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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Luna Park BBQ now open. Restaurant to come?

From their website -

Luna Parks BBQ Pit is now open!! Come on over and enjoy the true tastes of summer with our BBQ variety. Now serving old time favorites like pulled pork, beef brisket, buffalo chicken, and deep fried pickles.

Also it looks like construction has begun on a possible new Luna Park sit down restaurant as noted on the CIUSA boards. This is a fantastic rumor as it would be the first new indoor restaurant on Surf Ave as allowed in the new zoning. Way to go Luna Park! Make it happen!

The Real Deal - Thor closes on Takashimaya for $142M

Excerpt -

Thor Equities announced today that it officially closed on a deal to purchase the Takashimaya building at 693 Fifth Avenue for $142 million. Thor also announced the start of renovations for the property. The building is currently a mix of retail and commercial uses, but after the renovation, the first eight floors will be transformed into 6,000 square feet of retail space, while floors nine through 20 will keep their original design. The existing granite columned fa├žade will also be replaced with a more modern glass one. Construction is expected to start in the fall, with completion slated for late spring of 2011. Thor will be acting as its own leasing agent and, as part of any deal, the new tenant will have the exclusive right to name the building.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Emailed Marty on the Water Park

No doubt everybody is frustrated as it is almost August and it still isn't open. Marty told me the waterpark just submitted State applications on Tuesday and he is trying his best to get this going.

What a great idea, but when???

Daily News excerpt -

Gach sent in an application - but DEC said that was no good because only the Parks Department, which owns the beach, is legally entitled to apply. Parks initially balked, insisting Party Magic was responsible for all permits, but agreed to sign on as the permit applicant this week.

"DEC continues to stand ready to assist to ensure that the installation will be safe and comply with all legal requirements," Wren said - but she couldn't say how long a decision on a permit would take.

Gach said he's anxious to get through the red tape and open the park, promising "great days of wet fun in the sun," with the three-story high blowup Steeplechase Slide, the kid-sized Big Cahuna and the Niagara Falls, which shoots riders out onto a slip-and-slide landing.

"As soon as we get the go-ahead, we'll have a grand opening," he said. "We're as anxious as everybody else is, and just looking forward to the starting day."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

City Point construction begins

Brooklyn Eagle excerpt -

We are excited to start construction at City Point, which will become an integral part of the continuing redevelopment and revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn,” he said in a published statement. “With the help of our partners, Paul Slayton, Aaron Malinsky and Paul Travis, as well as the patience and support of the city, especially the mayor’s office, the Economic Develop-ment Corp., and Borough President Marty Markowitz, we have a project that we will all be proud of and which will make a strong, positive contribution to Brooklyn and the city.”

The timing couldn’t be more perfect, because Brooklyn is becoming more of a destination for shopping, arts and culture, according to Markowitz.

“City Point is a project I’ve been proud to support from day one,” he said. “The first phase will breathe new life into Downtown Brooklyn’s business community and will serve as an anchor for the businesses on Fulton Street.

“Bravo to Acadia Realty and Ken Bernstein, Aaron Malinsky and P/A Associates, Paul Travis, the Economic Development Corp. and everyone who is helping to make City Point a reality.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Barclays Center negotiating with Ringling Bros for 2012

Crains excerpt -

Although the LeBron James circus will not be coming to town—he announced last Thursday that he would sign with the Miami Heat—it looks like another one will: Barclays Center is in talks with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to join the 2012 schedule. The elephants would march over either the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge.

Marty talks about the opponents to the Amphitheater

NY Times excerpt -

During an interview he bristled at the suggestion that the plan was mainly about his legacy. He said he viewed it as a way to allow the concert series to outlast him, dismissing the objections as impediments to fun.

“This whole opposition is bogus,” he said. “They don’t want people there. That’s what it comes down to. It’s bunk.”

Brooklyn Real Estate Surge

WSJ excerpt -

In the second quarter, Brooklyn's North region, including Williamsburg and Greenpoint, reported a 10.2% price gain to a median $585,000 from a year ago.

