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

Monday, December 30, 2013

NY1 video - Community Garden destroyed, Amphitheater construction to begin

http://www.ny1.com/content/pages/201086/brooklyn-residents-vow-to-take-city-to-court-after-garden-is-removed

Marty talks Brooklyn development

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

During his tenure, Borough President Markowitz has achieved many of his visions for the Borough of Kings — not least bringing the Nets, Ikea, and a succession of cruise ships to Brooklyn. But the Beep’s ambitions for the borough were as big as his personality, so inevitably some dreams must be deferred.

Many of the projects he championed have been completed during his term, but others — such as the Loews Kings Theater renovation that got under way this year — will not be finished until Markowitz’s successor has taken the throne.

“While I am proud of what I have accomplished as Borough President, there are several projects that I will not get to see completed under my tenure,” said Markowitz. “I will be the Borough President Emeritus when this ‘wonder theater’ reopens its doors for the first time in this millennia.”
His vision for a Coney Island amphitheater in the Childs building is also on its way with the near-unanimous blessing of the Council in its last vote of the year. The initiative made its first concrete progress early on Saturday morning, when backhoes cleared out a community garden in the venue’s footprint.

Other pet projects remain on the drawing board, but Markowitz remains optimistic that he will one day see their completion. But for all his tireless cheerleading, Markowitz will admit that even his best efforts could not always yield the desired results. 

“There are several projects that were simply beyond my control,” he said.
Markowitz has long dreamed of returning Brooklyn to its industrial roots, and hoped to lure high-tech electronic manufacturers to the working-class neighborhoods of Brownsville and East New York. But alas, that task will be left to his successors.

“We cannot give up on bringing manufacturing back,” said Markowitz. “Our communities want to work, and we must provide them with good-paying jobs. I am disappointed that I was unable to accomplish this, but I have high hopes that the next administration will.”

Markowitz’s other dreams include a casino in Coney Island and bringing the world’s sport — professional soccer — to the borough that is a crossroads of the world.

“What better place than Brooklyn for a soccer stadium and a team to call it home?” Markowitz said.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/37/1/marty-unfinished-business-2013-11-15-bk_37_1.html

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The New Yorker - A Whole Foods Grows In Brooklyn

Excerpt-

On Tuesday in Gowanus, an industrial neighborhood that is still somewhat affordable to artists and middle-class workers, Whole Foods Market opened its first store in Brooklyn. A rooftop greenhouse grows produce for the store, and indoor fruit displays are constructed out of wood salvaged from the Coney Island boardwalk. The in-store bar, which features sixteen microbrews on tap, will host a monthly “drink and draw” event in conjunction with a local nonprofit called Arts Gowanus. And the store stocks over two hundred products from bakers and food makers from the borough, including a cage-free, Sriracha-spiced mayonnaise and chocolate-peppermint almond milk.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2013/12/whole-foods-and-gentrification-in-brooklyn.html

Slate - Bill De Blasio Supports Real Estate Development—As He Should

Excerpt -

For some, however, Mr. de Blasio's support for new high-rise towers—even with more affordable housing—is dissonant with his campaign's theme of easing income inequality. As a City Council member in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, Mr. de Blasio was a strong supporter of the three major Bloomberg-backed development projects, including the project known as Atlantic Yards, which critics say has hastened gentrification and helped deepen the economic divide in that area.

You can start to get into very complicated neighborhood-level discussions of amenities and spillovers and the difference between gentrification and displacement and all the rest, but I really think it's important to start at the simplest level. If you have a city whose geographical boundaries aren't expanding, and that city is located in a country whose population is growing, and that city is also a global destination in a world whose population is growing, and if quality of life in that city is improving in terms of safer streets and better transportation and schools, then there are really only two things that can happen. One thing that can happen is that the quantity of physical structures inside the boundaries of that city can increase, in order to accommodate the increasing number of people who would like to live there. The other is that the fixed pool of physical structures inside the boundaries of that city can all get bought up by the richest people around. 

There's no other way around it.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/09/07/de_blasio_and_development_he_s_for_it_and_he_s_right.html

De Blasio's goal - Build 200,000 units of affordable housing

Brooklyn Eagle excerpt -

Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio on Monday appointed Alicia Glen as his new Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. Glen is currently head of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs, which provides capital to underserved urban communities.

In addition, de Blasio named Laura Santucci, currently the Executive Director of his Transition, to serve as his Chief of Staff.

De Blasio said in a release that Glen will lead his administration’s efforts to “invest in emerging industries across the five boroughs, re-target unsuccessful corporate subsidies, build a new generation of affordable housing, and help New Yorkers secure good-paying jobs that can support a family.”

In announcing Glen, de Blasio reiterated his commitment to pass stronger living wage requirements tied to city subsidies and said he would use “strategic investments to foster economic growth across the five boroughs.”

De Blasio strongly backed the plan to create a new Film, Post-Production and Animation School at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which includes a $6.7 million investment by the city. While the development of a Graduate School of Cinema in partnership with Brooklyn College at the Navy Yard is already in the works, de Blasio supports an expansion of the CUNY school to include a wider range of degrees at the associate and bachelor’s level. This school currently aims to enroll up to 400 students. 

He also said he would launch economic development hubs in at least a dozen immigrant and low-income neighborhoods. 

De Blasio also charged Glen with coordinating his administration’s efforts to build and maintain 200,000 units of affordable housing, and turn around the troubled Housing Authority.

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/two-more-de-blasio-appointments-deputy-mayor-housing-and-economic-development-chief-staff

Monday, December 23, 2013

Marty on the Amphitheater

Brooklyn Eagle excerpt -

“The Seaside Park and Community Arts Center will add even more energy and excitement to one of our nation’s top destinations for family amusement and entertainment, which will increase local tourism and stimulate our economy,” the borough president said. “The city’s first covered seasonal amphitheater will create hundreds of quality jobs; the developer has committed to prioritizing local residents both for construction jobs and when the amphitheater is up and running."

The development of the area will have long-term positive effects on Coney Island, he predicted.

“This project will catalyze residential and commercial development and keep our city’s attention focused intently on the needed infrastructure improvements that residents of Coney Island’s West End have been seeking for years,” Markowitz said. “By adaptively reusing the Childs building, which has been closed to the public since the 1940’s, we can breathe new life into this under-utilized section of the Riegelmann Boardwalk. By building a lush neighborhood park, we can jumpstart the Coney Island Plan and deliver on the city’s promise of building green spaces."

To pave the way for the project, the council passed resolutions that included the creation of a special zoning district, the acquisition of land between West 21st and West 22nd streets, and the elimination of the street between West 22nd Street and West 23rd Street, the Bensonhurst Bean reported.

In his statement, Markowitz thanked several city officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Coney Island). He also thanked Community Board 13 leaders, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Emeritus Seth Pinsky, current EDC President Kyle Kimball and his former chief of staff Carlo Scissura, now president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Scissura called the council’s action “yet another step in the transformation of Coney Island.”

