The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Thrill-seekers will get a bird’s-eye view of Coney Island next summer — at speeds of up to 60-miles-per-hour — when Central Amusement opens a new ride that combines the thrills of bungee jumping with the thrills of, well, skydiving.
The new Skycoaster will swing harnessed riders through the air on cables stretched between two roughly 110-foot-tall towers, sending riders at the breakneck speed back and forth in a pendulum motion. The ride lasts roughly five minutes.
A spokesman for Central Amusement did not say how much each thrill will cost, but said that the Skycoaster will join a new go-kart track inside of the Speed Zone, an amusement park a stone’s throw from the Boardwalk that’s scheduled to open next April.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Good news is that change seems to be coming. The whole little league ball field behind MCU park is being ripped up and there is a sign there for Steeplechase Plaza coming summer 2013, with an indoor Carousel and space for concessions and retail. So groundbreaking has already happened. From there down the boardwalk all the way to the Aquarium it appears we will see change. Signs taken down for places like Gyro Corner and Paul's Daughter. I wonder whether Steve's Grill House will be replaced by a restaurant or will they knock it down for a boardwalk entrance to Speed Zone?
I am expecting to see big changes on the boardwalk in 2012 and my goodness is it desperately needed. There is absolutely nothing open there on a beautiful fall Saturday night. There were 3 cars in the whole MCU Park parking lot. Three! Can you imagine how many cars will be there when the boardwalk is full of year round restaurants? Coney waits..............
Thursday, November 24, 2011
We are that close. Brooklyn takes on Manhattan in 2012. Year-Round! Happy Thanksgiving!
Design Unveiled for Tower at Atlantic Yards
The developer Bruce C. Ratner unveiled the design Thursday for what would be the world’s tallest prefabricated steel structure, a 32-story residential building in Brooklyn at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street in the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project.
The 350-unit building would use varying rectangular shapes, colors and glass to break up the mass of the structure, which would sit snugly up against the Barclays Center, the arena for the Nets that is to open in September. Mr. Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner, said that prefabrication, or modular construction, could save construction time and cut costs by as much as 25 percent. Fourteen other residential buildings would be built at Atlantic Yards using the approach. The second tower would be even taller, 50 stories.
Forest City Ratner is also negotiating a labor agreement with construction unions, which have supported Atlantic Yards but could end up with fewer jobs and lower wages for some trades if modular construction is used.
Mr. Ratner said Thursday that he hoped to begin construction early in 2012. But the start date has been a moving target for more than a year. He may ultimately decide to build the first tower conventionally. But Mr. Ratner’s company has now invested two years in studying modular construction, a technology that has existed for decades but is untested at this height. The world’s tallest modular building is a 25-story dormitory in Wolverhampton, England, that was built in 2010 in less than 12 months.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Here it is right here -
Coney Island Development Corporation works to make Coney Island a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination through business development, job creation, new housing and unique cultural events.
The goals of the CIDC are then delineated underneath the Mission statement that I listed above
- Develop year-round businesses to strengthen the Coney Island economy and encourage the development and retention of existing businesses
- Improve neighborhood conditions and quality of life, parks and other community facilities
- Facilitate the development of vacant and underutilized properties
- Encourage the development of new housing to create a stable consumer base in the neighborhood
So there you have it. The exact mission statement and then the exact goals.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I believe many people believe that sit-down restaurants were never attempted in the zone because of cold weather in the winter. The reason they have never been attempted before is because they were not legal in the C-7 zoning. Winter weather on the South Brooklyn waterfront does not keep people away from the Emmons Ave marina restaurants in Sheepshead Bay, and it does not keep people away from the Brighton Beach boardwalk restaurants. The results will be the same in Coney. If you build it people will come.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Bay News excerpt -
Here’s a bread line everyone wants to join!
Panera Bread, an artisanal bakery, sandwich and soup chain, opened its first Brooklyn franchise at Kings Plaza in Mill Basin on Nov. 14 — and bread lovers throughout the borough are cheering its arrival.
“This place is great...I love this stuff,” said Canarsie resident Diane Strachan, who was one of the first to enter the brand new Flatbush Avenue bread shop near Avenue U. “I used to go to one in Baltimore and when I heard one was opening here, I made sure we were here early.”
