surtsey Realty Corporation. All Saints, of the infamous ram's skull logo, opened its first American location there in the spring.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Walmart in discussions with construction unions

WSJ excerpts-

After failing in earlier efforts to enter the New York City market, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is in advanced talks with politically powerful construction unions over a deal to build stores with unionized workers, people familiar with discussions said.

"Wal-Mart and the building trades have discussed our common interest in stimulating local economic development in the city," says Steven Restivo, a spokesman for Wal-Mart. "We do not have an agreement, but look forward to a continued dialogue."

The Building and Construction Trades Council said in a statement the group is "very receptive to discussions" with businesses that "are interested in advancing projects and entering into agreements to assure that the construction jobs created will be for union members of the building and construction trades."

Wal-Mart hasn't announced any specific locations for stores in New York, although the company has been discussing building a large store in Brooklyn with the Related Cos. And the retailer has told people involved with its local strategy that it plans numerous stores in the city, using an array of sizes, many smaller than its typical supercenters.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Poll says Brooklyn wants Walmart

Courier Life excerpt -

A Walmart may soon be coming to Brooklyn — because we want it here!

So declared the retail giant Tuesday with the release of a poll it commissioned showing that 76 percent of Brooklyn residents see the big-box retailer as a welcome addition to the Borough of Churches.

The poll is part of a multipronged attack to win over the hearts and minds of critics opposed to Walmart’s plans to build an as-of-right store bigger than three football fields inside the planned Gateway II shopping center at Jamaica Bay off Shore Parkway at Erksine Street.

“We know we have lots of customers from New York City today, even without a store presence there,” said Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo. “New Yorkers are shopping our brand, so it was important to see how they felt about making it more convenient for them to access our stores. The poll results speak for themselves.”

More Brooklyn Walmart rumors

Looks like talks are getting serious at Gateway Shopping Center off the Belt.

NY Daily News excerpt -

East New York is bracing for what could be the city's first Walmart, as the big box chain seriously eyes a site in the neighborhood.

The developer that owns a site Walmart has reportedly been considering cut off talks several months ago with several supermarket chains interested in the space, focusing instead on making a deal with the retail giant.

"Related basically threw the supermarkets under the bus and decided to put all its eggs in the Walmart basket," said a real estate source. "They felt comfortable that it would happen."

Walmart and developer Related Companies wouldn't confirm any plans for the Gateway II shopping center site near Jamaica Bay.

Read more:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Domenic's statement on the Shore Theater

From his blog -

The Landmarks Preservation Commission just approved landmark status for the Shore Theater in Coney Island. I want to thank them for making this important decision. The Shore Theater is a beacon to Coney Island’s past, and by protecting it, we protect the history of our iconic neighborhood.

The Shore Theater was constructed in 1925, and served as a live performance vaudeville venue and a movie house. While the building has been vacant since the 1970s, it remains an important fixture of the waterfront’s skyline. My dream is that, one day, live theater will flourish again in Coney Island. This designation brings us closer to that goal.

Shore Theater landmarked - Bullard puts it up for sale

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

The seven-story, 85-year-old former vaudeville playhouse has been neglected for more than 40 years. Its owner, the Kansas Fried Chicken magnate Horace Bullard, opposed the landmark status because he said it would “hinder” his ability to convert the building for modern uses. He now says he will renovate the façade and try to sell it.

“There is no way that Coney Island can evolve as an amusement district when they keep landmarking buildings,” Bullard said on Tuesday. “They’re handicapping the entire area. But fine. We’ll have it up for sale, and if we can’t do that we’ll fix it up and put some offices inside and rent it out.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

$150 million upgrade for the Aquarium

Scheduled for completion in 2015

WSJ excerpt -

The New York Aquarium plans a $150 million face-lift that includes a shimmering aluminum exterior, a giant shark exhibit and access from the Coney Island boardwalk for the first time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marty courting Apple for the Municipal Building

NY1 excerpt -

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz says he's courting Apple to move in.

"I, of course, have a personal favorite, that I think would be perfect for this spot. Let me say this store would be the 'Apple' of my eye. And that's one of my most important jobs, bringing them here," Markowitz said.

Disney on Ice as well

Several of Feld Entertainment's live action productions to be staged at the Barclays Center include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Monster Jam, AMA Arenacross (AX), and Nuclear Cowboyz freestyle motocross. Overall, Feld Entertainment's productions will hold at least 48 total performances annually at the Barclays Center.