The amphitheater “will make Coney Island New York City’s top destination for family entertainment -- and not just in the summer, but all year around,” Scissura wrote in an email to the Brooklyn Eagle.

“It will help grow the local economy, create jobs and increase the number of visitors to Brooklyn from all over the country and the world,” he wrote.

In a nod to his former boss, Scissura wrote that he thrilled “that a project near and dear to Borough President Marty Markowitz will be realized in the next two years.”

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/markowitz-rejoices-council-approves-his-dream-concert-venue-2013-12-23-130000

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Coney will have 4 anchors lined up in a row

From east to west -

1. NY Aquarium
2. Luna Park
3. MCU Park -8000 seats
4. Seaside Park Amphitheater -5000 seats

It is quite an impressive lineup by the beach. What a destination to build around. Restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, retail, condos. With 4 subway lines and the Belt Parkway right there it is an ideal setup for year round development.

The Alliance is correct. This amphitheater will be transformative for Coney Island.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Alliance for Coney Island Press Release

ALLIANCE FOR CONEY ISLAND ISSUES PUBLIC STATEMENT UPON CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL OF THE SEASIDE PARK  COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER _________________________

CONEY ISLAND, December 20, 2013 – The Alliance for Coney Island releases a statement on the newly approved amphitheater for Coney Island – Seaside Park Community Arts Center.

“The Alliance for Coney Island would like to thank Borough President Marty Markowitz for the wonderful parting gift he has bestowed to Coney Island, our very own amphitheater,” said Dennis Vourderis, Alliance for Coney Island, Chairperson and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Co-Owner. “The Seaside Park Community Arts Center promises to be a historic and transformative asset for Coney Island. The Alliance is grateful to iStar for their visionary efforts and investment in our neighborhood, and to Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. for his efforts in bringing this project to fruition.”


https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxptV6fWAvBPbG9MSHhOYWU0V1k/edit

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crains NY

Excerpts -

Rebirth of legendary Coney Island eatery likely

A plan for the renovation of the landmarked Childs Restaurant and creation of an amphitheater and public park get the thumbs up from a key City Council committee. Full council approval likely Thursday.

 “The improvements proposed in this project will undoubtedly restore this iconic structure’s use to the community, provide multiple cultural and educational benefits, and greatly contribute to the area’s ongoing cultural and economic revitalization,” Mr. Recchia said in a statement.

The amphitheater would be used for the free Seaside Summer Concert Series that was started by out-going Borough President Marty Markowitz, who also supports the project, as well as for paid concert events. In the off-season and between performances, it would be available for the community’s use. During the concert season, a removable cloth canopy would cover the area.
The proposal is also viewed as something that could stimulate more residential development in the area.

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20131218/REAL_ESTATE/131219861

 

Land Use/Zoning committee just voted to approve the Amphitheater

I still don't know yet if there is a full council vote necessary. Perhaps tomorrow?? I will update.

Update - Full Council vote tomorrow.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Alliance for Coney Island Annual Report - Page 20

Looking Ahead

Summer of 2014 is going to be an exciting time, with several new attractions planned for the amusement district. The Thunderbolt Coaster will be built on the site of the historic Thunderbolt Roller Coaster. It will be a 125–foot–tall, state–of–the–art steel roller coaster capable of reaching speeds of 65mph.
Additionally, several new retail establishments are expected to open on Surf Avenue, including Johnny Rockets and Red Mango.

In 2015, the Seaside Park and Community Arts Center is slated to open and will include public open space, an amphitheater, and a restoration of the historic Childs Building.

In 2016, the New York Aquarium is scheduled to complete “Ocean Wonders:Sharks,” a $150 Million redevelopment project which will feature a 55,000 square-foot, three story space which includes a roof-deck overlooking the ocean, a cafĂ©, seating, and sculptures on the Boardwalk below.


http://www.allianceforconeyisland.org/#!annual-report/c2o

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Marty's still pushing for a casino in Coney

Bisnow excerpt from November 26th

Who loves Brooklyn? 350 of our attendees at the New York Marriott-Brooklyn Bridge. Here's what Marty would like to see for the borough: more healthcare, as it has the talent and incubator space; more manufacturing; outlet stores; a casino in Coney Island; a Google Store (Brooklyn's obviously too cool for Apple); and a pro soccer team, "which is the only true world sport," he says. (Brooklyn's made up of residents from 130 different countries.)

http://www.bisnow.com/commercial-real-estate/new-york/345-what-worries-brooklyn/

Only problem - A Coney casino is at least 7 years away -

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/referendum%E2%80%99s-success-brings-coney-gambling-closer%E2%80%94-only-little-2013-11-07-140000

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dunkin Donuts joins the Alliance for Coney Island




https://www.facebook.com/AllianceForConeyIsland?hc_location=timeline

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Coney Island Job Fair



http://www.allianceforconeyisland.org/#!events/c12cx


NY1 Video - New Coney Island YMCA

 Marty and Domenic at the opening

http://www.ny1.com/content/news/199920/coney-island-ymca-opens-doors-after-sandy-related-construction-delays

YESSSS!!!!

Brooklyn Daily excerpt -

The Beep’s seaside amphitheater plan has taken its first big step forward.

A major public oversight board voted unanimously on Dec. 4 in favor of outgoing Borough President Markowitz’s controversial dream of turning the former Childs Restaurant in Coney Island into a venue to host his summer concerts series.

The City Planning Commission, a 13-member panel charged with approving major real estate projects, endorsed Borough President Markowitz’s pet project of converting the landmarked and derelict Childs building into a restaurant and arena complex — to the chagrin of residents who fear the Beep’s baby is bound to be unruly. 

Markowitz was overjoyed at the decision — and reiterated his argument that the project will benefit the neighborhood’s impoverished residential area by supplying jobs and necessary infrastructure improvements. 

“I’m thrilled about it — thrilled,” the Beep said. “And I’m confident that they did not vote for it for any reason other than the good it will do to that part of Coney Island and its residents.”

Markowitz said he would encourage iStar Financial, the company that will renovate and operate the building, to hire residents. But he refused to commit to supporting a community benefits agreement — and claimed that such an agreement could only come after the Council has voted in favor of the amphitheater.

“There’s no community benefits agreement until the project is approved,” said Markowitz, comparing the project’s opponents to the foes of the Atlantic Yards development. “No project has ever met with everyone cheering. Atlantic Yards has benefitted Brooklyn, and this will benefit Coney Island.”

The mayor appointed seven of the commission’s members, including the chairwoman, while the five borough presidents and the public advocate each appointed one. The Council will vote on whether to approve the project on Dec. 16.

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2013/49/bn-city-planners-greenlight-childs-building-2013-12-06-bk_2013_49.html

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

After the Planning Commission vote tomorrow

City Council is next

Daily News has the story

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s signature effort to convert the historic Childs Restaurant into a massive amphitheater is coming down to the wire — and it’s anyone’s guess whether the outgoing captain of Kings will complete his much-desired coup de grace.

The City Council is expected to hold a hearing on the complicated proposal to renovate the boardwalk building on Dec. 16.

