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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Amphitheater expected to be approved!!!

Go Marty!!!

Daily News excerpts

“It's hard to understand what happened,” admitted Community Board 13 district manager Chuck Reichenthal, referring to the Monday night vote.

Markowitz said he was “disappointed” by the vote.

“This project... will generate jobs, economic development and joy for Coney Island and all of Brooklyn for generations to come.”

The board’as decision is merely an advisory ruling and the project is expected to be ultimately approved.

The City Planning Commission will likely approve it during a vote next month before the proposal gets sent to the City Council for final approval.

The amphitheater will seat 5,000 people with room for another 2,000 on the lawn behind it, according to the plans.

The performance space would play host to as many as 40 concerts between May and October.
The historic restaurant has been closed since 1947. More recently, the place was taken over by Tell Chocolate Company but that company closed several years ago and the building has been empty ever since.

“This is going to be a tremendous boon to Coney Island,” said Weiss, the developer's attorney. “It's going to take a desolate end of the boardwalk and create life with a park and the restoration of the Childs restaurant.”

Friday, September 27, 2013

Daily News - Barclays Center at 1 year

Excerpt -

Barclays Center at 1 year: A 'true Brooklyn success story'  

2,000 employees, surging property values and a local business boom

Comments (4)











After a year in business, Barclays Center is the No. 1 concert venue in the country.

Anyone who has walked past the Barclays Center has seen its famous 70,000-pound scoreboard, visible to all from the street.

Keeping score of the Barclays Center’s financial performance and the economic impact it has had on the surrounding neighborhood and the city overall, has become a sport of its own — and in many ways the 18,200-seat arena is making big strides.

Ticket and concession sales are booming at the glass and weathered steel-fronted sports and entertainment complex which has seen more than 2 million customers come through its doors and is now ranked as the country’s No.1 concert venue.

While profits are lagging because of the high cost of running the arena, Forest City Ratner executive chairman Bruce Ratner calls the Barclays Center “a great financial success.”

“In a year, we have become the major arena in the U.S.,” Ratner told the Daily News.

From the Brooklyn Nets who have seen ticket sales spike since their move to the borough, to local landlords who are witnessing a surge in property values, others are likewise seeing their fortunes rise with the arrival of the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of Forest City Ratner’s $4.9 billion project Atlantic Yards project.

“There is no question that the Barclays Center — America’s most beautiful arena — is a true Brooklyn success story,” said Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz.


The arena has brought jobs to the neighborhood, employing 2,000 people — 80% are Brooklyn residents and one third are from local housing projects — though 1,900, are part-timers.

Brisk event and food sales and the fat payroll of the Brooklyn Nets — amounting to more than $120 million — are boosting the city’s tax revenues.

“We have exceeded all of our benchmarks and that translates into more taxes,” Ratner said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/barclays-1-year-article-1.1460150#ixzz2g8kQmBke

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Can Marty pull a rabbit out of a hat? Let's hope!

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

An attorney for iStar Financial, the current owners of the Childs Building, defended the plan for iStar to sell the structure to the city and transform it into an amphitheater for $50 million in taxpayer money. The lawyer said that the company, which has a lease to operate the new facility at a profit for 10 years, had already taken into account the potential for problems with noise and traffic — and found that there will be no problems at all. 

“I expect that it’s going to be ultimately approved, and I expect that this project will be a benefit not just to people who come to the concerts, but to the whole community,” said iStar counsel Howard Weiss.

The City Planning Commission — the next body to review the project — is free to ignore the CB13 vote, which is only advisory. 

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/36/39/bn_childsvote_2013_09_27_bk.html

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Best quote of the article

“Reminds me of Times Square after it was cleaned up,” said Vic. “Coney has been transformed.


I have heard this comparison many times by several people this past summer. You hear it more and more. It became the headline theme of this blog. This transformation will not lessen in coming years. It will only accelerate. There is great momentum in Coney development and the best is yet to come!

The New Coney Island-  Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea. A great renaissance in Brooklyn.........


Daily News - Bloomberg's positive effect on Coney Island

Excerpts from Denis Hamill's article  -

My son's baseball team from Bayside, Queens, had the good fortune to play a doubleheader last week at MCU Park in Coney Island, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The kids made life-long memories on the minor league field as a salty breeze blew in off the blue Atlantic.

Afterward, I strolled with the kids and their parents, middle-class families from Queens, along the storied Boardwalk of the Poor Man's Paradise on a perfect Indian summer Saturday afternoon.

The Boardwalk crowd was dense, diverse, joyous. Uniformed cops stood in bored knots under blue skies. The destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy had all been repaired. We ate food from the expanded Nathan’s on the Boardwalk at picnic tables in this oasis of my Brooklyn tenement youth.

“Wow, Coney is great these days,” said Vic from Whitestone.

“Beautiful,” said Lou from Bayside. “Who knew?”

“It used to be so dirty and scary,” said Janet.

“I had no idea it was this nice now,” said Liz.

The Wonder Wheel spun like a timeless clock. The Cyclone roller coaster rumbled by like an echo from the halcyon days of the last century.

The families spent a few hours on the amusement rides, cell phone cameras freezing images of a New York day to remember.

“Reminds me of Times Square after it was cleaned up,” said Vic. “Coney has been transformed. No more gangbangers. No guys trying to sell you dope. No panhandlers. You gotta give Bloomberg some credit, no?”

I looked around and nodded.

He was right. Amid the hoopla of Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign about a city of haves and have-nots, Mike Bloomberg has been taking a lot of hard kicks in the butt on the way out the door.

But sometimes it takes a walk on the Coney Island Boardwalk in the clear sea air with real people raising real families in area code 718 to look around and give Bloomberg credit for some of the good things he’s accomplished as mayor.

Coney is better. And Bloomberg gets points for the smoking ban, which I opposed because it bothered me that a combat vet who lifted a glass to his fallen buddies in a VFW post on Memorial Day couldn’t light a Lucky Strike the way he did on Pork Chop Hill.

But the truth is few New Yorkers miss gagging in restaurants.

Okay, so Bloomberg couldn’t get a football stadium built on the West Side of Manhattan. But he backed the Barclays Center and helped give Brooklyn a professional home team in the NBA’s Nets, along with the top music venue in the U.S.A.

Still, New York is a better city than it was when Bloomberg took control from Giuliani.

I realized that last week as I strolled with other middle-class families along the revitalized Coney Island Boardwalk that was an idyllic tribute to the dwindling days of Mike Bloomberg.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

iStar Financial comments on Coney Amphitheater and Coney development

Brooklyn Daily excerpt -

“We see this as an economic jumpstart to development,” said iStar attorney Howard Weiss.
Weiss noted that iStar — which will lease the amphitheater from the city and operate it at a profit until 2025 — owns 70 percent of the developable land nearby. The zoning laws the city passed in 2009 allow for those mostly vacant properties to become condos and residential towers.

Markowitz’s proposal will also convert the now-empty lots on either side of W. 22nd Street into a public greenspace with lush lawns, winding paths, gardens, playground equipment, privately run concessions, and seating areas. 

The Zoning and Land Use committee of Coney Island’s Community Board 13 has asked the city to study the amphitheater’s potential impact on parking, and to investigate the possibility of a shuttle bus to the new facility. The neighborhood panel also asked for iStar to hire Coney residents to help build and run the concert space and restaurant.

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2013/38/all_childsbuildingprotest_2013_09_20_bk.html

USA Today - Downtown Brooklyn Gets New, Hip Hotels

Excerpt -

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn's year-old Barclays Center has drawn the likes of Jay-Z and Barbra Streisand, the Brooklyn Nets and this year's MTV Video Music Awards.

The arena is part of a larger complex called Atlantic Yards, which will soon be filled with residential, office and retail space. Throw in a thriving arts and cultural scene anchored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, plus a dozen or so universities, and you've got a hotel developer's dream.

"It's an underserved market," says Hung Luk, chief operating officer of the Lam Group, which has developed InterContinental Hotels Group's Hotel Indigo, officially opening today in downtown Brooklyn.

Brooklyn has become the hottest New York City outer borough in the last few years, but much of the activity has been concentrated in Williamsburg, a subway stop away from lower Manhattan. Now, development is spreading throughout the borough, making Brooklyn a primary destination rather than a second thought for travelers visiting New York City. For city residents, it can also be a more affordable place to live, with easy access to Manhattan.

"Hotel Indigo is just the latest in a series of new hotels exploding onto the Brooklyn scene, and it's easy to see why," says Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. " Whether business or pleasure, Brooklyn is tops by any measure in offering memorable opportunities to guests, from shopping and dining to culture and the arts."

Right now, there aren't enough hotels to house those guests, city officials and developers say.

Gregory Atkins, project manager of a 200-room lifestyle hotel near the Barclays Center planned by Second Development Services, says Brooklyn has 4,000 hotel rooms for 2.6 million people. "Take your average Midwestern small city. How many hotel (rooms) do they have? They have more than Brooklyn," he says. "There's a tremendous market demand for Brooklyn alone."

From January 2011 through this June, 13 of the 53 hotels that opened in New York City were in Brooklyn, according to NYC & Company, the city's official marketing and tourism organization. Another eight are expected to open in Brooklyn by 2016.

The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in downtown Brooklyn, a large full-service hotel, had long dominated the borough's hotel market. Then Williamsburg landed two boutique hotels: the 72-room Wythe Hotel and the 64-room King & Grove Williamsburg.

Now, developers are looking to other parts of Brooklyn that are as up-and-coming as Williamsburg once was, such as Bushwick and Sunset Park, where the 76-room Hotel BPM, named for the musical term "beats per minute," opened last year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2013/09/19/downtown-brooklyn-hotels-barclays-center-hotel-indigo/2830615/

$15 Millon sale on Neptune Ave

Real Estate Weekly excerpt -

A development site at 809-873 Neptune Avenue in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood was sold for $15,000,000. The site contains 133,407 s/f and its M1-2 zoning allows a wide array of uses, including retail and light industrial The property benefits from up to approximately 226,814 buildable square feet of commercial or industrial development rights.

Massey Knakal’s Stephen P. Palmese, who exclusively handled this transaction, noted that a significant number of large residential developments within a half mile of the site, represent an established
neighborhood with built-in demand  The site is just a few blocks from the New York Aquarium, the Riegelmann Boardwalk, and the Coney Island amusement area.


“National Grid’s commitment to Coney Island has had a profound impact on the area’s economic and cultural growth,” said Palmese. “The sale of their Neptune site will continue in that vein and will provide much needed commercial development and jobs to the neighborhood.


http://www.rew-online.com/2013/09/18/selling-points-coney-island-site-hits-market-inland-spends-60m-on-walgreens/

Saturday, September 14, 2013

De Blasio's development viewpoint

My opinion is we are basically looking at the best mayoral candidate NY has seen in decades.

New Yorker excerpt -

A hint of de Blasio’s pro-business stance can be found in a telling speech on economic development that he gave in late July at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. In the fifty-minute address, de Blasio presented his four-point plan to spur job growth and increase the city’s affordable-housing stock. His first bullet point: maximizing development.

He referred to the Gowanus Canal project with Toll Brothers and two other controversial construction projects in Brooklyn he supported, at Atlantic Yards and Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

In 2006, he backed the massive Atlantic Yards project, which used eminent domain to build the nineteen-thousand-seat Barclays Center in Prospect Heights. The developer, Bruce Ratner, promised affordable housing but has yet to build it. At Brooklyn Bridge Park, he pushed for luxury housing, despite objections from neighborhood advocacy groups that said the condos would create an affluent and insulated community in one of the Brooklyn waterfront’s prime public spaces.

“We can’t afford a process rife with delays, subject to knee-jerk NIMBYism and tangled in bureaucracy,” de Blasio told the students, sounding not all that different from the man he was trying to replace.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2013/09/bill-de-blasio-friend-of-real-estate-developers.html

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Subway Cafe coming to Surf Ave!

Fantastic news! This is Subway's coffee shop answer to Starbucks. Now on Surf Avenue we will have these chains - Applebee's, Dunkin Donuts, Grimaldi's, Popeye's, Nathans, It'Sugar, with  Johnny Rocket's,  Red Mango and Subway Cafe all on the way for 2014. The New Year Round Coney marches forward! More to come!