Ratner, Ringling Bros sign deal for Barclays Center

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

The producers of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced on Friday that they had inked a deal to bring one of their productions to the under-construction Barclays Center in March, 2013, about six months after the arena is slated to open near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.

A spokesman for Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner said that the Ringling Bros. show would be the same “Greatest Show on Earth” mega-production that fills Madison Square Garden, a rival arena, though a spokesman for the circus was not 100 percent sure.

“We have three circuses on tour at the same time and they all have nine to 10 elephants,” said spokeswoman Nicole Quenqua of Feld Entertainment. “It’s not necessarily the same show as MSG.”

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The most pivotable time for Coney Island yet

Zamperla changing the boardwalk to year round and opening Scream Zone. The old buildings on the hotel zoned land on Surf coming down. The city beginning its 150 million infrastructure development.

What an unprecedented amount of change going on in Coney development right now.

NY Times - Goodbye to Old Coney Island

Excerpt -

In addition to the Shore, destruction is imminent for a number of other structures, as local preservationists have run out of options in court. Below are some sights that will soon be just memories.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Venezia Pizza to open in Sheepshead Bay

Right across from the UA Theater. has the pic

Municipal Building to turn into Retail space

From Marty's site -

On December 6, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Joe Chan, Assembly Member Joan Millman, City Council Member Stephen Levin and other officials to announce a plan to transform part of the City-owned Brooklyn Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon Street into a vibrant retail use.

Repurposing the space for a retail opportunity has been a priority of BP Markowitz, who said, “The iconic and beautiful Municipal Building has the foot traffic and the perfect location to help fuel a renaissance along Court Street and add to our growing list of retail about to set up shop in Downtown Brooklyn, including H & M, Aéropostale, Filene’s/Syms and Shake Shack all coming to Fulton Mall, as well as Panera Bread and future retail opportunities at City Point and the area around the Barclays Center,” said BP Markowitz. “With all of us looking at ways to consolidate municipal space throughout the City, bringing exciting retail or other compatible uses to the Municipal Building and our vibrant, 24/7 live-work Downtown is an idea that is fortunately moving forward today with the announcement of this RFP.”

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Manhattan Beach/ Brighton Beach connected walkway?

Sheepshead Bites Blog posted this great WPIX story on the issue. I just emailed Marty concerning this. I used to walk this as a kid. It was awesome.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Are You Ready To Scream?

Coming in 2011!

NY Post - Zamperla Files Lawsuit

Excerpts -

The operators of Coney Island’s new Luna Park are freaking out over eight longtime boardwalk businesses’ refusal to be evicted — so much so that they’re now asking the courts for help in booting them.

Zamperla USA this week filed a lawsuit against Shoot the Freak, Ruby’s Bar and Grill and other businesses that they served with eviction papers Nov. 1 and told to leave by Nov. 19.

The suit demands that they vacate immediately — or pay $2,000-a-day in penalties.

But Anthony Berlingieri, owner of the "Shoot the Freak" attraction and the sandy "Beer Island" bar, told the Post yesterday "We’re not going anywhere. We did nothing wrong. We paid our rent on time, made Coney Island a success before Luna Park got here, and now we’re being thrown out like animals."

Zamperla contends in the suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court that the businesses’ refusal to vacate is causing the amusement giant financial hardship because it wants to move forward with massive renovations it plans for next season along the boardwalk and needs the space.

Zamperla wants to use the boardwalk space it’s leasing from the city to create a cleaner, more sanitized amusement district that includes a new sit-down restaurant and sports bar.

Zamperla’s lawyers did not return messages. Marc Aronson, a lawyer for the boardwalk businesses, declined comment, saying he had yet to see the suit.

Read more:

Google pays $1.8 Billion for Manhattan property owned by Taconic and others

You read that number correctly -$1.8 Billion. As we all know Taconic is a big investor in Coney Island residential and retail zoned property as well. I am guessing they won't have any trouble coming up with Coney development financing after this. LOL

NY Post excerpt -

The deal is the largest US commercial real estate purchase by a tenant ever -- and confirms an exclusive report in The Post on Oct. 27.

The marketing of massive 111 Eighth Ave. by investment maestro Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured attracted worldwide interest.

Harmon had been hired by Taconic Partners, Jamestown and New York State Common Retirement Fund with the idea that they would retain a piece of the building.

But Google made a compelling offer to buy all of the 3 million square footer that takes up a full block in Chelsea bounded by Eighth and Ninth avenues and 15th and 16th streets.