City lawmakers will likely vote on it three days later, when the council holds its last full meeting of the session.

“I’m hopeful that the city council will approve it,” said Markowitz.

Tomorrow's a big day for Coney

City Planning Commission votes on the Amphitheater. I won't be a near a computer for a few days so I will post any news concerning this during the weekend. Go New Coney!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

New ride - Revolution 360 coming to Coney!

Check out Valerio Ferrari's comments at the 3 minute mark of this video on the Thunderbolt  from IAAPA



Friday, November 29, 2013

NY Times - Brooklyn's Marty Markowitz

Excerpt - Among his greatest achievements, he said, were several development projects he has supported — including the Barclays Center, a Coney Island amphitheater and the restoration of the Loew’s Kings Theater in Flatbush — that have helped revitalize Brooklyn. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/29/nyregion/marty-markowitz-prepares-to-leave-office-after-12-years.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&_r=0

Monday, November 25, 2013

Video - The Alliance for Coney Island

Marty says Coney's future is unlimited! New Aquarium, Amphitheater and Thunderbolt are mentioned



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201480717684788&set=vb.18664769513&type=2&theater

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Brooklyn - A Stampede of Chains "They all want to come"

NY Times excerpt -

Downtown Brooklyn is on the march again.


A second wave of residential development is expected to expand the market by 3,384 apartments in 12 buildings in the next three years, altering the skyline and boosting the population by more than 60 percent to some 21,000 people. 

The first construction boom, spurred by a 2004 rezoning, resulted in more than 29 buildings with nearly 5,000 apartments, according to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership; the longtime office and shopping district thereby became a fledgling neighborhood. But because some basic services lagged behind, early residents did their grocery-shopping and barhopping in better-established enclaves, including Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill.

This time around there will be more options. 

Major retail and restaurant chains are opening up alongside smaller franchises and independent shops. In the past year, H & M, Swarovski crystal and Armani Exchange opened on the Fulton Mall, the bustling shopping corridor that runs between Adams Street and Flatbush Avenue. 

A Hill Country Barbecue Market and a Hill Country Chicken are to open side by side in the next couple of months at 345 Adams Street, across from Shake Shack. T. J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack are coming in the spring. And a Century 21 department store and a 900-seat Alamo Drafthouse Cinema are on the way. 

Earlier this month Sephora, the makeup giant, moved into the Brooklyn Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon Street, directly across the street from Borough Hall. It will soon be joined by YogaWorks and a candy store called It’Sugar, according to Albert Laboz, a principal of United American Land, the developer in charge of the building’s retail space. 

The arrival of national storefronts is a big shift for the area, said Mr. Laboz, recalling a negotiation with a major department store about six years ago. In the end, he said, “they couldn’t come to terms with going to Brooklyn, and at the last minute they pulled the plug.”

“Now we’re getting momentum,” he added. “Now there’s a stampede. They all want to come.” 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NY Times - Hedge Funds buying homes in Brooklyn

Excerpt -

The median price of a home in Brooklyn climbed nearly 12 percent in just the past year to hit a 10-year record, according to a recent report released by the real estate brokerage firm Douglas Elliman. Prices for highly desirable one-family brownstones in Brooklyn have leapt almost 40 percent in the last year to a median price of $1.6 million. 

Some real estate agents say investors, more often than not, have been at the forefront of buying activity. 

“I’d say by the spring, maybe 70 percent of the sales we were seeing were to hedge funds, investors and others taking advantage of what was happening in Brooklyn,” said Stephanie O’Brien, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman in Brooklyn. “Only about 30 percent were actual end users or first-time buyers.” 

The higher prices have changed the character and makeup of neighborhoods, often pushing more lower- and middle-income families farther east in the borough. “What’s happening is good, because it increases real estate values, but on the other hand people who have been living in these neighborhoods and hoping to one day buy or rent a larger apartment are getting priced out,” said Ron Schweiger, the Brooklyn borough historian. 

Mr. Dixon brushes aside assertions that his group’s investments have thwarted individual home buyers. 

He said many of the brownstones and other homes his group had purchased were vacant or single-room occupancy housing, requiring extensive repairs or remodeling as well as successful navigation of the city’s labyrinth of agencies to obtain the necessary certificates and permits. He said his competition for homes tended to be small developers and construction firms interested in fixing up the homes and reselling them quickly for a profit. 

And Brooklyn real estate agents say Mr. Dixon’s group has been beaten out for properties by homeowners coming to the table with cash. 

NY Times - Condos That Fund a Brooklyn Park

Excerpt

Brooklyn Bridge Park has transformed a once-neglected slice of the Brooklyn waterfront into bustling parkland, and now, to continue the public-private venture that created the park, pilings are being driven for the first entirely new residential development designed to help finance its operations and maintenance. 

Pierhouse, a joint venture of Toll Brothers City Living and the Starwood Capital Group, is a $280 million development on the park that will have 108 condominiums in two long buildings, in addition to a 193-room glass-encased 1 Hotel, one of Starwood’s luxury brands. The project, which will be at Pier 1, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, is scheduled to be complete by late 2015. 

It will be the first of several anticipated to fund the maritime park’s $16 million annual budget for operations and maintenance through ground-lease fees and property taxes. One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 1928 building converted to condos in 2007, already contributes about $2 million a year, which has been enough to operate the park without other subsidies since 2010. 

“Without this private investment, this park would have never happened,” said David Von Spreckelsen, the New York City division president for Toll Brothers. “That’s what’s so fantastic about this.” 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Brooklyn Paper - Astroland Rocket to land in Wonder Wheel Park

Excerpt -

The rocket is ready for lift-off!

Sources tell this paper that Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park will take over the iconic Astroland Rocket from the city and place it near the funzone’s eponymous ferris wheel.

The rocket — originally called the Star Flyer — made its debut at the 1962 opening of the now-defunct space-themed amusement park Astroland. Seventy-one feet long and made of airplane-grade aluminium, the ship contains 26 seats and a screen that originally simulated a spacecraft launch. In later years, the defunct ride sat atop the roof of Boardwalk raw bar Gregory and Paul’s — now Paul’s Daughter — between W. 10th and W. 12th streets, as an advertisement beckoning Coney-goers toward Astroland.

Astroland closed in 2008, and the next year park owners Carol and Jerry Albert donated the rocket to the city. The city has vowed numerous times over the years to restore the iconic piece of the People’s Playground’s past to the amusement district.

Authorities have stored the rocket at the Staten Island Homeport in Stapletown since then, and sources reported that the rocket got swamped during Hurricane Sandy and damaged by debris carried in the storm surge.

The insiders said that Wonder Wheel Park intends to not just repair the one-of-a-kind attraction, but to restore it as a functioning ride — and to keep the Astroland lettering on its sides as a memorial to the bygone park.

http://brooklynpaper.com/stories/36/48/bn-rocket-to-wonderwheel-2013-11-29-bk_36_48.html

Thursday, November 21, 2013

WSJ - A $10 Million Gift for Prospect Park Skating Rink

Excerpt -

Harry LeFrak famously started one of New York's greatest real-estate dynasties on a 120-acre farm he bought in Brooklyn in the early 1900s.

