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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Jones Walk Press Release

As I posted here last month, Zamperla won the RFP. Great EDC Press release here. Looks like the space may have year round elements -

NYCEDC and CAI Announce Plans for New Amusements and Attractions on Jones Walk

Press Release

New York City Economic Development Corporation and Central Amusement International (CAI) today announced plans for new amusements and attractions on Jones Walk in the Coney Island amusement district. The new amusements will include a “Laser Maze Challenge” and “Pop Noggins” with eight other attractions still to be determined. CAI has begun renovating the spaces and is aiming to have them open around Memorial Day. CAI was selected to further activate and improve Jones Walk based on their response to an RFP issued by NYCEDC last November.

“As a gateway to the famous Bowery and amusement parks, Jones Walk has been a key part of Coney Island’s iconic amusement district for generations,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “With these critical improvements, the reactivated Jones Walk will soon bring new street life to the area, including state-of-the-art games, shops, and amusements, and will provide yet another important example of Coney Island’s continued revitalization.”

“We are proud to continue taking part in efforts aimed at revitalizing Coney Island, and Jones Walk is another step in the right direction,” said Valerio Ferrari, President of Central Amusement International. “With new and updated shops, restaurants and games, Jones Walk will offer more exciting amusements and attractions for everyone.”

“The rebirth of Coney Island continues with the addition of ten new attractions along Jones Walk that will have visitors ‘jonesin’ for more! Luna Park, the Scream Zone and our world-famous Cyclone will pack ’em in again this year, but amusements like Laser Maze Challenge and Pop Noggins are more my speed—lots of fun with my feet firmly planted on the ground, boardwalk and sand. Bravo to the EDC and president Seth Pinsky, and Valerio Ferrari and CAI for ensuring that ‘America’s Playground’ remains a year-round, affordable entertainment destination for families from New York City and beyond,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

“Refreshed and revived with ten new attractions, the Coney Island amusement district will continue to flourish as New York’s number one entertainment destination. By working in concert with new restaurants, shops, and games, these ten attractions will provide a rich and diversified experience for visitors from all over and ensure local jobs and new opportunities to the 50,000 people who call it home,” said Councilman and Finance Chair, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.

The Laser Maze Challenge will be a fully interactive game for guests of all ages, where players start by entering an empty room. Once they cross the starting point, the laser maze pops into life and the room is filled with brilliant green lasers. The object of the game is to move over and under lasers as quickly as possible in order to reach the end of the maze. At the end, players can wave their hand in front of the Mission Complete Eye, which completes the challenge and determines their score. From an outside monitor, guests can watch as their family and friends conquer the maze.

Pop Noggins will be an interactive attraction utilizing green-screen technology to create hilarious experiences and unique keepsakes for guests. Pop Noggins allows guests to make their own music video live on set, as on-lookers get to watch. Each participant's head is superimposed onto professional dancing bodies the animated videos are displayed live on giant flat screen monitors. The fun is extended when each participant gets their very own DVD or usb of their performance to take home and share with family and friends.

There will also be a direct entrance to the new Jones Walk amusements from Luna Park located near the exit of the Tickler.

Last summer was one of the most successful summer seasons on record for Coney Island with over 640,000 visitors taking over 2 million rides at Luna Park and Scream Zone. It marked the second season for Luna Park, which features 19 traditional and state-of-the-art rides, and the inaugural season of Scream Zone, which features four cutting-edge thrill rides. This summer the amusement park will continue to expand with the addition of nearly two acres of new amusements to Scream Zone including a 24-cart Go-Kart track and a 110-foot free-fall ride called the Boardwalk Flyer.

In 2009, the City purchased three parcels of land, totaling 6.9 acres, within the amusement district, and signed a 10-year lease with CAI to operate and build the new amusement parks on the property. The City has invested more than $6.6 million to support the opening of Luna Park and Scream Zone. In addition, CAI has invested nearly $30 million toward the construction of the two parks over the last two years.

