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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Video - Nate Bliss talks Year Round Coney

Brooklyn Independent TV interviews the CIDC President-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAsAp1w5YUY

Discussion includes Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Bowling Alleys, Housing, Infrastructure, Retail, Jobs, Zoning.

Skycoaster coming to Coney

Bay News excerpt -

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.

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2011/48/all_giantconeycoaster_2011_12_02_bk.html


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Walked the boardwalk last night

An absolute ghost town. Nothing open. There were maybe 3 or 4 other people we saw during the hour we were there. Incredible how little has changed since the 1980s and 90s when my wife and I walked the boardwalk on many winter nights. A ghost town then, a ghost town now.

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

2003 - How far we have come

Man it has taken too long. Bruce Ratner bought the Nets in 2003. The CIDC was formed in 2003. On this Thanksgiving let's all give thanks that we are so very close to the 2 most important Brooklyn developments in history - The Barclays Center and Year Round Coney.

We are that close. Brooklyn takes on Manhattan in 2012. Year-Round! Happy Thanksgiving!

Atlantic Yards Tower

NY Times excerpt -

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.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/17/design-unveiled-for-tower-at-atlantic-yards/


Monday, November 21, 2011

CIDC Mission Statement

There seems to be some confusion on the net lately as to the actual wording of the CIDC Mission statement.

Here it is right here -

MISSION STATEMENT

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.

http://www.thecidc.org/About/Overview.html

The goals of the CIDC are then delineated underneath the Mission statement that I listed above

Goals

  • 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
http://www.thecidc.org/About/Overview.html

So there you have it. The exact mission statement and then the exact goals.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Coney Zoning - Sit-down restaurants

I wanted to make a point about the 2009 rezoning in Coney Island that I believe has been virtually ignored in the press. Before the rezoning, no sit-down indoor restaurants were allowed in the C-7 zone. That changed with the rezoning and I believe is a big reason why the CIDC and Zamperla are pushing for indoor restaurants on the boardwalk. They are now legally allowed in the zone and can turn Coney into a year round destination.

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

Video - Alberto Zamperla talks Coney and Cyclone

New trains on the Cyclone for 2012

Start video at 11:40 mark

From ThemeParkReview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBQ7tfjlMfE

Looks like this blog will have a record month

We are on a record pace for hits. May hit 3000 this month. Interesting month. Thanks.

Kings Plaza Panera Bread finally opens

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.”

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2011/46/mm_bb_panerabreadopens_2011_11_18_bd.html


To Katrink

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

Barclays Center Classic

ESPN excerpt

NEW YORK -- Kentucky will play Maryland in the inaugural Barclays Center Classic next year.

Officials of the Barclays Center announced the tournament will be held Nov. 9 in the new arena in Brooklyn.

Kentucky will face Maryland in the featured game on ESPN, along with Morehead State against Long Island University.

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."

http://espn.go.com/new-york/ncb/story/_/id/7242096/kentucky-wildcats-maryland-terrapins-play-first-barclays-classic


Jones Walk

Bay News excerpts -

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.

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2011/46/all_coneycarnysrfp_2011_11_18_bk.html

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From the CIDC

Coney Island Keeps on Going!

Greetings from Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA!

I wanted to share a quick update on the ongoing efforts to revitalize this historic neighborhood, which continue to pay off for visitors and residents alike. I also wanted to share some exciting new opportunities available to all those wishing to take part in Coney Island’s renaissance. This season, we celebrated the inaugural year of Scream Zone, a thrill-ride park featuring the first new major rollercoasters in Coney Island since the inimitable Cyclone was built in 1927! We continued to draw great crowds this summer despite poor weather in our area. And with much more planned for the coming years, it’s an exciting time at The One and Only Coney.