Prices in South Brooklyn—Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay—gained 9.7% from a year earlier to $447,500.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Divide and Conquer

Exactly how the development forces are gaining strength in Coney

Here is the definition -

A combination of political, military and economic strategies that aim to gain and maintain power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.

Here are 2 threads of posts that are excellent examples of the utter disarray in the old pro honkytonk Coney

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NY Times - Brooklyn Hotel Boom


Brooklyn is in a hotel-building boom, after decades in which the Marriott near the Brooklyn Bridge had the borough’s lodging market mostly to itself.

The new competitors include budget brands like Best Western, which has three locations in Brooklyn, and the Sheraton Brooklyn, which opened downtown in May. Over the last few years, Brooklyn has also welcomed boutique hotels like the Nu Hotel in Boerum Hill, Hotel Le Jolie in Williamsburg and Hotel Le Bleu in Park Slope. And Smith Travel Research, the hospitality research company, estimates that 40 more hotels are under construction in Brooklyn or in the planning stages, although some may never get off the ground if oversaturation becomes a concern.

Hoyt Harper, a senior vice president of brand management for Sheraton, said this location was convenient to transportation hubs and would be well positioned to attract Nets fans when the new stadium opened nearby in Atlantic Yards.

“We’re two years ahead of the sports facility,” Mr. Harper said, “but we’ll be in a great location to capture the business that brings to the market.”

“When you build a hotel, you’re looking five to 10 to 20 years out,” he said. “As Brooklyn reinvents itself, we’ll be in the heart of it.”

Barclay's Center to host 12 boxing events per year

Sports Pro Media excerpt -

Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment has signed a three-year deal with Golden Boy Promotions for Barclays Center, the new home of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) New Jersey Nets, which is set to open in 2012. Under the terms of the deal, Barclays Center will host 12 fight events annually.

“We continue to sell suites, and [prospective buyers] want to know what else is going to be in there besides the Nets,” said Brett Yormark, president and CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. In March, the Nets announced a deal with IMG College to bring in top college basketball games every year.

Bloomberg signs bill. The show goes on!

WSJ excerpts -

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation Tuesday that will allow a summer concert series at Coney Island's Asser Levy Park to begin Thursday, rankling opponents of the event who questioned the mayor's ethics at a bill-signing ceremony earlier this week.

On Monday, Mr. Bloomberg delayed signing the legislation after listening to a number of Brooklyn residents complain vociferously about how the concerts in the park negatively impact the neighborhood. Officials at two nearby synagogues said the concerts disturb their services.

The mayor said he met with legislative and legal staff Tuesday morning. "After carefully weighing all concerns," he said, he decided to sign the bill, which will temporarily modify the city's sound permit law.

"By creating a 90-day pilot modification, this legislation will help the city determine whether standards for the issuance of sound permits currently in the law can be made more exact and effective," Mr. Bloomberg said.

An elated Mr. Markowitz applauded the mayor and declared, "The show will go on!"

And so it will. Neil Sedaka kicks off the series on Thursday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

From ConeyIslandFun

As all of us are waiting and waiting for Water Slide Beach, I decided to ask the Fun Guide when it will open. Nothing really new, but at least they answered. I also want to add that the beach chair rental and Nathan's concession has been on the boardwalk by the ballpark for the last week waiting to become part of Water Slide Beach as well.

From ConeyIslandFun -

@ConeyRocks Glad you're excited for Water Slide Beach! Us too! We hear they are working through final permit issues. Hopefully open soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Best Western Arena Hotel opens near Atlantic Yards

Brooklyn Eagle excerpt -

Just 6 Blocks From Barclays, Across From Atlantic Ave. LIRR Station

By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Brooklyn now has a brand new Best Western hotel that’s open and ready for business.

Originally to be named Best Western Downtown Brooklyn, it was renamed Best Western Arena Hotel because of its proximity to the Barclays Center at Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development.

The new hotel, which opened on May 27, is at 1324 Atlantic Ave., said to be at the crossroads of Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.