The City has also seen significant progress on a number of key components of the Coney Island Revitalization Plan this past year, including the groundbreaking for of Steeplechase Plaza, and the groundbreaking on Coney Island Commons. Steeplechase Plaza, a 2.2-acre public open space, will serve as the western entryway to the revitalized amusement district and be home to the restored B&B Carousell, Coney Island’s last remaining historic carousel. Coney Island Commons will include 195 units of affordable housing and a new state-of-the-art 40,000 square foot YMCA.

The City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, will preserve and grow the historic amusement area; create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood with new retail options and nearly 5,000 new units of housing, including 900 income-targeted units; and generate more than 25,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs. As part of the plan, the City is investing more than $150 million toward infrastructure improvements in Coney Island, including upgrading infrastructure and rebuilding large sections of the Boardwalk. Last year, New York City Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Protection, completed an Amended Drainage Plan to guide upgrades to subsurface infrastructure throughout the entire rezoning area, the first phase of which is currently in design and is expected to break ground by the end of 2012. In total, the plan is expected to generate more than $14 billion in economic activity for New York City over 30 years.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thor talks Grimaldis and movie theater

NY1 excerpt -

The flea markets are out and carnival rides are in on these Stillwell Avenue lots owned by developer Joe Sitt.

"We've got a great operator who's coming now on this section so that both sides of Stillwell Avenue from Bowery to the ocean will be fully fueled with entertainment, rides and food and fun," Sitt said.

That operator is BK Festival, the same group that brought the flea markets here last year and over to Aqueduct before that. Rides are now being set up and are expected to be up and running this Sunday.

"I think there'll be enough new activities, new excitement, new rides, new entertainment, that I think everybody's going to be very excited," said Sitt.

But Sitt emphasized this is only a temporary plan for his property. He hopes to line Coney Island with hotels and restaurants once the the city puts the infrastructure in place.

The building Sitt erected on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues is also a temporary space. Sitt's company, Thor Equities, just started to show the lease property for retail and indoor entertainment uses but there's still more work to be done. The building will not be ready until next season.

Along Surf Avenue, there are more "For Lease" signs.

As NY1 first reported, Grimaldi's Pizza is opening up on Surf Avenue across from the amusement district. It will have seating for about 60 people, include two party rooms and should be open by Memorial Day weekend.

"We were actually the ones to bring Grimaldi's here for the first time. We really see ourselves as the ambassadors for Coney Island," said Sitt.

The developer also sees a movie theater on his Stillwell lot behind Nathan's. Sources say renderings have already been submitted to the city.

"That's one of the other things we hope to get permission to get to do over here is to put a stadium seating theater here," said Sitt.

Monday, April 2, 2012

NY Post - Ruby's Year round

Excerpt -

At Ruby’s, a beloved, 77-year-old beachfront bar that last year fought off eviction proceedings, workers are gutting the interior and rebuilding from scratch, even adding air conditioning and heat so it can remain open year round.

Ruby’s, the boutique Lola Staar and Paul’s Daughter, a 40-year-old food and frozen-custard stand, modernized to avoid eviction.

New arrivals include Tom’s Restaurant, an offshoot of a storied Prospect Heights diner known for its egg creams.

Then there’s Nathan’s Famous. The old stalwart is moving into a much larger space and even opening a gift stand.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Auntie Anne's Pretzels opening on the Boardwalk

NY1 excerpt -

On the boardwalk, Nathan's of Coney Island has expanded by tripling its size. It has its first gift shop and has added an Auntie Anne's pretzel chain.

New cafe coming to the aquarium

NY Daily News excerpt -

“We’re breaking down the wall that now encloses the aquarium and opening us not only to the Boardwalk, but to the beach and the ocean,” explains aquarium director Jon Forrest Dohlin.

The 55,000-square-foot, three-story space will open to the public in spring 2015. It boasts a roof-deck overlooking the ocean, and a cafe, seating wall and sculptures on the iconic Boardwalk below.