Now, his grandchildren are showing their thanks to the borough with a project about five miles from LeFrak's original development site. Richard LeFrak and his three sisters are joining together to make a $10 million gift to the rebuilt Prospect Park skating rink scheduled to open in a few weeks.
The year-round rink, on the site of the old Wollman Rink, will be named after their parents, Samuel and Ethel LeFrak. The gift comes at a time that Brooklyn is seeing a flurry of new residential development and a burgeoning nightlife scene with the opening of Barclays Center and new bars and restaurants.

"We were in Brooklyn before it was cool," says Richard LeFrak, the head of the third generation of the LeFrak family, known for developing such mega-projects as LeFrak City in Queens and Newport City on the Jersey City waterfront. 

The LeFraks and other real-estate families are among the region's biggest philanthropists. The families make the tax-deductible gifts partly to give back to the region where they've built enormous fortunes. But there's also a strong business motivation: the value of their real estate is tied to the health of New York.

"If I can't move this building, I better make sure New York is as good as it can be," says Mr. LeFrak.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Marty Markowitz - Ambassador for NYC

Daily News excerpt -

Two Brooklyn pols are pushing Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to name the boisterous outgoing Brooklyn borough president, famous for aggressively boosting the borough with pun-filled schticks, as “Ambassador for NYC,” a job that would be renamed from the existing position of commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs.

“It would be a great loss to the City of New York — specifically the borough of Brooklyn which loves Marty Markowitz — to lose his influence and expertise in the city sector,” said Public Advocate-elect Letitia James, who proposed the idea along with Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn).

“It would be fitting for him to represent the City of New York as Ambassador,” said James.
Markowitz sounded open to the idea.

“It is flattering that two of my colleagues in government would think of me in such esteem. I look forward to whatever role I may take in continuing to serve to my borough and my city in the next chapter of my life,” he said.

 http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2013/11/pols-push-marty-markowitz-as-ambassador-for-nyc

Marty talks Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Eagle excerpt -

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said, “Brooklyn’s beautiful ‘Eden on the East River,’ aka Brooklyn Bridge Park, has become one of New York City’s most popular destinations, and now with the opening of Piers 3 and 4 Uplands, six more acres of public space will offer breathtaking views of the New York Harbor and skyline, rolling lawns and plantings, and a continuous greenway from Pier 1 to Pier 6 for bikers and pedestrians. The new, expanded Brooklyn Bridge Park means more New Yorkers can picnic, pedal, promenade and people watch in a scenic sweet spot in the County of Kings, to which I say, ‘play on.’” 

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/brooklyn-bridge-park-celebrates-opening-new-parkland-2013-11-18-193000

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Alliance for Coney Island keeps growing

Brooklyn Daily excerpt

Coney Island’s newest institution has started a new tradition.

The Alliance for Coney Island business group — founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy — celebrated its one-year anniversary with a luncheon at Tom’s on the Boardwalk.

The celebratory meal drew more than 100 guests from the nearly 100 commercial interests belonging to the Alliance, which started with the owners of Denos Wonder Wheel Park, Gargiulo’s Restaurant, the New York Aquarium, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Luna Park, and Nathan’s. On the table were plans to enlarge the group by inviting more People’s Playground enterprises to join the coalition.

“We’re moving toward 100 members, and we would love to see that number multiply two or three times before the season begins,” said spokesman Ken Hochman. He added that any business or community group in Coney Island is welcome to join for the fee of $500 or $250, respectively.

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2013/47/bn-bb-coney-alliance-lunch-2013-11-22-bk_2013_47.html

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reichenthal talks Coney Amphitheater

“The development of the amphitheater will provide jobs for local residents and open further economic developments,” says Chuck Reichenthal, district manager of the community board, adding, “It's been a long, hard recovery since hurricane Sandy and it's still not over.”

http://www.bkbureau.org/2013/10/28/many-in-coney-island-still-feel-post-storm-needs/

Step by Step.  We are getting there.............. :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Johnny Rockets update on Twitter!

What's NEW in Coney Island? JOHNNY ROCKETS Coming Soon banner just put up on construction fence of new building going up next to Terminal

https://twitter.com/DickZigun/status/402133346429722624https://twitter.com/DickZigun/status/402133346429722624


Yes!!!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The New Coney Island will win

The Cyclones came in 2001. The CIDC arrived in 2003. Their mission was to make Coney a year round world class recreational destination for Brooklyn. It's been a long road. There is a long road ahead. But we see the progress before our very eyes. From the ballpark, to the new amusements, to the new restaurants and retail, to the new subway terminal, to the coming amphitheater.

There have been many protests.This is NY. There will always be protests. Many people hate change even when it is desperately needed. Keep your eye on the prize. The New Coney Island will win. That's a Brooklyn Guarantee.

We'll get there. I promise you Coney Island will get there. It's a process. The momentum has just begun.............

The New Coney Island! Times Square by the Sea!

Marty and Domenic testify for the Amphitheater

This was at the City Planning Commission hearing

Excerpt - From CityLandNYC.org-
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz testified in support of the project. He described the Childs building as a vacant and derelict eyesore. He stated that the reuse and revitalization of the Childs building can “breathe new life into this underutilized section of Reigelmann Park,” and also “continue to focus the City’s attention on the dire needs of Coney Island,” including its “public housing, as well as other amenities and infrastructure that are so vital to the future of Coney Island.”
Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. testified in support of the Seaside amphitheater, stating that the new location of the Summer Concert Series was one of the biggest issues in the revitalization plan of Coney Island. In response to opposing testimony, he stated, “If I were to listen to all the people who were against the revitalization of Coney Island, we would never revitalize Coney Island.” He continued, “Coney Island would not be what it is today.”
Following Council Member Recchia’s testimony, Commissioner Angela Battaglia praised the Council Member. She stated, “A lot of praise went to the Borough President for the revitalization of Coney Island, but in my heart and soul, I believe much if not all of that praise really belongs to you. I’ve seen what you’ve done, I’ve seen you fight for it.”
- See more at: http://www.citylandnyc.org/new-coney-island-recreation-and-entertainment-project-proposed/#sthash.f72S9ZH7.dpuf
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz testified in support of the project. He described the Childs building as a vacant and derelict eyesore. He stated that the reuse and revitalization of the Childs building can “breathe new life into this underutilized section of Reigelmann Park,” and also “continue to focus the City’s attention on the dire needs of Coney Island,” including its “public housing, as well as other amenities and infrastructure that are so vital to the future of Coney Island.”
Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. testified in support of the Seaside amphitheater, stating that the new location of the Summer Concert Series was one of the biggest issues in the revitalization plan of Coney Island. In response to opposing testimony, he stated, “If I were to listen to all the people who were against the revitalization of Coney Island, we would never revitalize Coney Island.” He continued, “Coney Island would not be what it is today.”
Following Council Member Recchia’s testimony, Commissioner Angela Battaglia praised the Council Member. She stated, “A lot of praise went to the Borough President for the revitalization of Coney Island, but in my heart and soul, I believe much if not all of that praise really belongs to you. I’ve seen what you’ve done, I’ve seen you fight for it.”
- See more at: http://www.citylandnyc.org/new-coney-island-recreation-and-entertainment-project-proposed/#sthash.f72S9ZH7.dpuf Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz testified in support of the project. He described the Childs building as a vacant and derelict eyesore. He stated that the reuse and revitalization of the Childs building can “breathe new life into this underutilized section of Reigelmann Park,” and also “continue to focus the City’s attention on the dire needs of Coney Island,” including its “public housing, as well as other amenities and infrastructure that are so vital to the future of Coney Island.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz testified in support of the project. He described the Childs building as a vacant and derelict eyesore. He stated that the reuse and revitalization of the Childs building can “breathe new life into this underutilized section of Reigelmann Park,” and also “continue to focus the City’s attention on the dire needs of Coney Island,” including its “public housing, as well as other amenities and infrastructure that are so vital to the future of Coney Island.”

Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. testified in support of the Seaside amphitheater, stating that the new location of the Summer Concert Series was one of the biggest issues in the revitalization plan of Coney Island. In response to opposing testimony, he stated, “If I were to listen to all the people who were against the revitalization of Coney Island, we would never revitalize Coney Island.” He continued, “Coney Island would not be what it is today.”

Following Council Member Recchia’s testimony, Commissioner Angela Battaglia praised the Council Member. She stated, “A lot of praise went to the Borough President for the revitalization of Coney Island, but in my heart and soul, I believe much if not all of that praise really belongs to you. I’ve seen what you’ve done, I’ve seen you fight for it.”

See more at: http://www.citylandnyc.org/new-coney-island-recreation-and-entertainment-project-proposed/#sthash.f72S9ZH7.dpuf
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz testified in support of the project. He described the Childs building as a vacant and derelict eyesore. He stated that the reuse and revitalization of the Childs building can “breathe new life into this underutilized section of Reigelmann Park,” and also “continue to focus the City’s attention on the dire needs of Coney Island,” including its “public housing, as well as other amenities and infrastructure that are so vital to the future of Coney Island.”
Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. testified in support of the Seaside amphitheater, stating that the new location of the Summer Concert Series was one of the biggest issues in the revitalization plan of Coney Island. In response to opposing testimony, he stated, “If I were to listen to all the people who were against the revitalization of Coney Island, we would never revitalize Coney Island.” He continued, “Coney Island would not be what it is today.”
Following Council Member Recchia’s testimony, Commissioner Angela Battaglia praised the Council Member. She stated, “A lot of praise went to the Borough President for the revitalization of Coney Island, but in my heart and soul, I believe much if not all of that praise really belongs to you. I’ve seen what you’ve done, I’ve seen you fight for it.”
- See more at: http://www.citylandnyc.org/new-coney-island-recreation-and-entertainment-project-proposed/#sthash.f72S9ZH7.dpuf



NY Times - As Coney Island Stirs......

Excerpt from June -


Today, though, the building, whose glittering sign features the grinning vaudevillian that is Coney Island’s unofficial mascot, is nearly full, with stores having leased six of its seven berths. The stores are a mix of seasonal and year-round retail, and the building can be expanded to six stories.
The candy chain It’Sugar, where Sour Patch Kids can be scooped for $2.99 a quarter-pound, has taken a long-term lease for a 2,000-square-foot corner space, paying $140 a square foot, according to Mr. Sitt. 

The Nets Shop by Adidas, selling the N.B.A. team’s black-and-white tank tops and other basketball gear, sits at the opposite corner of the building, with a comparable rent, Mr. Sitt said. Four other tenants, some of whom have yet to move in, are renting space averaging about $15 a foot under short-term leases for the summer season. Average asking rents along Surf Avenue are about $40 a square foot, according to Coldwell Banker Reliable.

Among those seasonal leaseholders are Coney Island Convenience, stocking beach paraphernalia like inflatable toys in a 2,500-square-foot space; and Wampum, a skateboard shop that started in Bridgehampton, N.Y., in 2011. 

“This place definitely has a different feel than the Hamptons,” said Marley Ficalora, a Wampum partner, who said he had never visited Coney Island until last winter. “But we think it is really turning around, and we want to be a part of it.” 

Signs of the intensive efforts that got Coney Island and other beachfront amusement areas up and running for the summer season are everywhere. 

In fact, Nathan’s, the Surf Avenue hot dog landmark shuttered by the hurricane — the first time it had ever closed since it opened in 1916 — resumed serving its well-known fare on May 19. 

Mr. Sitt grew up in nearby Gravesend, and the commercial building development is his first project in the area since he began snapping up properties there a decade ago. At one time he owned 12.5 acres, but sold seven acres, mostly along the boardwalk, to the city in 2009 for $95.6 million. 

The same year, the city rezoned the neighborhood, reducing the size of the amusement area to 27 acres. Since then, two new amusement parks have opened: Luna Park, in 2010, and Scream Zone, in 2011, joining the existing Deno’s Wonder Wheel park. The New York City Economic Development Corporation says that visitors to the two new parks reached 2.6 million. This spring, the city cut the ribbon on Steeplechase Plaza, at the boardwalk and West 19th Street, whose centerpiece is a refurbished carousel. 

Mr. Sitt said he wanted to build hotels, stores and movie theaters on his remaining parcels, which cluster near Surf Avenue, but is awaiting new sewer lines The city has pledged $130 million for sewer improvements, the economic development agency said. 

Mr. Sitt suggested that the rezoning didn’t go far enough, adding that hotel operators would need zoning changes to support larger venues like halls for wedding receptions to keep business going in the off-season. 

Mr. Sitt called his new building merely a placeholder, to generate revenue to cover the property’s taxes, and said the strip “needs to look aesthetically nice, even during the interim phase.”
In the meantime, the project is welcoming neighbors. A two-level Applebee’s restaurant, with an enormous fish tank, opened this week in a converted space at 1217 Surf Avenue.

The dirt lot at 1223 Surf Avenue, next to the subway station, will soon feature a 15,000-square-foot two-level building featuring several restaurants. Johnny Rockets, the burgers-and-fries chain, will take 6,000 square feet on the ground floor, said Natan Bukai, the building’s developer. 

Red Mango, the frozen yogurt chain, will occupy 2,000 square feet, also on the ground, he added. Another 2,000-square foot ground-floor berth remains open, but it is being marketed in combination with a 5,000-square-foot second-floor space, which also has a large terrace. 

Tenants who have been approached so far include chains like Hooters, as well as Tilted Kilt, whose waitresses wear red tartan miniskirts and matching bras; Bareburger, an organic chain, has also shown interest, said Mr. Vitacco, the commercial agent. 