Panera, the Missouri-based company that boasts “cozy conversation nooks,” free WiFi, and a varied selection of pastries, specialty breads, sandwiches, paninis, soups, and salads, considers itself a high end cafe for “fast casual” eating.
It will join McDonald’s, Sbarros, Nathan’s, Cinnabon, Taco Bell and Subway at the mall, but it won’t be part of Kings Plaza per-se: there is no way to get to Panera from inside the mall, so if you want a pastry, you’ll have to leave the mall and use the door facing Flatbush Avenue.
Officials at Kings Plaza say no mall entrances were installed because Panera will be open later.
Actually, workers will be inside Panera at all times: when the eatery closes at 10 pm, bakers start baking the bread for the next morning.
Borough President Markowitz celebrated Panera’s arrival by joining in the company’s customary “breaking bread” ceremony outside of the store.
“[Panera bread] means more jobs and more fattening options for guys like me,” Markowitz said as he perused the cookies and sticky treats. “It’ll be good for Brooklyn, because so many people are looking for work right now.”
Panera said that it will employe 120 people between the Kings Plaza store and its second location on Adams Street between Johnson and Willoughby streets in downtown Brooklyn, which is expected to open in February.
Tom Doherty, vice president of development for Panera Bread, said his company chose to put its first Brooklyn franchise in Kings Plaza because of its location.
“[The store] has beautiful visibility from both Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U,” he said. “We like the Mill Basin community and I think we will be well accepted here.”
Katrink - Brighton Beach Boardwalk restaurants – year round. Randazzo’s and the rest of Emmons Ave restaurants- right on the waterfront year round. All very successful.
The reason people don’t go to the Coney boardwalk during the winter is not because it is cold. It is because there is nothing open to go to. I have confidence that the CIDC will live up to its mission statement and build Coney into a year round destination. The neighborhood certainly needs a year round economy which it just doesn’t have. Unemployment, crime, it’s really tough. But things can change. The CIDC has to take responsibility to cause change. I have confidence in them. It’s so very important.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Officials of the Barclays Center announced the tournament will be held Nov. 9 in the new arena in Brooklyn.
Kentucky coach John Calipari, Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark were on hand for the announcement.
No. 2 Kentucky defeated Kansas (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) Tuesday night 75-65 at Madison Square Garden.
"We've played in the Garden and now we're going to be playing in Brooklyn," Calipari said. "We appreciate the opportunity. We will bring 10,000, 12,000 fans, maybe more. They'll overrun the building."
City sends Coney carnies to the boneyard
The city has given pink slips to the operators of nearly a dozen old-school carny game boothes in the heart of Coney Island’s amusement district — on Jones Walk, the seedy strip between Surf Avenue and Bowery Street that links Luna Park to Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park — refusing to re-up their leases that expired this month.
Now, the city says it wants to move in a single long-term operator to take control of the space.
Spokesman said the city is looking for a long-term operator to open new games and attractions on strip, which takes up prime space in the heart of the amusement district, nestled between the new Luna Park and the old-school Dino’s Wonderwheel Park.
“We’re looking forward to bringing new, state-of-the-art entertainment that will further revitalize Coney Island,” said Kyle Sklerov of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the quasi-government agency that is overseeing the city’s property in Coney.
The game booth closings capped a wild two-weeks for Coney, during which five Boardwalk businesses — including Cha Cha’s bar and Beer Island closed by the city-picked theme park that was tapped to turn Coney Island into an upscale, year-round destination.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Coney Island Keeps on Going!
Greetings from Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA!
As you can see, there’s a lot happening in Coney Island, with exciting opportunities that are already yielding great results for the local neighborhood, for millions of visitors, and for the City. If you would like to learn more about the above, or have any other questions, feel free to contact us at 212-312-4233 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Does anybody have any real answers here? Are there true negotiations going on? The press doesn't seem to be on the story. Strange!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
PHOTOS: The Barclays Center Comes Together
A monthly photo essay documenting the construction of the Barclays Center, which the Brooklyn Nets will soon call home.
On Monday, November 7, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined PetSmart as the national retailer opened its store at 238 Atlantic Avenue, one of two new locations that mark the company’s expansion into Brooklyn for the first time. A second store is located on Avenue D in Canarsie.