“Brooklyn is quickly becoming a top destination for tourists, business and leisure travelers, and with the new Barclays Center for the New Jersey Nets scheduled to open in 2011, our hotel will be a great addition to the city,” said Mukesh Patel, principal of Mukteshwar LLC, owner of the new Best Western. “We are only six blocks from the new arena and the only hotel at the first stop along the Long Island Rail Road, making it a convenient stay whether they’re in the area for work or play.”

It joins the two existing Brooklyn Best Westerns, the Gregory in Bay Ridge and the Brooklyn Bay in Sheepshead Bay; as well as the one under construction at 764 Fourth Ave. corner of 26th Street in Sunset Park.

Ziggy embraces amphitheater AND HOTELS

Interesting to see hotels mentioned in this opinion piece about the Amphitheater. Gotta love it! The anti Coney hotels contingent is really losing momentum.

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

Plan Would Bring New Life

for The Brooklyn Paper

Fans of Coney Island are rejoicing at the city’s commitment to the bright future of “America’s Playground.”

The Coney Island plan is a great start to a new heyday. Along with new amusements, hotels and entertainment, the renovation of Asser Levy Park, and its band shell across the street from the New York Aquarium and one block from the beach and Boardwalk, is another welcome manifestation of this commitment, and fully in keeping with the park’s musical heritage.

What happened to Water Slide Beach

Brooklyn Paper excerpts -

In the midst of a record-smashing heatwave, an all-too-familiar villain is keeping sweating Brookynites from a new water park at Coney Island — bureaucratic red tape.

Three mega-waterslides were ready to be inflated for the opening of “Waterslide Beach” on the sand at Coney Island last weekend, said owner Anthony Gach, but someone — though who is not clear — failed to file paperwork with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which apparently has some oversight role.

“The DEC came in at the last minute and said that the Parks Department didn’t file the proper paperwork,” said Gach, the president of Party Magic. “It was an application for a permit, and we’re going through a whole rigmarole right now — trying to get through it as fast as we can.”

The Parks Department says the delay is not its fault.

“Party Magic’s contract requires that it is solely responsible for all permits and approvals,” said Phil Abramson, a spokesman for the Parks Department, which awarded Gach the contract for the site, though not all the permits, apparently.

The state agency told Gach that it would prioritize the paperwork for Water Slide Beach, and Borough President Markowitz is trying to expedite the process.

State environmental officials did not provide answers to our questions before our blazing hot online deadline.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Save Coney Island planning a series of events

It will be interesting to see what their next strategy is to stop the Coney hotel development. I wonder when they will finally give up? My guess is after the demolition.

NY Post article on the old Coney buildings


Despite the threat, the Landmarks Preservation Commission quickly declined to designate the district, saying the buildings had been too altered, and therefore failed to meet their criteria.

Thor CEO Joe Sitt, who calls himself a preservationist, agrees, saying that his company “stayed away from all historically significant properties” when buying land in Coney. He adds that when Thor sold a chunk of land and air rights to the city for $97 million in December 2009, “We kept only those sites that the city wanted to see developed.”

Yet the disputed Thor-owned buildings — Henderson’s Music Hall, for example, or the Bank of Coney Island — charming and retro though they are, are surely not worthy of individual landmark designation. The Renaissance Revival Coney Island Theater Building, now known as the Shore Theater, might be a good landmarks candidate, but it’s one of the few.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Brooklyn Eagle talks Coney, Atlantic Yards, and City Point

Excerpt -

Atlantic Yards has started, and Wednesday’s Eagle reported that nearly 700 cubic yards of concrete has been poured in building the sports arena. In one sense, this is the biggest of the projects because of the number of housing units that might be built, because the impact of the sports arena itself will be almost immeasurable, and because the possibility of a whole new Downtown springing up in a number of years is strong.

The new Coney Island is clearly one of the big Brooklyn projects, and its long-term effect on the area and the city itself is very hard to predict. It is not too bold to predict, however, that Coney Island may become one of the largest residential centers in the nation.

The fifth of the big projects is the City Point retail complex. It should be the moveable force that will, over time, change enough of the retail scene in Downtown Brooklyn to make Downtown a quality shopping center on a par with Manhattan. That will, of course, take time and a healthy run of economic prosperity.