Read more:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just back from the Aviators game

That NY times article really seemed to help attendance tonight. The arena was more crowded than opening night a few weeks ago. Aviators beat Danbury 8-6 and remain undefeated at home.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Steel erected at Barclays Center


(Brooklyn, NY) - November 23, 2010 -The erection of steel began today at the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner, Chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, the developer of the arena, said today. The first components for vertical construction, including beams, girders and trusses, will be used for the main arena, facade support and the canopy.

"The installation of steel is always a major milestone for a construction project," said Mr. Ratner. "With the foundation work largely done, we are now poised to go vertical. Over the next several months, the Barclays Center will begin to take on the iconic shape that we believe will make the arena a worldwide destination and Brooklyn an international city."

"Progress on the Barclays Center spells great things for Brooklyn and its future," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "This project will bring jobs, affordable housing and economic opportunity, as well as a triumphant return to major league sports for the greatest fans in the world—Brooklynites." Steel erection will begin between the Event and Main Concourse level and progress east in a clockwise direction. Most of the initial activity will be along Atlantic Avenue.

One hundred tons of steel arrived at the site last week. Approximately 10,500 tons of steel will be used for the Barclays Center. The structural steel is being fabricated by Banker Steel Company in Lynchburg, VA. Steel will be erected in the field by J.F. Stearns Company and Ironworkers Local 40 using Liebherr LR 1300 and 1350 crawler cranes.

The Barclays Center is on schedule to open in the summer of 2012.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Timeline for Coney Infrastructure

City limits excerpt -

The city now says it's about to launch a major revamping of Coney Island's drainage system that will include raising the grade of the land at the boardwalk by nine feet and building new sewers to drain storm runoff into Coney Island Creek to the north. The first phase, costing $130 million, is projected for completion by 2014; subsequent phases won't be completed for at least another decade.

If this timeline is true, hotels logically can be built within 4 years. Seems reasonable.

Aviators get Major Hockey affiliation

NY Times excerpts -

The Aviators recently became an official rung on the ladder to the N.H.L. The Federal Hockey League is an independent minor league, roughly equivalent to Class A in baseball. The Aviators became an affiliate of the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, one of only two minor leagues directly connected to the N.H.L. The Nailers are affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens.

“This is a big step on the long road to legitimacy,” said Kevin McCabe, the founder and chief executive of the team and its home rink.

Being linked to the ECHL should help on several levels. “It will make everyone work a little harder,” Miller said, especially young players with potential like Angelo Serse, Inman and Puntureri, who has ECHL experience.

Jim Brooks, co-owner of the Nailers, said his team had sent more than 40 players to the N.H.L. in 18 years. He will call up the Aviators’ most talented players and send down players to develop specific areas of their games.

McCabe said the affiliation with the Nailers would not only attract talent, but also inspire Brooklynites playing in the Aviator complex’s junior hockey program.

Domenic on Year Round Coney

From Domenic Recchia's website -

Today the Daily News published an op-ed I wrote about the great season we had in Coney Island. You can read it below.

Moving closer to our dream of year-round Coney success

The results are in, and we can say with supreme confidence that the revitalization of Coney Island has been a success.

Need proof? Look at the numbers from this past summer.

Since Memorial Day weekend, 14 million people visited the beach – that’s nearly double the population of the whole city. The new Luna Park welcomed 400,000 thrill-seekers who took 1.7 million trips on their 19 rides.

Luna Park, by the way, created more than 200 jobs for a community desperately in need of employment opportunities.

The best part is that this is only the beginning. Next year we’ll open more rides at the Scream Zone. We’ll begin the first phase of infrastructure work to improve drainage in the flood-prone areas and prepare for a greater influx of people.

Early next year we’re going to break ground on Coney Island Commons, which will provide 195 units of affordable housing and bring a state-of-the-art YMCA to South Brooklyn.

We’re also going to start work on Steeplechase Plaza, a western gateway to Coney Island’s entertainment district that will house the newly-restored B&B Carousell.

This is going to take some time, but by working together, we’ve laid the groundwork for a plan that will restore Coney Island to its rightful position of glory.

That’s not say we’re forgetting about the businesses and the attractions that contributed to Coney Island rich history. We’re getting closer to achieving landmark status for the Shore Theater. Gargiulo’s, Deno’s Wonder Wheel, Nathan’s, the New York Aquarium, the Brooklyn Cyclones and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus – they’re not going anywhere.