“To see the scores of happy pets accompanying their ‘parents’ on our borough’s streets and in places like Coney Island and Prospect Park—or Prospect ‘Bark’ as it’s known to our canine friends—it’s hard to imagine there are hundreds and hundreds of homeless animals in Brooklyn in need of a good home,” said BP Markowitz. As the proud ‘father’ to a 10-year-old African Grey Parrot named Beep, I know the joy a pet can bring to your life, and that’s why we’re thrilled to have PetSmart and PetSmart Charities adoption centers in our Brooklyn neighborhoods to help create new families by helping pets find loving homes.”
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Rubys - last day to be open is Sunday Nov. 13th - IT IS NOT A DONE DEAL - we are negotiating but it could go either way come on out - watch teh bears swim at 1 then have a ice cold beer with friends at Rubys and watch the sunset ......
Now basically a similar statement was posted on Rubys Bar and Grill Facebook page this morning as well but has subsequently been removed.
Curious. Very Curious. Hopefully this comes to some sort of definitive resolution soon.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever eaten at the Boardwalk?.......Please answer the question..............
What a line!
We still don't know what goes into the old Steve's Grill House space. Last year's rumors were Chicken Wings (Atomic Wings?) but we just have not seen any rumors this year.
Ruby's is still negotiating their space according to their Facebook page this morning, but Zamperla seemed somewhat optimistic about this last night at the meeting. CAI President did mention year round for Rubys.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Was happy to see the Aquarium will eventually have a concession on the boardwalk as well. The boardwalk seems so key to me all the way down to the new Steeplechase Pavilion. Happy to see Nate Bliss (CIDC President) is very optimistic about the future. I have confidence in the CIDC.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
“The rebirth of Coney Island has created hundreds of jobs for New Yorkers and contributed millions to the city’s economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The construction of this new open space marks another major investment that will help continue the rebirth and eventually lead to the transformation of Coney Island into a year-round destination.”
"I'm very excited to see the construction of the Steeplechase Plaza get underway,” said Council Member Dominic M. Recchia, Jr. “The building of this plaza works in concert with other efforts made by myself, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and other city agency members to make Coney Island a year-round entertainment destination. Steeplechase Plaza will not only serve as a reminder of Coney Island's historic past but also serve as a beacon for our future as we continue to revitalize this neighborhood for the 50,000 people who call it home."
Also Food Concession RFP for the pavilion -
The Parks Department will also be issuing a Request for Proposals on Monday, November 14, seeking a concessionaire for the operation and maintenance of the carousel, as well as a food service facility and special event concession within the carousel pavilion structure. Responses will be due by Tuesday, January 17, 2012. To download a copy of the RFP, go to http://www.nyc.gov/parks/businessopportunities.
The carousel will sit in a newly created Steeplechase Plaza. The city starts construction of the 2.2-acre park this week.
"It's a wonderful little park off the boardwalk that will allow people a place to hang out. There's a very shaded grove of trees down the hill, and it's the first public part of reimagining Coney Island," says Rockwell.
Update - Daily News article is now online
The carousel will be placed in a glass-doored, two-story pavilion - which will allow it to keep running in the winter - on a $29.5 million plaza that visitors can enter by walking under the legs of the landmark Parachute Jump, now off limits to the public.
NY Post excerpt -
The city today begins construction of a long-anticipated piece of the Coney Island makeover — Steeplechase Plaza, which officials are banking on to make the boardwalk west of Stillwell Avenue rival in popularity to Luna Park and the rest of the amusement area to the east.
The $29.5 million, 2.2-acre plaza will feature a new pavilion for the historic 1919 B&B Carousel, which was rescued from auction by the Bloomberg administration in 2005, that will help showcase the landmark Parachute Jump.
The plaza will be located on the site of the former Steeplechase Amusement Park, between W. 16th and W. 19th streets. It’ll allow visitors to enter the amusement area by walking directly underneath the 262-feet-high Parachute Jump.
“Steeplechase Plaza is a first big step at building up the western end” that also includes soon-to-be built new playgrounds, shops and market-rate high-rise housing,” said local Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. (D-Brooklyn).
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
City Beats excerpts -
Coney Island USA, a nonprofit arts organization, is undergoing a building expansion project to increase space for performances and arts programs that it hopes will help attract visitors year-round.