ABC Video - Crowds Gather for Coney Fireworks

Oh my goodness was Coney nuts last night! We walked by Luna Park after going to the wrestling event. What a crowd! Hoping Waterslide Beach is ready this weekend. Somebody told us it is opening Sunday. It sure wasn't ready to open yesterday.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Big Coney Weekend!

We will be there tonight for TNA Wrestling and fireworks at MCU Park and at WaterSlide Beach on Monday. Saturday and Sunday we have 2 beach parties at Manhattan Beach so we won't be at the Hot Dog Eating Contest. What a Brooklyn Beach Weekend! Good Luck Joey Chestnut!

B-52's and Belinda Carlisle at Seaside Park

Marty's Brooklyn! 2010 summer mailing lists the B-52's and Belinda Carlisle at Seaside Park August 19th as part of the free concert series. Expect Seaside Park to be jam packed for that 80s extravaganza. It's going to be nuts!

Why the the old buildings at Coney must be demolished

I have written about it for about a year now since the re-zoning. There has been a movement in Coney to stop the hotel development south of Surf. When they lost on the zoning they started talking about historic designation for the old empty dilapidated buildings. They lost on that too. The historic designation was denied.

Without demolition, Thor runs the risk of this group pushing for landmarking and historic designation of the old buildings for years and into new administrations. The buildings must be demolished now, this year, in order to ensure the sites are clear for future hotel development. Any future landmarking or designation takes away the right for hotel development.

Demolition must be done and done quickly. Sooner rather than later. I have no doubt Thor will do it this year as has been mentioned in the press. The earlier the better. Coney needs that land to be unrestricted for future hotels after the $150 million in city infrastructure spend.

You will read about the horrors of demolition in the press and the blogs. Remember these are the same people who tried to stop hotels in the zoning. Demolition will stop the anti-hotel movement for good. It happens this year.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Will we ever hear from Save Coney Island again?

The question has to be asked.

They lost on the zoning last year. They sued to reverse the zoning and lost again. Then they lost on the historic district designation.

One has to wonder if they keep losing will they just walk away from the issues? What is the next strategy? Have they run out of options?

What's really happening at Coney Island

Seaside Park, Luna Park, MCU park, Waterslide Beach, new Subway Terminal, Aquarium, Ringling Bros. The amount of things to do at Coney just keeps growing.

It will be the signature development in the US over the next decade.

Marty talks Coney change

NY Times Excerpts -

At issue are plans by Mr. Markowitz to transform run-down Asser Levy Park into a signature concert space by replacing the band shell with an amphitheater. But the leaders at two synagogues across the street from the nine-acre park, saying they are representing nearby residents, have opposed the plans. They charge it would disrupt religious services and create a nightmare of traffic and noise.

For his part, Mr. Markowitz called the latest efforts by the opponents “Nimbyism” and “misspent energy.”

“Change, I know, is not easy,” Mr. Markowitz said. “This will bring so much joy and happiness to the people of New York and Brooklyn.”

The show goes on!

And Coney development continues. Look for the Amphitheater to be completed in 2012. The city is doing wonderful things for Coney Island

Brooklyn Paper excerpts

Judge sides with Markowitz’s foes — but Council rule change allows summer concerts
By Joe Maniscalco
Community Newspaper Group

A judge on Wednesday ruled that Borough President Markowitz’s summer concerts may violate a city anti-noise law — but the ruling blocking this year’s series is effectively moot thanks to a just-passed Council bill that excepts the very concerts from noise code restrictions.

“The show will go on,” Markowitz promised after the meaningless injunction was delivered by Judge Kenneth Sherman.

Mayor Bloomberg has promised to sign the Council bill — which exempts Markowitz’s Seaside Summer Concert Series in Coney Island’s Asser Levy Park from restrictions barring amplified music within 500 feet of a house of worship — on July 12, three days before Markowitz dons his trademark white tuxedo and introduces Neil Sedaka and Brenda Lee for the concert kickoff.