Three years ago, Mr. Bukai bought the parcel from Mr. Bullard for $1.4 million; he’s spending another $1 million on it. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/realestate/commercial/as-coney-island-stirs-one-mans-vision-is-unbuilt.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0

Daily News - Hip chains are flocking to Coney Island

Just catching this blog up on some of the Coney renaissance stories from this past summer

Excerpt -

This isn't your daddy’s Coney Island, but it may be a little bit like your grandpa’s.

Brooklyn’s legendary amusement area by the sea is getting a Times Square twist, attracting glitzy national chain shops and such outlandish sights as a 20-foot shark tank at a soon-to-be-opened Applebee’s.

But wait, there’s more.

* Across the street there are giant five-pound gummy bears selling for $40 at IT’SUGAR, a shiny new branch of the chain that counts dozens of sites in 20 states.
* Johnny Rockets and Red Mango frozen yogurt are moving in down the block in 2014, said real estate broker Joe Vitacco, who negotiated the deal.
* The Nets Shop by Adidas is hawking sexy Brooklyn Net bikinis for $85. Next door, at Bridgehampton-founded Wampum skate shop, are $220 extra-long skate boards.

“Speculation has returned to Coney Island. It is the Gold Rush mentality,” said Charles Denson, director of the Coney Island History Project.

In a sense, this evolution into corporate gold mine marks an attempt to return the area to the halcyon days of the early 20th Century, but this is much more than a case of history circling back and repeating itself.

“Coney Island’s time has come. It’s the renaissance of the neighborhood,” said Applebee’s owner Zane Tankel, who has a two-decade lease on the Surf Ave. spot he’s set to open on June 17.

Video - Big Chains Coming to Coney!

And it couldn't happen soon enough! From News 12 Brooklyn this past June

http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/big-chain-restaurants-join-historic-surf-avenue-strip-in-coney-island-1.5506243

Excerpt -

CONEY ISLAND - The arrival of big chain restaurants to the historic Surf Avenue strip in Coney Island has many local residents excited.

Applebee’s made their grand opening today on Surf Avenue, joining Popeyes and a soon-to-be built Johnny Rockets along the street.

Locals say their arrival can only benefit the business community that continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy.
Applebee’s says it filled 180 new positions, most hires coming from the Coney Island area.

Brooklyn Eagle - Steiner Studios expands 'Hollywood East' with government aid, cinema campus

Excerpt - 

Brooklyn College Benefits Too: Downtown Film Department

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Doug Steiner's plan to rebuild the Brooklyn Navy Yard's historic hospital annex took a big step forward Thursday with word of crucial state funding. 

Gov. Cuomo awarded a $6.3 million grant for modern infrastructure at Steiner Studios Media Campus, which is a project to restore and adapt nine historic buildings – including America's first Naval hospital – for use by film and TV producers, techies, academics and media folk.

“The media campus project's going to strengthen New York's status as the place to be for production and post- production work by constructing more than 170,000 square feet of sound stages to meet the critical demand in New York for space to shoot television shows and commercials,” Ken Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development Corp., said Thursday.

Adams announced the award at a press conference at Steiner Studios' newly renovated Art Deco building, 25 Washington Ave.

The Naval Annex is adjacent to Steiner's existing Navy Yard film and TV studio complex, which opened in 2004 and is already the largest outside Hollywood. Movies made there include “American Gangster,” “Revolutionary Road” and “Spiderman 3.” TV series such as “Boardwalk Empire” are working there.

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/steiner-studios-expands-hollywood-east-government-aid-cinema-campus-2013-11-14-220000

Friday, November 15, 2013

Brooklyn Paper interviews Eric Adams


Excerpt -

BE: Some of Marty’s moves were extremely controversial. Are there any issues or projects you think are so important to the future of Brooklyn that you’d be prepared to push against popular opinion?
EA: I want my son to be able to afford to live in Brooklyn, and that means more development and more high-rises, which may not always be popular. We just don’t have enough land, so we have to build upwards.
Some people say that’s just developers being greedy, but it’s not. If we can designate areas and bring in development with tax breaks — high-rises, new businesses, new middle-class families to live and work there — we can transform neighborhoods and lives.
But we do have to reexamine what we mean by affordability. I agree with Bill DeBlasio that the 80-20 model for affordable housing is no longer acceptable, and we need to move to a 60-40 formula.


BE: Will you have Marty on speed-dial?
EA: We had lunch a few days a go and asked if I could reach out to him to help navigate the challenges of Borough Hall, and I’m grateful he’s okay with that. I don’t want to try and reinvent the wheel — I want to speak to the inventor.

http://brooklynpaper.com/stories/36/46/all-president-elect-on-line-one-2013-11-15-bk_36_46.html

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Marty Markowitz - Next City Parks Commissioner?

Excerpt from  FoxNY

Several names have been proposed by prominent Democrats for other positions in de Blasio's administration. Outgoing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has been mentioned as the next parks commissioner.

This would be awesome news for the prospects of the New Seaside Park and Amphitheater in Coney Island. Also good news for the boardwalk, pier and all the zoned parkland in Coney! Lot's of development prospects.........Let's hope this is true! Go Marty!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

City Point Lands First Office Tenant

Commercial Observer excerpt -

Artist management and creative content agency Art Partner has signed a 15-year lease to occupy 10,000 square feet at the City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, becoming the development site’s first office tenant.

The agency, whose services include production, syndication and licensing for print, film, social media and more, plans to relocate from its Hudson Square space to occupy the new space just in time to kick off the New Year.

“It’s a groundbreaking, bold move and I think it’s really important to the Brooklyn neighborhood,” Ken Fishel, president of Legacy Real Estate, told The Commercial Observer. “This one of the top fashion and photo representation agencies in New York and here they are moving to Brooklyn.”

The company was looking to expand and redesign its space and jumped at the opportunity for a cutting edge space in the new development, Mr. Fishel said, noting that the firm has “a track record of being first” and on the “cutting edge of real estate,” first hunkering down in Soho in the 80s before moving to Hudson Square over a decade ago.

“Brooklyn has become recognizable globally for its distinctive sense of art, culture and lifestyle and we are happy to join the movement in shaping Brooklyn’s future,” said Marianne Tesler, CEO of Art Partner, in a statement.

The agency’s advertising clients include Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Shiseido, Estee Lauder, Bulgari, D&G, Michael Kors, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, GAP, Givenchy, L’OREAL, and Zara.

The 1.3 million square-foot City Point development includes 675,000 square feet of retail and commercial space,  anchored by Century21, roughly 30,000 square feet of office space geared toward Brooklyn’s creative and technology sector, 690 residences and a seven-screen Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Kenneth Bernstein, president and CEO of developer Acadia Realty Trust, called the project the “most exciting mixed-use property in Brooklyn.”

http://commercialobserver.com/2013/11/brooklyns-city-point-lands-first-office-tenant/

Friday, November 8, 2013

Amphitheater decision from City Planning - December 4th?

That looks like the date -

Future Votes / Post Hearing Follow-Ups

December 4

Seaside Park (K13) (1/3) 

If approved, it then goes to City Council for final approval. I am optimistic this all gets approved before the end of this year, AND gets built by summer 2015. The New Coney Island!!!!!! Times Square by the Sea!