When we’re finished, Coney Island will be home to a 27-acre amusement district that will draw millions of visitors each year. The surrounding neighborhood will have more than 4,500 housing units, many of them affordable, and more than 500,000 square feet of neighborhood retail stores and services.

With that come six thousand permanent jobs, twenty-five thousand construction jobs and a brighter future for everyone who calls Coney Island home.

Because for generations, Coney Island’s 50,000 residents – many of whom struggle to find good-paying jobs and affordable housing – have been clamoring for their voices to be heard.

We heard them, and I’m proud to say that we delivered.

What I’ve seen in Coney Island this summer is the realization of a dream I had when I was first elected to the City Council. It was a dream where Coney Island thrived, not just for a few months during the summer, but every single day of the year.

That is our future, and it’s right around the corner.

There are a lot of people to thank, but I want to single out the community.

Coney is more than a collection of buildings and rides. It’s a frame of mind. It has a spirit all it’s own, unique to New York City and unlike any other place in the world. Take the people out of Coney Island, and you take away what’s magical about it.

So to all the people who hold Coney Island close to their heart, I want to offer my sincere thanks.

Usually the end of the summer season brings with it a twinge of sadness, as the crowds thin and this great neighborhood hibernates through the winter months, waiting for the warm weather to bring it back to life.

This year, I feel no sadness. All I feel is hope, and excitement, and satisfaction, at what we’ve been able to achieve, and what we’re going to do next.

You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach connected walkway?

I remember this when I was a kid. Bring it back!

NY Post excerpt -

Brooklyn leaders are pushing a public-promenade plan that would reconnect the exclusive seaside neighborhood of Manhattan Beach with the rest of the borough’s less affluent southern shorefront.

Under the proposal, an eight-block rickety walkway that was fenced off from "outsiders" through a 1993 court order would be reopened and replaced with a new promenade. It would connect with the neighborhood’s public beach to the east and the Brighton Beach and Coney Island boardwalk to the west.

"Waterfront views should never be blocked," said Theresa Scavo, chairwoman of Brooklyn Community Board 15. "The city is finding ways to bring greenways for walking and biking to Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. Why can’t Southern Brooklyn have something like that?"

Read more:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Old CI Bank Building down

One down. Now the protestors have absolutely no options at all to stop a hotel in that spot. Next comes Hendersons. A great day for Coney development!!! YES!!!!!

Take a look here

Sunday, November 21, 2010

As Old Coney disappears around them.....

it is interesting to note that Lola Starr and CI USA have been kept in the long term plans by the City. As the old buildings come down on Surf to be replaced with hotels, and the new year round businesses emerge on the boardwalk these 2 businesses from the old Coney look to be remaining. The city granted CIUSA millions to own its building and Luna Park reportedly offered Lola Starr a longterm lease.

It is obvious that the city is not stupid. The 2 biggest voices in the protests against hotels and year round Coney have their future secured in the new Coney. Now the question is how relevant will they be in year round Coney that continues its development march around them? That's an open question.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waterslide Beach - 5 year deal done

But will they get the permits this year?

NY Post excerpt -

A Long Island firm may soon be operating an inflatable water park and bungee-jumping arena off Coney Island's boardwalk.

The city Parks Department's tapped Party Magic USA, of Island Park, to run its “Waterslide Beach plan” – which would include three mega-waterslides, bungee jumping, beach-item and cabana rentals and food carts — near W. 19th Street across from MCU Park and Steeplechase Pier.

Party Magic, which would pay the city $360,746 over the five-year contract – saw the state sink its plans to open the park this past summer because the company failed to obtain proper permits to operate in a "coastal erosion area."

Maureen Wren, a state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman, said that as of yesterday Party Magic still hasn’t applied for the permits. City officials said it is Party Magic’s responsibility to get proper permits before opening.

Read more:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NY1 video - Aviators win for Brooklyn!

"Hockey is obviously a rough and tough sport, and the whole Brooklyn persona is kind of that way," said Aviators coach Rob Miller. "And I think that the community will buy into just for that. It's hockey, it's rough and tough and exciting as well."

NY Aviators broadcast on the web

Many games will be webcast here -

City Point gets green light for Outdoor Urban Market

Brooklyn Eagle excerpts -

There will be 40 160-square-foot enclosed units with shopfronts, described as work/sell spaces. They will be set in five rows — “like miniature streets with small stores,” he said — and will include both eateries and boutique shops. The rents will be $1,200 per month with an “easy-in, easy-out type of license.

