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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Islanders to play Devils in BROOKLYN in a preseason game

NY Times Excerpt -

Islanders to Play Devils in Preseason Game at New Arena in Brooklyn

Perhaps hinting that they are seriously considering alternatives to Nassau County, the Islanders will be the home team in the first N.H.L. game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Islanders and Brett Yormark, chief executive of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment and the Nets, announced Tuesday that the Isles would play the Devils in an Oct. 2 exhibition at the new Brooklyn Nets basketball arena.

The announcement serves as another shot across the bow of Nassau County politicians and voters, who have rejected every effort by Islanders owner Charles Wang to upgrade or replace Nassau Coliseum, the club’s 40-year-old home. Although the 16,250-seat Coliseum is one of the N.H.L.’s best buildings for sightlines and intimacy, it is virtually inaccessible by public transit and has few of the money-spinning corporate luxury enticements that provide revenue at other arenas.

When asked last September if the Islanders would move to the Brooklyn arena when the club’s Coliseum lease expires in 2015, Bruce Ratner, the developer behind the Barclays Center. said, “I would hope that’s possible.”

Marty pushing hard for a casino in Coney!

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

“We’re pushing hard for a casino on Coney Island,” he told luncheon attendees. “It would help Coney Island in so many ways.”

Yet the Beep denied some claims that putting a casino in Coney Island would destroy the People’s Playground.

“I’m not planning to make Coney Island into Atlantic City,” he said, recognizing that the “Las Vegas of the East” has problems with crime and poverty.

Governor Cuomo proposed legalizing table gambling in his State of the State address, saying that the Queens Aqueduct racino should be expanded to include the world’s largest convention center, as well as a casino.

But as far as Markowitz is concerned, Coney Island’s amusement area is “a natural” place for a casino — and if Queens is getting one, so should Brooklyn.

“I want to be sure that [Cuomo] knows that a casino should not just be in his home borough,” he said. “If there is going to be a casino in Queens, then there should be one in Brooklyn.”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thanks to Nate

Home Reporter excerpt -

"It's going to be a new experience at the boardwalk...and we're very excited about it," Bliss said. He points to the recent wave of development as proof that his organization is getting closer to accomplishing their goal of a 365-days-a-year Coney Island. "Anyone who says we can't go year round -- we're getting there," Bliss said.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Barclays Center Roof Celebration


Forest City Ratner Companies, Hunt Construction Group, Inc., Banker Steel, J.F. Stearns Company, Onexim Sports & Entertainment, and NETS Basketball celebrated the topping out of Barclays Center in a ceremony today at the arena site in Brooklyn.

The event marked the significant milestone of the completion of the 10,400 pounds of structural steel for Barclays Center, the major sports and entertainment venue opening at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in September 2012. Erection of steel commenced in November 2010.

Forest City Ratner Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, the arena developer, visited Barclays Center today and congratulated the more than 500 workers on their momentous achievement.

"From Day One, I said I want to develop great things that create jobs, and that's what we're doing by building this spectacular arena," said Mr. Ratner. "In just eight months we will open Barclays Center and bring many exciting events here, where your hard work will be appreciated by millions of people for years to come. I can't thank you enough for your dedication. And, most importantly, it's all union, union, union as we continue to build important projects for the city and the state."

"Hunt Construction wants to thank Forest City Ratner Companies and NETS Basketball for the opportunity to participate on this landmark project," said H. Mark Gladden, Project Executive for Hunt Construction Group, Inc. "We also congratulate our partners Banker Steel, J.F. Stearns Company and Ironworkers Local 361 in topping out the Barclays Center steel framing. We look forward to the grand opening and ribbon cutting this fall!"

The NETS thanked the workers by providing 1,000 tickets to upcoming weekend games, and Hunt Construction provided the workers with celebratory Barclays Center Topping Out long-sleeve t-shirts.

Nets move corporate offices to Metrotech


Wednesday, January 4, 2011

BROOKLYN – NETS Basketball has taken another major step toward its move to Brooklyn by signing a long-term lease for office space at 15 MetroTech Center to serve as the team's corporate headquarters.

The 35,145-square-foot workplace occupying the entire 11th floor of the 19-story building will be the home office for 150 employees on the business side of NETS Basketball and Barclays Center. It is expected that the staff will begin its relocation process from its current offices in East Rutherford, NJ next month. Serving as a convenient location for arena and team staff, MetroTech, developed by Forest City Ratner Companies, is just one stop to Barclays Center on several subway lines or an approximate 15-minute walk.

"Bravo to NETS Basketball for another great step in its move to Brooklyn," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "Having the corporate offices of Brooklyn's first professional sports team since 1957 downtown will be a 'net positive' for the neighborhood. And what better place to house those offices than MetroTech Center – the office complex that helped kick start the revitalization of our borough – making it a "slam-dunk" to bring the NETS to Brooklyn."

"MetroTech is a terrific environment in the heart of Brooklyn's business district and a convenient location for our corporate headquarters," said NETS and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark. "We look forward to being part of the continued renaissance of downtown Brooklyn."

Bruce Mosler, Chairman of Global Brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield, represented the NETS in the transaction.

The NETS basketball team will begin playing in the world-class Barclays Center, being developed by Forest City Ratner Companies, in the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Located atop one of the largest transportation hubs in New York City, Barclays Center will be accessible by nine subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road.

Randazzo's to open 2nd location in Sheepshead Bay

Bay News Excerpts -

New Randazzo’s ‘hoagie hub’ coming to Sheepshead Bay

Get ready for a sub shop smack down!

Randazzo’s Clam Bar is opening a small sandwich shop a mollusk’s toss away from its Emmons Avenue eatery — a move that will pit the famed Sheepshead Bay seafood restaurant against Jimmy’s Famous Heroes, a Sheepshead Bay Road staple, and other popular neighborhood delis.

Starting this month, the new Randazzo’s Sandwich Shop will hawk breakfast fare, hot Italian heroes, and hot meals like baked ziti, on Sheepshead Bay Road between E. 15th and E. 16th streets.

But don’t expect to find Randazzo’s signature seafood dishes there. Joey Randazzo, whose family has owned the clam bar since the 1930s, said his informal hoagie hub will focus on slinging sandwiches for hungry commuters using the bustling Sheepshead Bay Road train station.

“There’s a lot of people coming and going [along Sheepshead Bay Road],” he said. “We think it’s a great location.”

Randazzo decided to expand in Sheepshead Bay after he lost a bid to open a new food spot on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Central Amusements International, the company charged with turning the Boardwalk into a glitzy, year-round resort town, ultimately gave the coveted spot to Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recchia is for Coney Casinos with a caveat

Politicker NY excerpt -

Though the councilman is worried about the effect a casino could have, he thinks Coney Island could be a good location for gaming as long as the plan includes gambling addiction programs.

“It’s up to the governor to make a determination, but we already have certain parcels of land that are zoned for hotels, so we are ready to go,” Councilman Recchia said. “But if we do this, we have to have funding in place for programs to help people that get addicted to gambling so they dont go bankrupt.”

Councilman Recchia also wants to make sure any plan to build a Coney Island casino brings jobs into the area.

“A lot of times, they build these casinos and they bring in people from the West Coast, from all over. “We want jobs, jobs, jobs. Yes, we want jobs but those jobs have to stay in Brooklyn and especially Coney Island,” Councilman Recchia said.

Savino is for Coney Island Casinos!

Politicker Ny excerpt -

“I’m sort of amused, because first the Post did a piece on it and the Advance had a piece yesterday and it was very odd to me that they interviewed Marty, and Dominic and Alec– and I’m the senator. Nobody called me and I’m the senator for Coney Island,” Senator Savino said.

In his State of the State address last week, Governor Cuomo discussed his desire to pass a constitutional amendment lifting the state ban on casino gambling. Though most of the discussion of the potential for a New York casino has focused on the Aqueduct racetrack site, Mr. Markowitz has floated the idea of having a casino in Coney Island. Senator Savino said “the big question” remains whether the ban will be lifted, but if commercial gambling does come to New York, she thinks Coney Island has great potential.

“I’m sure part of the conversation between now and the passage of the amendment is about where these casinos going to be located. Is Coney Island a good place for it? I think there’s tremendous opportunity for a casino in Coney Island because it’s already zoned for recreation in some spots,” Senator Savino said.

Senator Savino also cited the recent redevelopment in the area that will allow for “hotels and destination retail.”

“The groundwork is already laid,” she said.

Though Senator Savino thinks a Coney Island casino has potential, she wants to make sure the people in the community want gaming in their neighborhood.

“I would sit down with the borough president in Brooklyn and the Community Board. All the people who live there, they expect that Coney Island is going to be a huge development. They’re already anticipating the retail and hotels, but we have to see how they feel about a casino.”

Ultimately, even if the residents of Coney Island clamor for a casino, Senator Savino expects the gaming companies will make the final call about casino locations.

“In the end, the people who determine where to build casinos will be the industry. They’re going to do a market analysis, Senator Savino said. “The state isn’t running or operating the casinos.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Coney has zoning for 4 hotels on Surf Avenue

There is a lot of internet chatter that somehow residential zoning would have to be changed in Coney North and West in order to accommodate Casino hotels in Coney. Nothing could be further from the truth. Coney is already zoned for 4 hotels in Coney East, right on Surf Avenue, as pictured here

The issue is getting casino gambling legalized in NY (which the Governor has proposed) and getting Coney to be part of the plan for casinos in NY along with Aqueduct (which Marty has proposed in his latest public statements).

Video - Eddie Mark talks Coney Casino

Eddie is the Chairman of the Community Board. A lot of this video is in Chinese so I don't understand it but Eddie's and others comments are in English starting at the 36 second mark.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Aqueduct casino a huge success already

NY 1 excerpt -

The money is flowing at the new Aqueduct racetrack casino in Queens.

The racino brought in close to $90 million in revenue in November and December -- more than five other gambling operations in New York made all last year.

Video here

Marty, Zamperla and Zigun pro Coney Casinos

Metro excerpts

"If serious discussions begin on bringing a casino to New York City, certainly Coney Island is a natural location and should be part of the mix when considering possible sites," Markowitz said yesterday.

Boardwalk businesses back casino idea

Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International, the company that owns Coney Island’s Luna Park and Scream Zone, said that a casino would be a welcome addition to the boardwalk.

"A casino certainly has the potential to bring new visitors, jobs and economic opportunity, and is worth assessing further," Ferrari said.

Dick Zigun, the self-proclaimed “Mayor of Coney Island” and founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow is all in too.

"We had gambling here from 1860-1910— everything from three-card monte to race tracks and heavyweight championship boxing," Zigun said. "I am for Coney casinos.”

Marty and Ziggy want Coney Casinos

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

Let’s roll! Marty wants casinos on Coney Island

Wonder Wheel, meet the roulette wheel.

Borough President Markowitz wants to see casinos on Coney Island if Gov. Cuomo makes good on his plan to legalize table gaming in the state.

“Casino gambling ... would bring jobs and revenue to potential locations in New York City, especially Coney Island, which is a natural,” Markowitz said in a release.

In the latest lofty vision for a revitalized Coney Island, gambling would help draw visitors to an area that the city hopes to turn into a glitzy, year-round recreation destination boasting amusements, restaurants, arcades and hotels.

“It could be the savior for Coney Island as a major destination,” said the neighborhood’s unofficial mayor Dick Zigun, who runs Sideshows by the Seashore.

Zigun hopes casinos will one day do business on a swath of land currently slated for residential use, which had been largely set aside for amusements before the Bloomberg administration controversially rezoned the neighborhood in 2009.

“I’d like to rezone the rezoning — to take that from condos and turn it into casinos,” Zigun said.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Marty Press Release


“I commend Governor Cuomo for his outstanding first year as governor and for outlining during today’s State of the State Address his vision to deal with the critical issues facing all New Yorkers—including job creation, fiscal discipline, economic development, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, long overdue campaign finance reform and protecting tenants’ rights—as well as his support for a constitutional amendment allowing casino gambling, which would bring jobs and revenue to potential locations in New York City, especially Coney Island, which is a natural. And I say bravo to the proposed convention center in Queens—even if it can’t be in Brooklyn, it’s about time. During his first year in office, we have seen the Governor work with both sides of the aisle to bring order to Albany, oversee an on-time, balanced budget, pass a property tax cap and—beyond anyone’s expectations—make marriage equality a reality in our state. I am confident that under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the best days of New York State are yet to come, and I look forward to working with him, the legislature and our local elected officials in—as the Governor put it—‘building a new New York.’”