Business Insider - Get Ready For The De Blasio Construction Boom In New York City

Excerpts -

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will be New York's most pro-development mayor in decades.

To the untrained ear, de Blasio has run as a critic of developers, complaining that too many "luxury condos" are going up in New York. But he has also been clear that more development is a key to growing the city's economy and addressing the affordability crisis. And while many of the city's business elites are freaking out about de Blasio's "class warfare," he's maintained good links with (and raised a lot of money from) the real estate industry.

Last summer, de Blasio gave a speech to NYU's Wagner School of Public Service on fostering economic development in New York City. The speech is worth reading in full, but it's especially interesting for de Blasio's strong pro-development bias:


First and foremost, when given the choice to grow or to sit idle, we need to grow and we have to be aggressive about it. There are factors beyond our control — economic conditions, bureaucratic interference from afar — that can kill good projects. The things I value as a progressive — good jobs and affordable housing — cannot happen if projects stall or never materialize. If we aren’t doing everything possible as a City government to spur on development, even if valid compromises are included, we risk nothing getting built at all, and that is the worst possible outcome.


De Blasio has been critical of the Bloomberg-era approach to fostering development, which has relied heavily on subsidies and tax credits to induce developers to build affordable housing. He wants a new approach, which would make "inclusionary zoning" (a set aside of housing-units at restricted rents or prices for low and moderate-income families) mandatory. But he's smart enough to know he can't get something or nothing, which is why he's repeatedly said he wants to give developers increased development rights — the ability to build more square feet of building on a given plot of land — in exchange for affordable housing.

The problem with these sorts of upzonings is that they are often politically unpopular: Incumbent residents resist greater density because of the construction, noise, crowds and cars it brings to their neighborhoods. That's why Bloomberg focused his upzoning efforts on neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Long Island City where the prior use was light industrial and few residents were around to complain.

But the city is running out of well-located neighborhoods like this, and the loss of warehouse and similar space due to these neighborhoods' transformation has been driving up the cost of doing business here. The next round of upzonings will have to come in neighborhoods full of existing residents and all the political resistance they bring.

De Blasio will have a key advantage in getting those upzonings done: by tying upzonings to inclusionary housing and the affordable housing issue, he will be able to paint NIMBY opponents of density as opponents of affordable housing. The debate won't be over whether every part of New York should be given over to luxury condo towers; it will be about whether we can grow our way into housing affordability.

If he upzones aggressively with an inclusionary housing mandate, de Blasio will be able to meet much of his goal of 220,000 new or preserved units of affordable housing at no taxpayer expense. The development will generate fees, transfer taxes and property taxes that will pay for his other policy goals. In some neighborhoods, the city could even sell off the added development rights, as Bloomberg is proposing to do with his last zoning legacy: An upzoning of the office district near Grand Central Terminal in Midtown.

Brooklyn Eagle - Prospect Lefferts Gardens– The next development frontier

Excerpts- 

By Jonathan Berman, Vice President, Ariel Property Advisors 
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle 

Brooklyn’s Prospect Lefferts Gardens has been discovered by developers armed with plans to transform vacant lots into residential developments on or near Flatbush Avenue. 

Eight of the planned developments are highlighted below and serve as a sample of what the future may hold for Prospect Lefferts Gardens:

  • Hudson Companies filed plans with the NYC Department of Buildings to build a 23-story, mixed-use building at 626 Flatbush Avenue featuring 254 rental units in a 218,956-square-foot space, 4,758 square feet of commercial space, a 3,583-square-foot community facility, and enclosed parking. The developer is demolishing the existing two-story commercial space on Flatbush Avenue and building on the parking lot behind the retail storefronts. Our firm sold the property for $11 million in June 2013.
  • Tom Anderson of 31 Lincoln Road Development filed plans with the NYC Department of Buildings for a nine-story, 56-unit mixed-use building at 510 Flatbush Avenue, which will allow for 36,450 square feet for residential use, 5,000 square feet for commercial use, and 3,668 square feet for a community facility. In a related development around the corner on the same block, Mr. Anderson filed plans for an eight-story structure with 87 units at 33 Lincoln Road, which will allow for 60,455 square feet of residential development, 4,856 square feet of commercial development and 10,129 for a community facility. The 26,282-square-foot vacant lot on which the developments will be built sold for $6.5 million in August 2011.
  • Developer Eli Karp of Hello Living has already started marketing a 15-story luxury condominium at 271 Lenox Road, between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues, featuring 56 units with private terraces and private elevators opening directly into each unit, 32 parking spaces and a gym. The firm also is planning a six-story building with 40 condominium units, 20 parking spaces and a gym at 651 New York Avenue, on the corner of New York Avenue and Hawthorne Street.
  • The Department of Buildings issued a permit for a nine-story, 72-unit residential apartment house with a community facility on a vacant lot at 226 Linden Boulevard, between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues. The application was filed by owner Emory Brooks of C.C.M.S.
  • An application has been filed with the Department of Buildings for a six-story, 29-unit, 19,923-square-foot apartment building on a vacant lot at 329 Sterling Street, between Nostrand and New York Avenues. The Department of Buildings website notes that the application is pending zoning approval. The owner is Thomas Lieberman of Jacquelyn 327 LLC.
  • A permit has been issued by the Department of Buildings for a six-story, 22-unit apartment building with a community facility on a vacant lot at 329 Lincoln Road, between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues. The owner is Alembic Community Development.
Another development site featuring 145,720 buildable square feet at Nostrand and Clarkson Avenues, one block from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital, and other medical facilities, is in contract. It was on the market for $10 million.

Much of the press is intently focused on development in more developed parts of Brooklyn like Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope and Crown Heights. These developments are a clear sign that much more is taking place throughout the borough and will continue to do so.

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/prospect-lefferts-gardens%E2%80%93-next-development-frontier-2013-11-06-140000

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Billy Joel plays Barclays New Year's Eve

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

Finally! He’ll actually hold a concert out in Brooklyn.

Billy Joel, the Long Island singer and songwriter whose brand of classic rock sells out arenas across the globe, will play a one-night-only show at the Barclays Center this New Year’s Eve.

The concert will be the first show in Brooklyn for the musician — who famously sang about playing a set in 1970s-Brooklyn as the city around him collapsed in the masterpiece “Miami 2017 (I’ve Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” — and his first in New York City since he played Shea Stadium in 2008 just before it was torn down.

“We are thrilled that he has chosen Brooklyn first in making his return,” said Barclays Center chief Brett Yormark outside the arena on Wednesday. “It’s going to be a truly exciting night.”

Joel was born in the Bronx, but does have some Brooklyn roots, according to Borough President Markowitz, who claimed the rocker informed him that his grandparents lived in Flatbush, and he would go to shows at the Loews theater on Flatbush Avenue.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/36/45/all-billy-joel-to-play-brooklyn_2013_11_08_bk.html

Marty talks Coney Amphitheater

Go Marty!!!