Also planned: a section for an urban farming area, a tented area for community events and performances, and an open fence so passersby can see the market.

Travis said that if there’s a tenant who is really successful in the Urban Market he or she will want to be in the new building.

“We and the city didn’t want the site to be empty during the construction, which could take from two to five years,” said Travis.

“There’s nothing quite like this in Brooklyn right now,” he added. “We can learn a lot from this. It will be a test.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marty on Shake Shack coming to Fulton Mall

On Tuesday, November 9, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined restaurateur Danny Meyer, New York City Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Joe Chan to announce that Shake Shake is coming to Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn. Also representing Shake Shack were CEO David Swinghamer and COO Randy Garutti (full press release below).

“Bravo to Shake Shack for finally hitting the big time in Brooklyn, further solidifying our status as one of America’s premier culinary destinations,” said BP Markowitz. “After years of pitching Danny Meyer, I am thrilled he is bringing his legendary burgers, flat-top dogs and frozen custard to Downtown Brooklyn, right in the heart of our new 24/7 live-work city center and its diverse retail, new hotels and expanding arts and cultural corridor. Soon, you will be able to walk the “beefed up” Fulton Mall and get a ShackBurger, do some shopping and finish off with a cheesecake from Junior’s—plus everything in between.

Pic here

Luna Park President editorial in the Bay News

Excerpts -

But Luna Park was just the beginning of a process intended to fully restore Coney Island to the glory it enjoyed during its Golden Age. In 2011, Central Amusement International will unveil two additional components: a second amusement park called Scream Zone and a world-class Boardwalk. As I mentioned, the goal is ultimately a Coney Island capable of attracting visitors 365 days a year. It will be challenging, to be sure — but we believe it is possible. And a resurgent Boardwalk is essential to accomplishing this goal.

The multi-million dollar program will bring back the world-class mix of entertainment, dining and nightlife that was once a hallmark of the famed Boardwalk. It will feature some of Coney Island’s current tenants, as well as new tenants like a sit-down restaurant and sports bar — both of which will operate year-round. Like the new Luna Park, the Boardwalk will reflect the unique character and innovative spirit of Coney Island, bringing it into the future so that new generations of visitors can enjoy America’s Playground.

Valerio Ferrari is president of Central Amusement International.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Aviators in the Daily News

Excerpts -

It's just like MTV's "The Real World," where strangers are thrown together in one house - only this time with rock-'em sock-'em Brooklyn pro hockey players living in Queens.

A dozen members of the Marine Park-based New York Aviators are working it on the ice - and living together in a cramped beach house in Rockaway Park, Queens.

"It's like a frat house, only without a college and an education," said Nicholas Kuquali, 25, a defenseman from Pittsburgh, who shares a rail-thin room with John Goffredo, 23, a center from upstate Orange County.

The Aviators' first home game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. against the Broome Barons. For a schedule of games, go to

Read more:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It seems like the preservation groups will hate the new Coney Island

Check out these posts from today

Really interesting. They fight for their love of Coney Island. The boardwalk is going to go year round, and Scream Zone is coming next summer. and the old dilapidated buildings are coming down. Coney is obviously changing and the opposition to it is in total disarray.

Only 200 show up for Boardwalk Protest today

By comparison 700 children showed up for the Halloween Parade last week -

I can't believe there was such a low turnout today. I am shocked.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The timing of Lynn Kelly leaving the CIDC for another job

So strange. Just a few days before the boardwalk businesses got the eviction notices from Zamperla. Ya gotta wonder about the timing here. Coincidence or was it somehow related??? I sure don't know.

Shake Shack coming to Fulton Mall!

NY Post excerpt -

After hearing the news, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said "It’s about time!"

"I’m thrilled about Shake Shack," he said. "I’ve been pitching Danny Meyer to come to Brooklyn for years, and have always felt that Fulton Mall would be a great location—right in the heart of Brooklyn’s new 24/7 live-work city center, with its diverse retail, new hotels and expanding arts and cultural corridor.

"Of course, Shake Shack would be just the appetizer en route to the main course—a full-service Danny Meyer restaurant in Brooklyn."

Read more:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Now the opposition has 3 enemies

Thor, Zamperla, and the city. And in the meantime Coney is going year round. The opposition to the new Coney is pretty much in total disarray at the moment.

