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

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: