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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ocean Dreams very close to other new condo construction

Currently just off the Boardwalk on W. 32nd -

L Magazine excerpt -

For $1.55 million, you can buy the penthouse condo in the private waterfront building currently under construction on the Coney Island boardwalk. The structure will contain the first private condos (11 of them) on the Coney Island waterfront, Amusing the Zillion reports, going up on a long-empty lot that once housed a knish joint and a bathhouse.

It is also worth noting that the western end of Coney's beach (around W 32nd -34th) has become the new hotspot for the college and 20 something crowd the last couple of years.

Ocean Dreams lives!

Was at the CB13 meeting that approved the development of this area about 5 or 6 years ago. Now its coming back bigger!

Architects Newspaper excerpt -

A new proposal for Coney Island seeks to anchor the west end of the boardwalk with nearly 500,000 square feet of mixed-use development called Ocean Dreams. The three residential towers with over 400 market rate condos, range from 14 to 22 stories and rest atop 25,000 square feet of retail and 400 parking spaces. Dattner Architects joined Cooper Robertson in designing the project in 2007, but Dattner took the lead after Red Apple Real Estate became owner in 2008. Red Apple, led by Gristedes supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis, ramped up a 2005 plan that many thought dead in the water.

The site sits between the bright lights of the entertainment district and Sea Gate, a quiet gated community at the end of the island, and across from several rent-subsidized towers, ranging from 14 to 19 stories. For years, school buses parked at the two oceanfront lots between West 34th and West 36th Street, Surf Avenue and the boardwalk. As plans for the heart of the island exploded, the sleepy western end didn’t get much attention. That began to change in 2005 when City Planning agreed to rezone the area then owned by Ocean Dreams LLC. Instead of a 40 foot height limit with an FAR of 1.25, new zoning allowed for a 70 foot limit and an FAR of 3.0. More than 300 apartments were planned for two seven-story buildings with 88 parking spaces and no retail.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Domenic talks Aquarium upgrades + video

From His Blog

I was proud to help unveil the New York Aquarium’s Conservation Hall and Glover’s Reef yesterday. This spectacular 4,000-square-foot building is home to more than one hundred species of aquatic animals, including corals, eels and highly-endangered African freshwater fish.

This renovation is a major part of A Sea Change, a 10-year $150 million-plus public-private capital campaign that will transform the aquarium. It’s going to connect the New York Aquarium to our beautiful waterfront and make this a must-see tourist destination that will draw people from around the world to discover and learn.

Coney Island is in the middle of an amazing revitalization right now. We attracted record crowds last season, and I believe that we’re going to break those records this summer season. The New York Aquarium is going to play a big role in that.

To see New York Aquarium Director Jon Dohlin give a video tour of Conservation Hall and Glover’s Reef, visit this link.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Boardwalk plans to be revealed in November

NY Times excerpt -

Central Amusement has said in a statement that it wants to “extend its vision of a resurgent Coney Island to the Boardwalk,” but it is unclear what that vision is. A spokesman said the company would “address plans for the future come November.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NY1 video - Joe Sitt interview on BK Festival


"I look at this as a continuation in some ways of that original dream and vision of what I did in the Aqueduct," says Sitt. "It's about outdoor entertainment, about excitement. It's about people."

Sitt also has plans for his property along Surf Avenue. In a controversial move, he demolished most of the old buildings, saying they were not worth saving.

This week he will give the site a new start, laying in foundation for a one-story building to use as an indoor amusement and retail space next summer. But he says his real dream is to build hotels.

"It'll take about seven years to put in the electricity and the utilities and the infrastructure that's needed for the long term Coney Island," says Sitt. "But I think this is going to be a pretty good, pretty high-quality interim use plan that people are going to be seeing in Coney Island."