“A lot of people think that once the summer ends, there’s nothing to do in Coney Island,” said Tim Pendrell, 30, development director of Coney Island USA. “The reason the arts are important is that it’s often among the first groups to act quickest in redeveloping neighborhoods. A cultural scene emerges, and that brings in other developers and interests.”
The dream, if able to raise enough money that will support constructing a tower, is to mold the building as the centerpiece of the Coney Island skyline. That’s the 20-year plan because the organization has not yet agreed on a final design and still needs to hire an interior designer.
But it already has architectural renderings of what the new building might look like. And because Denny’s Ice Cream Shop is not landmarked, unlike the organization’s current home, Coney Island USA is looking to build up.
In one of the renderings, a waved front and colossal word of walls forms a unique shape against a backdrop of adjacent buildings with straight lines. In another rendering, a hulking elephant sits atop the new Coney Island USA, towering over the horizon in a throwback to Bohemianism.
“Through the City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, we’ve brought Coney back as an amusement destination for visitors from around the city and world,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The rides are bigger and better than ever, and that means more jobs for New Yorkers and more economic activity for New York City. Coney Island is well on its way to becoming a year-round destination as well as an even better place to live and work.”
Update - CAI pres said year round too --
“We are thrilled to have welcomed so many new and familiar faces to Scream Zone and Luna Park in a 2011 season that exceeded all expectations,” said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International. “With another year of record-breaking attendance and a season that now spans seven months, Coney Island is well on its way to becoming a world-class, year-round amusement destination.”
"Coney Island is definitely growing it's expanding and it's going to be better than Disney World some day," Vourderis said.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is seeking proposals for a lease agreement for the development and operation of game booths and/or for ancillary entertainment attractions at properties located on Jones Walk in the Coney Island neighborhood in the Borough of Brooklyn (“The Site”). The Site is approximately 1,650sf and is located in the entertainment/amusement core of the recently approved Special Coney Island District. NYCEDC anticipates leasing the Sites for a term of up to 9 years. This lease agreement will help further the establishment of Coney Island as a dynamic amusement area and will contribute to an enhanced visitor experience at Coney Island.
More than 640,000 people came to two new amusement parks — up from 450,000 last year
BY Erin Durkin
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
More than 640,000 people came to two new amusement parks, city officials said — up from 450,000 last year and the most since Steeplechase Park closed in 1964.
“With another season of record attendance in the books, the city’s efforts to revitalize Coney Island continue to gain momentum,” said Seth Pinsky, the president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., in a statement.
“The steady increase in visitors, drawn by dramatic new amusements, is helping to bring more people back to the ‘People’s Playground’ ” he said.
Italian amusement company Zamperla opened Luna Park last year with 19 family rides. This year, it added Scream Zone, with two new roller coasters and two other thrill rides on the city-owned land. Visitors took more than 2 million rides at the parks this year.
The number of visitors spiked despite the rainiest month ever in New York this August and a total weekend washout for Hurricane Irene.
But the season ended on a sour note for five Boardwalk businesses evicted by the amusement giant, who had to leave for good this weekend.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/coney-island-draws-biggest-crowds-1964-summer-opening-brand-amusement-parks-article-1.973157#ixzz1d1ERcdW8
Randazzo’s Clam Bar eyes second restaurant on the Coney Island Boardwalk
Owners of the legendary Randazzo’s Clam Bar in Sheepshead Bay say they have been asked to open an outpost on Coney Island — but they would have to do it at the expense of a less-legendary place: Cha Cha’s Bar on the Boardwalk.
Randazzo’s new Coney restaurant would feature an informal clam bar on the first floor and a fancier, glass-enclosed restaurant with a bar and lounge on the building’s roof, said Joey Randazzo, whose family owns the popular clam bar on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay.
“The restaurant would have a Coney Island atmosphere but the food would be the same,” Randazzo said.
Randazzo said that he was approached last month by Central Amusement International — the company that runs Luna Park and controls the leases of the Boardwalk businesses within the amusement district — about the possibility of opening an upscale restaurant at Cha Cha’s, a popular honky-tonk watering hole that closed last month after auctioning off all of its contents.
Central Amusement wants to class-up the area by replacing kitschy Boardwalk establishments it has deemed unworthy of doing business on the Boardwalk with fancier restaurants.
“Once the Boardwalk is built back up we want to be a part of it,” he said. “It’s going to be a happening place.”