Brooklyn Daily excerpt -

Borough President Markowitz is now pitching his controversial Coney Island amphitheater plan as an economic development project for the neighborhood’s impoverished residential area — where locals have attacked the project and complained of being neglected in favor of amusements.

“All of this for them,” said Markowitz in a presentation to the City Planning Commission about the project he hopes will permanent home for his seaside summer concert series.

The Beep argued at the Oct. 23 hearing that sinking $50 million in city funds into transforming the empty, landmarked Childs Building on the Boardwalk into an upscale eatery and concert venue would benefit residents by ensuring continued public investment in the area.

“This will continue to focus the city’s attention on the dire needs of Coney Island,” Markowitz told the commission, the oversight agency which will vote on whether to approve the project in December.

Markowitz claimed that the new restaurant and concert space would spark investment in new housing and local businesses by bringing even bigger crowds into Coney Island. The pol said this would mean more tax revenue, and would force the city to repair and maintain the People’s Playground’s long-suffering public infrastructure. 

Coney residents have complained for years that the local sewer system backs up and floods the streets during rainstorms — and to especially devastating effect during Hurricane Sandy.

“As more development comes, as more retail comes in, that means the city will continue to invest money, because they’re getting money in return,” Markowitz argued. “They’ll have to fix the infrastructure because businesses and residents will need it.”

The Beep also said the new venue would provide 150 construction jobs and 275 permanent positions for the residents of Coney Island, many of whom live in public housing still struggling with mold and power outages almost a year after superstorm Sandy.

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2013/44/bn-childs-building-vote-2013_11_01_bk.html

Brooklyn Triathlon postponed until October 2014

From their web page

Important Announcement from the Race Director

I want to personally let each of you know that the Brooklyn Triathlon at Coney Island is being postponed until 2014.

Last week we had a series of very productive meetings with the Mayor's Office of Special Events, NYPD, Parks Department, NYFD and the Coast Guard, as well as a great town hall-style meeting at R&A Cycles with registered and interested competitors. 

The result of all these meetings is that the City of New York has offered us the opportunity to have the race on October 26, 2014. We are in the process of applying for the date immediately. For us and for participants, this is a huge opportunity. Our sponsors including R&A Cycles, Herbalife, blueseventy, Champion System, and our charity partner, Race2Rebuild are fully supportive of the move.

All of the meetings that were held last week demonstrated the positive and enthusiastic support we are receiving from everyone in Brooklyn, so we are even more committed to making this an event that has longevity and is a permanent part of the Brooklyn sports scene. 

Here are some of the operational items for 2014 that came out of the City departmental meetings: 
  • The swim course will be moved to the opposite side of the pier at Coney Island. This is due to construction at the pier and dredging operations in the ocean off the beach. 
  • The cycling course footprint will be reduced to operationally benefit the residents and businesses along the course and increase course safety. 
  • The entire run course will be on the Coney Island Boardwalk. This will be possible in 2014 with the major improvements and repairs being completed on the Boardwalk. The finish will be on the Boardwalk in front of the parachute jump at Coney. 
If you have already registered for 2013, we will be sending you a special email no later than Thursday, October 24th with information about your options related to your registration and the 2014 Brooklyn Triathlon. We will continue to provide you with information updates on our Facebook page.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to direct them to me at Jack@PacificSportsLLC.com
Best Regards, 
Jack Caress
Race Director
Brooklyn Triathlon
President & CEO
Pacific Sports LLC

http://www.brooklyn-triathlon.com/

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NY Post - Brooklyn home prices hit 10 year record high

Excerpts -

Before the economic meltdown, the average price of a Brooklyn home hit $603,428 in 2007 — then sank to $494,720 in 2009 — but has rebounded to a stunning $694,777, according to the Elliman Report.

“It isn’t a discount neighborhood anymore,” said Pam Liebman, CEO of The Corcoran Group.

Pricey Manhattan homes are helping to drive buyers across the Brooklyn Bridge, but many are attracted to the hipster borough because it’s become an attractive place to live.

Brooklyn is “hot because of all the restaurant openings, Barclays Center,” said Frank Percesepe, regional senior vice president, Brooklyn for Corcoran. “So many commercial neighborhoods are getting new buildings, and they are getting turned around into beautiful neighborhoods.”

http://nypost.com/2013/10/10/brooklyn-home-prices-hit-10-year-record-high/


NY Post - Brooklyn properties win big from Barclays success

Excerpt -

She cites two three-bedroom apartments she sold at 328 Bergen St., a condo building in Boerum Hill. The first unit went on the market last September, just before the stadium opened, and sold for $875,000. The second, a similar unit, went to market in February, months after the center opened, and sold this summer for $996,000 — a 14 percent bump.

“Now, obviously, there are market forces at play,” Barrett says. “But I think that since [Barclays] opened, that question mark just went away and people view it as a positive for the neighborhood.”

Corcoran broker Mary Lowe saw an even more dramatic payoff from the Barclays debut.

In the last year, Lowe has sold four units in Prospect Heights’ 173-unit Newswalk condo loft building, which, at 535 Dean St., is less than a block from the Atlantic Yards construction site. The first unit, which she sold last September, went for $567 per square foot. The second sold in June for $719. The third went in August for $889. And last month, Lowe says, she put a Newswalk apartment into contract at $913 per square foot.

“The first sale, there were lots of questions from buyers, a lot of nervousness and uncertainty about what Barclays would become,” Lowe says. “My last sale, I got very few questions. Buyers can walk around the neighborhood, and they see more amenities, more services, more restaurants.”

The arena’s opening has also rounded out the area’s cultural offerings, says Halstead broker Isaac Halperin, who has sold units in Fort Greene’s One Hanson Place, which overlooks the arena.

“You have highbrow cultural activities at Brooklyn Academy of Music, and now you also have more mainstream entertainment at Barclays,” he says.

http://nypost.com/2013/10/10/brooklyn-properties-win-big-from-barclays-success/

Friday, November 1, 2013

Amphitheater vote not on 11/4 City Planning Agenda

Hopefully it goes on the 11/18 agenda. After that it needs to get City Council approval before January 1st. It's a tight timeframe, but I am optimistic..........................


http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/luproc/calbeg.shtml#pmn

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Just watched the entire City Planning Commission hearing on the Amphitheater

There were so many speakers in support of the project. Really encouraging. Also Marty Markowitz and Domenic Recchia presented fantastic testimony. They stole the show. I feel so much more positive that this project will be approved. Great for the New Coney Island!

Amphitheater concerts - Metropolitan Entertainment

It was revealed during some of the iStar testimony that they are speaking with this concert promotion company for the 40-50 annual concerts planned.

http://www.metrohybrid.com/

CIUSA will also be involved with other events at the venue, as noted in the testimony which again you can download here 

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/luproc/calbeg.shtml#pmn

Video - Marty Markowitz spoke at the the City Planning Commission hearing on the Amphitheater

You can download the whole public meeting on this page

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/luproc/calbeg.shtml#pmn