The old buildings are coming down thus hotels can't be blocked, new year businesses are coming to the boardwalk, and city infrastructure spend starts next year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Too much hating on the New Coney Island

Lots of anger on the net. Scream Zone is going to be absolutely amazing next year and with a year round entrance. Coney's boardwalk may very well start to see foot traffic in Winter 2011. First time in our lives.

Marty cheers Luna for year round boardwalk plan and

calls on city to help relocate old boardwalk businesses -

Excerpt from Marty's comments

Ny Mag/Grubb St-

I could not be more thrilled with Luna Park and Zamperla’s commitment to a year-round entertainment and venues that celebrate the ocean views and maximize the beachfront location. But change is often difficult. As a Brooklynite, I have great respect for all boardwalk businesses that have kept the faith during hard times, therefore I’m calling on the City to see if we can help them stay in the area if not on the boardwalk.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The day after

Most likely the boardwalk is going year round. Don't be surprised to see Atomic Wings or Shake Shack coming. I saw a "Wings" sign in the designs on the net and TV yesterday. Rumors in the papers about Brooklyn Brewery as well. The entrance to Scream Zone will be a centerpiece of a new Coney. No doubt about that.

Still cannot believe we haven't seen a statement from Save Coney Island? Could it possibly be because Lola Starr is Save Coney's founder and and she is staying according to reports? Is that why they are not talking? I don't know. Very Very strange.

Quite honestly I wonder what is going to happen to the whole stop Coney change blog movement. What's left for them to argue about? My guess is they will go back to blaming Thor for everything.

Monday, November 1, 2010

No statement from Save Coney Island yet

No mention of today's news?


Said it many times

I am just so surprised that the protestors put so much effort into stopping hotels which they had no chance in the world of stopping. And I saw no effort put where the protestors could have had an impact - the boardwalk scenario. What a humongous tactical mistake by the preservation groups.

More from NY1

Excerpt -

"We're going to try to bring businesses here that are going to be open year round," said Ferrari. "The main anchor that we are trying to feature is going to be a sit-down restaurant with an ocean view, open 365 days a year, able to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also a very large sports bar."

The space between the two buildings, where the Shoot The Freak game has been operating, will become the entrance to a new amusement park called Scream Zone. And while the new rides will draw the crowds, businesses like Paul's Daughter, which has been in operation since 1962, will not be around to reap the benefits.

"This is the real Coney island. And it's a shame. This is a sad day,” said Coney Island historian Charles Denson.

Businesses who lost their lease have been given 15 days to pack up and leave.

NY Times has more info

Excerpt -

Early on Monday, the owners of Shoot the Freak, Ruby’s bar, Coney Island Souvenirs, Gyro Corner, Beer Garden and four other boardwalk operators were informed that their leases would not be renewed.

NY1 has more details on the Coney boardwalk businesses

Excerpt -

Tenants will receive letters from Luna Park operator Zamperla informing them whether their leases will be renewed.

All their leases expired yesterday.

NY1 has learned that the Italian company will allow fewer than half to stay.

Luna Park wants to make the boardwalk one of the neighborhood's main attractions, and has a grand vision for the area. Preliminary plans feature more food variety, a sit-down restaurant, a sports bar, and free WiFi.

Two businesses have already been told they can return, including Nathan’s hot dogs and the Lola Starr Boutique, whose owner – along with the other tenants – had the chance to submit a proposal and business plan, explaining why they should stay.

Sit down restaurant and Sports Bar coming to the Boardwalk

Daily News excerpt -

A sitdown restaurant and a sports bar will open on the Boardwalk alongside some - but not all - of the current tenants, said Valerio Ferrari, president of Zamperla USA, the company that controls the seaside attraction. Both will be open year-round.

Read more:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marty blasts concrete boardwalk

Daily News excerpt -

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz Friday blasted the city's plan to transform vast sections of the Coney Island Boardwalk into a concrete walkway.

Markowitz also didn't buy a Parks Department argument that the concrete makeover is ecologically friendly.

"We should not hastily turn our legendary Coney Island Boardwalk into just another concrete sidewalk," Markowitz wrote in a letter to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

"The last thing we want to do is take away one of the main reasons people come to Coney Island!"

Read more:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Recchia posts on Halloween Parade

From Domenic's website -

I’m proud and excited to be hosting the inaugural Coney Island Children’s Halloween Parade this Saturday!

We’re going to start on the Boardwalk behind MCU Stadium at West 19th Street. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and lineup starts at 12:15 p.m.

The parade will start at 12:45 p.m., and the route will run down the Boardwalk to Luna Park, on West 10th Street.