A few specific opportunities that I wanted to be sure you saw:

  1. Last week, we commenced construction on Steeplechase Plaza, a 2.2-acre park that features as its centerpiece a new pavilion for the B&B Carousell—a historic wooden carousel currently undergoing a complete restoration in an Ohio workshop. Yesterday, the NYC Parks Department released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the operation of the carousel, the cafĂ© concession space, and a special event space within the carousel pavilion. To download a copy of the RFP, please visit the Parks Website.
  2. NYCEDC also recently released an RFP for the renovation and operation of several traditional game booths along Jones Walk between Surf Avenue and the Bowery, in the heart of the amusement area. Details are available in the RFP, which can be downloaded here.
  3. Finally, I wanted to let you know that the Coney Island Development Corporation has developed an informational map showing available properties—for lease or purchase—in the neighborhood, based on information from local owners and brokers. We intend this to be a useful tool for current or prospective businesses interested in locating in the area. You can download the map at the CIDC website: www.thecidc.org

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 info@thecidc.org.

See you on the Boardwalk!

Sincerely,
Nate Bliss
President

P.S. Don't forget to check the Coney Island Fun Guide all year round to plan your next visit!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why no official lease announcements?

Why is it taking so long to announce Ruby's and Paul Daughter's leases? What is with the ever extending deadlines? Is Zamperla talking with other business too? Paul's Daughter takes down signs? Is Ruby's next?

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

Paul's Daughter - Signs are down

Are they closing for good? Big question mark.

There is a video just posted on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toR8sN-LNDE

Barclays Center Construction

Prospect Height Patch -

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.

http://prospectheights.patch.com/articles/photos-pieces-coming-together-at-barclays-center#photo-8336167


Marty announces the opening of 2 PetSmart superstores in Brooklyn

Excerpt -

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.”

http://www.brooklyn-usa.org/press/2011/nov7_FR.htm


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rubys still negotiating

This is from Rubys Host facebook page

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 ......

http://www.facebook.com/rubys.host?sk=wall

Now basically a similar statement was posted on Rubys Bar and Grill Facebook page this morning as well but has subsequently been removed.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rubys-Bar-and-Grill/67099788449

Curious. Very Curious. Hopefully this comes to some sort of definitive resolution soon.

Best quote of the meeting

Valerio Ferrari, CAI President, in response to a question about the boardwalk's old "charm" possibly being tarnished with changes -

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever eaten at the Boardwalk?.......Please answer the question..............

What a line!

We are now getting some sense of what the Boardwalk will look like

With an expanded year round Nathans moving into the Gyro Corner space, Randazzo's negotiating for a year round space in the old Cha Cha's (possibly the old Nathans space next door as well???), and the Beach shop from Stillwell expanding into the old Souvenir shop to go year round, you get 3 big anchors.

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

Just back from the Coney Panel

Nathans will be going into the old Gyro Corner building and expanding. Zamperla showed new renderings of what Ruby's and Paul's Daughter could look like next year if they stay which looks promising towards year round. Very good looking new Coney Beach /Souvenir shop on the boardwalk as well. Also noted in a slide that a potential name for the Go-Kart space could be Speed Zone. CAI/Zamperla President was also very responsive to my year round Boardwalk question. Impressive. I like the momentum.

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

Bloomberg and Recchia talk Year Round Coney

Excerpts -

“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.

http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fom%2Fhtml%2F2011b%2Fpr403-11.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1

NY1 video

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/150531/ny1-exclusive--historic-carousel-is-jewel-of-new-coney-island-park

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.

Carousel Pavilion will be Year Round

According to the Daily News it will be a 2 story glass doored building that will be operational during the winter as well. Beautiful!

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.

Steeplechase Plaza

When you walk the boardwalk, you can see the area around the Parachute Jump all the way down to behind MCU Park to W 16th is fenced off. Construction begins today according to the press. It is extremely curious that the Boardwalk business makeover to the east by Zamperla is happening at the exact same time that the city is working on this to the west. Year-Round Boardwalk 2012

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

The All New Year Round Coney Island

Get Ready...................................