Great news, but obviously the permanent hotels and retail are going into the next administration. 7 year quote is telling. I think the Aqueduct flea market will work great in Coney this summer. I think its going to attract absolutely huge crowds on the weekends. And not just people looking for amusements. A smart move by Thor.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Aqueduct was the largest flea market on the east coast

I have never been there but I talked to a few people that went. Consensus was that it was the largest flea market they had ever been to. This may actually attract more people to Coney this summer than the amusements. Very interesting. This article from 2007 confirms the size

Excerpt -

The Aqueduct Flea Market has been operating in Ozone Park, Queens, for the past 30 years. It is the largest three-day-a-week flea market on the East Coast. It takes place every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A look into the future

Now that Thor has plans to bring the Aqueduct flea market to Coney it is a pretty safe assumption that for the next few summers they will be back. They were the biggest, most successful flea market in this city at Aqueduct, and there is no reason why they can't be successful in Coney. The problem with the last Coney flea market wasn't the idea but the execution. This should be different.

The Boardwalk should be very different after this summer with some sit down restaurants and bars on the boardwalk. Rumors always swirl about Shake Shack and Atomic Wings as well.

The outdoor amusements are pretty much set with the new roller coasters this year, and next year probably a go cart track on the west side of Stillwell.

After city infrastructure spend of approximately 150 million the next 2 or 3 years, expect the move for permanent entertainment retail, hotels and movie theaters to be in the plans where the flea market is now. It is very important to see how the Aqueduct Flea Market does this year. It could be a key to the future hopes of Coney year round retail plans. I think it's going to work this time around because of the history of the Aqueduct operators' success.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NY Times on BK Festival

Excerpt -

In 2009, the Bloomberg administration paid Mr. Sitt, 46, the chief executive of Thor Equities, $95.6 million for 6.9 acres he owned in Coney Island; he kept 5.6 acres to develop hotels and stores with the goal of turning Coney Island into a year-round destination. He has razed some older buildings, angering some in the community, but the festival space on Stillwell was already vacant.

That site represents the first part of Mr. Sitt’s vision, even if it will only be seasonal, through October.

“It’s a little nostalgic — I started my businesses as a flea market operator at the Aqueduct,” Mr. Sitt said. At 16, he sold toys when the flea market was known as Barterama, waking up at 2 a.m. to load a truck and grab a corner stall.

Good to see Thor keeping the site active until the permanent year round indoor entertainment retail and hotels come to Coney after city infrastructure spend. Very smart move. Retail has to play a bigger role once the new 12 month a year Coney begins. This is a start.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Trump talks Brooklyn - Feb 2007

Brooklyn Paper excerpt

Jealous that The Bruce (as in Ratner) is getting lots of attention for his Frank Gehry-designed Atlantic Yards Xanadu, Donald Trump now says he’s eyeing projects in the land of his youth.

“My dad always jokes that he spent years to get out of Brooklyn [where Trump Sr. was born and raised], and now look at what’s going on there,” Donald Trump Jr. told City Scoops, a new Manhattan publication.

“That Ratner project is very interesting and a huge undertaking. Brooklyn is now a very viable market … and we think that there is potential for us there. Maybe not now, but down the road. Something along the waterfront would be great.”

Indeed, the Donald himself told the magazine that he was thinking about it.

“We’ve definitely looked at Brooklyn and have most definitely been approached,” the Big Man told the magazine. “But nothing that would merit the Trump name so far.”

Ask yourself this question

Why would Donald Trump be interested in Coney Island? Could it be because his father invested there a generation ago? Could it be because there is empty land there that is zoned for 30 story mega hotels????

hmmmmmmmm???? Food for thought???

More on The Donald

Curbed excerpt -

Donald Trump Wants to be President...of the Coney Island Cyclone

Friday, April 1, 2011, by Joey Arak Future President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent one of his top lieutenants all the way to Coney Island yesterday, but not to pick up hot dogs. The Donald is apparently interested in becoming the long-term operator of the historic Cyclone roller coaster, and yesterday city officials gave an hour-long tour to potential bidders.

NY Post - Donald Trump interested in the Cyclone!


Also on hand and confirming interest in the Cyclone lease was Ronald Lieberman, vice president of special projects at The Trump Organization

Meanwhile, "The Donald" wants to make the Cyclone his latest toy.

“Donald is very interested in the Cyclone because it’s a New York icon just like Wollman Rink and the Carousel he runs at Central Park, and he and his father have strong ties to Brooklyn,” said Lieberman.

Who else is thinking possible Coney HOTEL interest???