There will be prizes for best costume, treats for the children and a party at Luna Park to round out the day. And while we’re encouraging children from far and wide to come participate, parents are encouraged to dress up, too.

So come out and enjoy the fun. This is going to be an incredible event, and it’s just another sign that Coney Island is moving closer toward being the best year-round entertainment destination in New York City!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coney Boardwalk going all concrete?

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

The test results are in — and a concrete Boardwalk is inevitable!

Parks Department officials announced on Wednesday night that concrete fared far better than wood or artificial material as a replacement for the battered and broken planks stretching from Brighton Beach to Coney Island — an announcement that led locals to the inevitable conclusion that the iconic, 69-year-old Boardwalk will soon become a sidewalk.

More on the Halloween Parade

AMNY excerpt-

Mermaids, step aside. This isn’t your parade.

Costume-clad children and their parents will be hitting Coney Island on Saturday as the seaside neighborhood hosts its first ever Halloween parade.

The parade, which coincides with frightening festivities at nearby Luna Park, will lead participants down the streets of Surf Avenue from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The parade is the latest evidence of efforts to make Coney Island attractive beyond the summer, said Chuck Reichenthal, the district manager for Community Board 13 in Coney Island.

“[The parade] is an indication that Coney Island is a year-round area where people can come to and have jobs,” he said.

Councilman Domenic Recchia raised funds for the parade, and several community members are chipping in.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aviator Sports expands into.........Queens??

With an outdoor skating rink! Man this would have been great for a new Brooklyn location. Oh well. Hop on the Belt to the Cross Bay Blvd exit.

Aviator web site -

now offers the ONLY outdoor skating rink in QUEENS!

Our GRAND OPENING is on Veterans Day (Thursday, Nov 11th), and skating continues all winter long! Have fun with new and old friends and share the joy of outdoor ice.

Come join the skating community!

Location: Cooper Ave. at 81st — across from the shops at Atlas Park.

Days/Hours: Monday – Thursday 3pm – 8pm.
Friday 3pm – 9pm; Saturday and Sunday 10am – 10pm.

Admission: Adults $8, Children $6, and skate rentals $5.
Group and school discounts available. Call 718-758-7500.

Follow us on Facebook!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NY1 video on Aviators Hockey

Excerpt -

The city's only minor league hockey team is set to begin its new season Friday night.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Appointment of Officers at next CIDC meeting Wednesday

From the CIDC website

Upcoming Board Meeting

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Coney Island Development Corporation will be held on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, via conference call. The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. View the agenda here.

Children's Halloween Parade in Coney Saturday!

NY Post excerpt -

Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., who organized the event by soliciting private donations, said he hopes it’ll become "as big for children someday" as the local Mermaid Parade is for adults. He said about 100 children have registered so far. Those looking to register the day of the event must be accompanied by adults.

The parade will start 12:45 p.m. on the boardwalk behind MCU Stadium at West 19th Street and it’ll run east to Luna Park at W. 10th Street. Luna Park, which will host a party afterwards, announced earlier this year it was extending its season through the end of October to celebrate the holiday in spooky style.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brooklyn's first TJ Maxx opens today on Kings Highway

1630 E 15th St at Kings Highway
Grand Opening Sunday, October 24 at 8am

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hotels popping up all over Brooklyn

WSJ excerpt -

Hotels are popping up everywhere in Brooklyn and the other boroughs outside Manhattan, some in very strange places.

The hotel wave is coming more than a decade after the 1998 opening of the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn's first new luxury hotel in a half century. Now dozens of new lodgings are coming to the borough, as well as to Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.

For instance, the 321-room full-service Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel opened its doors in June, and it will be followed by a boutique-style hotel, the Aloft Brooklyn, with 176 rooms in January. Both are brands of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

A full-service hotel, the Hyatt Place, is planned for a 2012 debut at the corner of Nevins and Schermerhorn streets. McSam Hotel Group LLC is developing the property near the future Nets basketball arena in Brooklyn, according to the NYC & Company Inc., the convention bureau. A boutique hotel and condominium project, the Hotel Williamsburg and the Residences at the Williamsburg, are scheduled for opening next spring.

Meanwhile, limited-service properties like Choice Hotels International Inc.'s Comfort Inn, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC's Holiday Inn Express and others are taking root near subway and railroad stations across the city, usually close to hospitals, airports or major highways.