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coney Island USA talks Year-Round

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.

http://citybeats.info/2011/11/arts-organization-expanding-in-coney-island/

Bloomberg talks Year-Round Coney

Excerpt-

“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.”

http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fom%2Fhtml%2F2011b%2Fpr396-11.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1

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.”

Better than Disney World

NY1 excerpt -

"Coney Island is definitely growing it's expanding and it's going to be better than Disney World some day," Vourderis said.

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/150318/coney-island-draws-biggest-crowds-in-decades

Jones Walk RFP

Excerpt -

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.


http://www.nycedc.com/ProjectsOpportunities/RFPsRFQsRFEIs/Pages/Opportunity243_PC.aspx

Coney draws record crowds!

Daily News excerpt-

More than 640,000 people came to two new amusement parks — up from 450,000 last year Crowds at Coney Island surged this summer despite the soggy weather.

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 sounds serious!

Bay News excerpts -

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.”

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2011/45/bn_randazzoseyesboardwalk_2011_11_11_bk.html



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Boardwalk - Aquarium to MCU Park

It looks to me, just from walking around yesterday, that there is a plan taking shape to basically change the entire boardwalk atmosphere from the Aquarium to MCU Park in 2012. It is curious that Steeplechase Plaza construction (behind MCU Park) is starting right when Zamperla's plans for the boardwalk businesses are starting.

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

Walked the Boardwalk today

My wife and I took a walk up and down the boardwalk today. Basically the place looks a natural disaster hit it. Horrendous. Bums camped in front of Cha Chas, junk all over the place, some other places boarded up, signs taken down and even Steeplechase Plaza fences covered getting ready for some construction. Sections of the boardwalk wood itself are missing and fenced off.

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.

Very curious change on Amusing the Zillion Blog

If you look at the right hand side of the page under categories it now states -

"Goodbye--or Maybe Not?--to Paul's Daughter & Ruby's"


http://amusingthezillion.com/2011/11/03/scoop-randazzos-clam-bar-eyeing-coney-island-boardwalk/


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"


http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Tw_RstlWxPgJ:amusingthezillion.com/2011/11/03/scoop-randazzos-clam-bar-eyeing-coney-island-boardwalk/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us


Very very curious change. The question rises - Are the 5 other businesses officially gone now?


Friday, November 4, 2011

Panel Discussion on Coney Island

Fri 11.11.2011

PlanningtheFutureofConeyIsland'sAmusementDistrict:APanelDiscussionofNewArchitecturalProjects

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.

Panelists:
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.

Price:
Free for Members
$10 for non Members

Organized by the AIANY Architectural Tourism Committee

Beverage sponsorship provided by Coney Island Craft Lagers

The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
NY, NY 10012
(212) 683-0023
info@aiany.org

http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=calendar&evtid=3787

Thursday, November 3, 2011

To Bogframe

In reference to your post on Tricia's blog -

"As for what Monster said about a year-round boardwalk? Not going to happen. I’d put money on it."

http://amusingthezillion.com/2011/11/03/scoop-randazzos-clam-bar-eyeing-coney-island-boardwalk/#comments

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.

Amusing the Zillion has big Coney Randazzo's rumor!

http://amusingthezillion.com/2011/11/03/scoop-randazzos-clam-bar-eyeing-coney-island-boardwalk/


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!

This blog is getting about 2000 hits per month now

Not bad for a blog with no promotion at all. Rest assured I will never carry advertising here and I will never make a dime off of any Coney or Brooklyn development. This blog is strictly for the love of Coney and love of Brooklyn. Year round development is so desperately needed and so totally ignored on the internet.

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

Cha Cha's turned down by Zamperla

Daily News excerpts -

Boardwalk businesses like Cha Cha's Bar that lost their leases put items up for auction

Two 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.”

Video - CAI talks better restaurants on the Boardwalk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15549874

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

All signs still pointing towards Year Round Boardwalk

The momentum is in Coney's favor. The next few weeks should be telling. I have confidence in the CIDC.

Bay News says change is coming

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.

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2011/44/bn_chachasauction_2011_11_04_bk.html