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I see extreme change happening to Coney in 2012. Let's all pray that the CIDC implements its plan of year-round.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
One guy screamed at some other guy walking by --- This whole place is changing by next summer. You won't recognize it.
I turned to my wife and said - Did you hear that guy screaming? Let's just hope he is right.
It certainly looks like big big change is about to happen.
"Goodbye--or Maybe Not?--to Paul's Daughter & Ruby's"
If you look at a cached version of this same page from 2 days ago it states-
"Goodbye--or Maybe Not?--to 7 Coney Island Mom & Pops"
Very very curious change. The question rises - Are the 5 other businesses officially gone now?
Friday, November 4, 2011
When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11
Where: At The Center
In July of 2009, after much community input and discussion, the City Council adopted the New York City Department of City Planning’s rezoning of Coney Island and creation of the Special Coney Island District which promotes year round entertainment and enhanced amusements in a vibrant, urban pedestrian environment. With the new zoning in place, the New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA, the Coney Island Development Corporation and Central Amusement International have begun to strategically plan the future of the new Coney Island by creating ambitious new architectural agendas for their institutions.
Join us for a panel discussion of the history of Coney Island, the new zoning, and current proposals for the revitalization of the Amusement District. A reception will follow the panel discussion.
Stuart Pertz FAIA, Architect/Urban Planner
Nate Bliss, President, Coney Island Development Corporation
Valerio Ferrari, President, Zamperla Inc
Dick Zigun, Executive Artistic Director, Coney Island USA;
Jon Dohlin, Director, New York Aquarium.
Free for Members
$10 for non Members
Organized by the AIANY Architectural Tourism Committee
Beverage sponsorship provided by Coney Island Craft Lagers
Thursday, November 3, 2011
"As for what Monster said about a year-round boardwalk? Not going to happen. I’d put money on it."
I have had discussion on year round development with the CIDC and basically got this as a response from Nate -
"...we continue to work every day to set the groundwork for private investors to realize Coney Island’s potential as a seasonal AND year-round destination, with services for visitors and residents alike."
I take Coney's year round development very seriously Bogframe. Just as seriously as you do.
My comment after I read it -
Randazzo’s is one of the best Italian restaurants in Brooklyn or in all of NY period. This is absolutely fantastic news if it comes true! Again fantastic reporting Tricia. You are doing a fabulous job of breaking really important Coney news. Go Coney Year Round! I love it!
Nice to see some people are actually reading. I would still do this if nobody read. Coney and Brooklyn development are just so important.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Boardwalk businesses like Cha Cha's Bar that lost their leases put items up for auctionTwo of the businesses initially hit with eviction notices by amusement company Zamperla - Ruby's Bar and Paul's Daughter - have since been offered eight-year leases to stay. But others are facing the end of the line - and are cleaning house.
Cha Cha’s Bar and Coney Island Souvenirs auctioned off whatever they could sell, while Ruby’s offered up some unneeded items.
“They outright turned me down,” bar owner John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia said of the landlord. “They’re not willing to discuss anything with me.”
The CEO mentions focusing on the masses not the few hundred looking at the past.
I continue to have very high confidence that the CIDC will get this boardwalk year round in 2012. Year round development is why the CIDC was created. It has taken too long, but it is finally happening. The neighborhood economy needs it to happen very badly, and the CIDC has an extremely focused and dedicated President right now.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Cha Cha’s, the Coney Island institution that rivaled Ruby’s Olde Time Bar in honky-tonk feel on the Boardwalk is selling itself — to the highest bidder.
The popular summertime watering hole — and four other Coney Island Boardwalk businesses whose leases are set to expire today are putting their equipment, fixtures and, memorabilia up auction at 2 pm on the Boardwalk between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street.
An ad for the sale promised a panoply of carny goods, from neon signs and bar stools to a ice cream-makers, ship chandeliers and a Build-A-Bear machine complete with “bears and stuffing.”
The stores that are likely to join in the auction — including Beer Island and Gyro Corner — are being forced out by Central Amusement, the city-picked company that runs the Luna Park whose goal is to revitalize Coney Island’s historic amusement district. The company is planning to replace the businesses with upscale eateries.
Ruby’s which is in talks with Central Amusements to stay open, is not part of the auction, even though any deal it makes with its landlord will require it to completely refurbish its interior to class-up the place.