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marty talks Casinos and Coney

Gotham Gazette excerpt -

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was also enthused. “I say bravo to the proposed convention center in Queens—even if it can’t be in Brooklyn, it’s about time,” said Markowitz in a statement. Markowitz also praised Cuomo’s push to legalize casino gambling, saying he thinks Coney Island would be a natural fit for it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Aqueduct - $4 Billion proposed development would include 3000 hotel rooms

NY Times excerpt

Under Mr. Cuomo’s proposal, the state would forge a joint venture with the Genting Group, the Malaysian company that has invested $800 million in opening a gambling hall at Aqueduct. Genting, not the state, would finance a $4 billion convention center, with a hotel and expanded gambling space, while the government would contribute the land in Queens.

“This will bring to New York the largest events, driving demand for hotel rooms and restaurant meals and creating tax revenues and jobs, jobs, jobs,” Mr. Cuomo said in his State of the State speech. “In addition to the new convention space, up to 3,000 hotel rooms will be developed. We will make New York the No. 1 convention site in the nation.”

Aqueduct - America's Largest Convention Center Plan

NY Daily News excerpt -

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo wants to up the ante on the future of the Aqueduct racino in Queens and make it home to the country’s largest convention center, the Daily News has learned.

The planned project will be highlighted as part of the economic development agenda Cuomo will outline in his State of the State address Wednesday, two sources told The News.

“The notion is that (Cuomo) is going to put the project on the fast-track to get it done,” one source said. “They need a couple of big economic development initiatives to announce.”

The convention center plan dovetails with what is expected to be another key part of the governor’s speech: legalizing casino gambling to create new revenue for the state. Cuomo previously told The News he would be open to putting a casino in a less-populated part of the city, like at Aqueduct in South Ozone Park.

The convention center the governor has in mind — at a whopping 3.8 million square feet and located near the city’s two major airports — could spell the demise of the oft-maligned Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, which has long been criticized for being too small a venue for a world-class city.

“It’s a great opportunity for alternative development if we didn’t need the Javits Center,” said another source. “Javits is a lousy location that can be torn down and replaced.”

The convention center’s $700-million price tag would be covered by Genting New York, the Malaysian-based casino company that runs the popular virtual casino that opened at Aqueduct late last year, that source said. The state and Port Authorityof New York and New Jersey would transfer to Genting’s control land adjacent to Aqueduct that would be needed, the source added.

Bay News - 12 to watch in 2012

Excerpts -

#6:Jimmy Kokotas, restaurateur

Changes are coming to Coney Island in 2012, but at least the Boardwalk will have some familiar faces. Jimmy Kokotas, the owner of the legendary Prospect Heights eatery Tom’s Restaurant, will open an egg cream-and-burger outpost on the Boardwalk in April, joining a select group of Brooklyn-born businesses on the iconic seaside walkway.

The 75-year-old diner’s Coney outpost will replace Cha Cha’s Bar, one of five old-school Boardwalk shops that were evicted in November by Central Amusement International, the company that runs Luna Park and was tapped by the city to turn the People’s Playground into a glitzy, year-round destination.

In order to compete with Nathan’s Famous, Kokotas’s new diner will have to appeal to tourists and Coney’s faithful, who’ll be watching his first season closely to see if he has what it takes to make it on the Boardwalk.

#8:Walmart, big-box store

During last year’s “11 to watch in 2011,” we told everyone to look out for the upcoming Gateway II shopping center — because that’s where Brooklyn’s first Walmart was expected to open.

Now, we’re telling everyone to keep an eye out for their own street corner: the Bentonville Behemoth can now open almost anywhere, thanks to the company’s new, slimmed-down Walmart Express stores, which are about the same size as a large Key Food or PathMark — so wherever they can go, a Walmart could go.

Walmart won’t say where it’s going, but it definitely has Brooklyn in mind; the company’s been throwing its cash around all year, showering several southern Brooklyn non-profit organizations with donations.

Walmart also joined the fight to clean up Jamaica Bay, which is less than a mile from where Gateway II will be built — so keep your eyes peeled!

#1:Brooklyn Nets, basketball team

Call ‘em the Brooklyn Nets — finally.

The soon-to-be-renamed New Jersey Nets are moving to the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights this fall after years of hold-ups from opponents of developer Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards mega-project, which includes the arena and 16 planned residential buildings.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Domenic's Facebook post

2011 was a banner year for Coney Island with a record number of attendees this past summer. We've broken ground on new projects that will add more opportunity and more retail to the boardwalk. In 2012, our district and our city will shine even brighter. I look forward to serving you in the coming year and wish you all a very happy 2012 with much health and prosperity. God bless!

Video - Polar Bear Swim