"New York is a very, very hot market and everybody wants to be there. The availability of debt financing and land is the only issue" says Jan Freitag, vice president of Smith Travel Research Inc. in Hendersonville, Tenn., a hotel-data provider.

About 19 new hotels are under construction in the outer boroughs and dozens more are in the planning stages, including a Hilton on Gold Street in downtown Brooklyn, Mr. Freitag says.

More on the Demolition

Get it done already! How long does it take to bring down a building?

Brooklyn Paper excerpts -

“Thor has launched its program to revitalize Coney Island by replacing these two ramshackle structures with interim structures that will house new selections of games, shopping and food beginning next summer,” said Stefan Friedman, a spokesman.

Friedman added that the destruction of Henderson’s would soon commence, “assuming all permits are in place.”

The demolition is yet another sign that Coney Island is undergoing a significant transformation

“We eagerly anticipate the city’s fulfilling its commitment to improve the area’s long-inadequate infrastructure, so we can get to work on building the kind of permanent showpieces that will anchor a 21st-century, year-round Coney Island,” said Friedman.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Filene's Basement/Syms coming to Fulton Mall

Brooklyn Eagle excerpts -

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — National retailer Filene's Basement/Syms will open its first Brooklyn department store on the Fulton Mall.

First reported in the New York Post, the newly merged discount store is taking a prime spot on the mall, in the building at 490 Fulton St. on the south side of the mall at the corner of Bond Street and opposite the new plaza and the future City Point development.

Commented Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, “The addition of Brooklyn’s first Filene’s Basement/Syms brings yet another reason to ‘Shop Brooklyn.’ Filene’s Basement/Syms joins a growing list of retailers setting up shop in our borough, including our top-performing Trader Joe’s and IKEA, Aéropostale and H&M, both coming to Fulton Mall, and, opening today on Atlantic Avenue, Barneys Co-op. So, bye-bye, Manhattan and ‘buy, buy’ Brooklyn.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CB15 wants South Brooklyn addressed in the City Waterfront Plan - Vision 2020

Bay News excerpt-

“The city has not given us enough and it has not done enough,” said CB15 Chairwoman Theresa Scavo.

CB15’s suggestions for Vision 2020 reads as a Cliffs Notes of solutions for longtime problems: the waters of Sheepshead Bay, which has been narrowed by erosion, need to be dredged because boats have been getting stuck in the sand; Plumb Beach’s sand-covered bike path needs to be cleaned up; the Belt Parkway needs a barrier to protect it from the harbor; sea walls along Gerritsen and Manhattan beaches need to be repaired to prevent flooding.

“We need long-term solutions for these problems and so far, the city has not given us any,” Scavo said.

The remaining Community Board suggestions deal with the area’s aesthetics. For instance, the board wants the city to extend the Emmons Avenue boardwalk, which now stretches from E. 15th to E. 27th streets, to Knapp Street. The board calls the proposed path “a visual corridor” that would allow pedestrians to get a better view of the water.

The city’s draft does allude to a couple of the board’s recommendations, including replenishing the sand to prevent further erosion at Plumb Beach and rebuilding its bike paths, but residents say that the city’s points of interest are inadequate.

“Just replenishing the sand and putting sand bags along Plumb Beach to protect the bike paths and the Belt Parkway is not enough,” Ditchek said. “They city needs to look at that area more carefully.”

Demolition permit issued for last building in way of Barclays Center

Nets Daily excerpt -

New York City has issued a demolition permit for the last structure standing in the way of Barclays Center: Daniel Goldstein's condominium building. The demolition will take as long as five months to complete. The building at 636 Pacific Street is strategically situated, sitting roughly where arena center court will be, and was also a symbol of the critics' resistance.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marty suggests Drive-in movie theater for Floyd Bennett. I say expand Aviator Sports

Daily News excerpt -

Borough President Marty Markowitz suggested a drive-in movie theater, an antique market, even a Brooklyn version of the Nevada desert's wild Burning Man Festival, the marathon free-love art party.

Read more:

Just my opinion, but Aviator Sports Center has been so successful there my suggestion would be to expand it into a full version imitation of Chelsea Piers. This is the 3rd straight season we are going to have professional hockey in Brooklyn at Aviator and the rinks are also packed during the winter with recreational ice skating. You have a full gym, basketball courts, football and soccer fields there already. They also have concerts there at CenterStage and have held boxing events and various summer festivals.

Lets get some pools, bowling alleys, batting cages, tennis courts etc and expand Aviator Sports. It's a hidden Brooklyn gem!