Amusing the Zillion has the story -

http://amusingthezillion.com/2013/09/11/subway-cafe-to-replace-furniture-store-on-coney-islands-surf-ave/

Sunday, September 8, 2013

More on the Coney Amphitheater coming in summer 2015

Excerpts - from the Environmental Assessment Statement


The proposed project involves the development of approximately 2.55 ‐ acres of publicly accessible open space, which would include an approximately 5,000 ‐ seat amphitheater, as well as the restoration and adaptive reuse of the former Childs Restaurant building (a designated New York City landmark) in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn Community District 13. The project is intended to continue the City of New York’s efforts to reinvigorate Coney Island by introducing a new recreational and entertainment destination on the Riegelmann Boardwalk. It is anticipated that the proposed amphitheater and other project components would be completed by summer 2015. The first full year of operation would be 2016. The proposed amphitheater would be an interim use authorized for a period of ten years pursuant to a City Planning Commission Special Permit. Upon completion, the amphitheater would be owned by the City of New York and operated by a not ‐ for ‐ profit entity under a long term lease with the city. The amphitheater would serve as the venue for a variety of concerts, community events, and public gatherings, such as the Seaside Summer Concert Series.

The proposed publicly accessible open space and amphitheater would extend outward from the western fa├žade of the restored Childs Restaurant building and would be roughly bound by the Riegelmann Boardwalk to the south, West 23 rd Street to the west, and Surf Avenue to the north. While the site plan and design of the proposed project have not yet been finalized, amphitheater seating would generally be concentrated between the Childs Restaurant building and West 22 nd Street, with greenspace and landscaping extending westward from the amphitheater to West 23 rd Street. A pathway from the northern edge of the project site at West 22 nd Street to the Boardwalk would provide pedestrian access to the Boardwalk and beach as well as the proposed open space and amphitheater. The restored Childs Restaurant building and proposed amphitheater would be physically connected, sharing some stage and “back of house” areas that would make it possible for the Childs Restaurant building to provide year ‐ round indoor entertainment. Restaurant and banquet uses would occupy the remaining space in the Childs Restaurant building and would operate year ‐ round in conjunction with the indoor entertainment use.

The proposed public open space and amphitheater would occupy approximately 111,004 sf (2.55 acres) along the Riegelmann Boardwalk at Coney Island. The amphitheater would be comprised of a stage house and paved seating areas for approximately 5,000 attendees. As previously noted, the amphitheater would serve as the new home of the Seaside Summer Concert Series as well as other concert events, cultural performances, and public events. For conservative environmental analysis purposes, it is assumed that the amphitheater would attract an additional 1,000 standing attendees (for a total of 6,000 patrons) and that the concert season would extend for Seaside Park and Community Arts Center EAS Attachment A: Project Descri ption & Preliminary Screening A-4 approximately 15 weeks, from Memorial Day through the end of September (currently the concert season extends from Independence Day to Labor Day). It is also anticipated that the proposed amphitheater would host a combination of free and paid events both during the week and on weekends. The proposed publicly accessible open space and amphitheater would enable the 34 year old Seaside Summer Concert Series to continue to host top ‐ name performers in a broad range of musical genres, thereby also serving area residents that would otherwise have to travel to other concert venues in the City. During the summer months, it is envisioned that the proposed amphitheater would host evening concert events on both weekdays and weekends. In addition, the proposed amphitheater would also provide a space for smaller events such as cultural performances, school graduations, and fairs. The new public open space and amphitheater would also provide the community with year ‐ round recreational opportunities, as it is expected that the amphitheater would be available for public use and events during the off ‐ season.

http://www.nycedc.com/sites/default/files/filemanager/Projects/Coney_Island/13DME014K_EAS_20130516.pdf

Saturday, September 7, 2013

WSJ - De Blasio pushes on Land Use

Excerpt - 

De Blasio Pushes on Land Use 
Liberal Mayoral Candidate Would Continue Many of Bloomberg's Policies


Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

Bill de Blasio has risen to the top of the polls assailing the Bloomberg administration, but if elected he could pursue even more aggressive policies than his predecessor on a crucial issue: creating densely packed new residential towers through land-use decisions. 

Mr. de Blasio, the city's public advocate, would push for mandatory affordable housing and fewer tax breaks for developers. But he wouldn't differ from Mr. Bloomberg on a fundamental premise that building significant amounts of new housing is a top way to spur economic growth and control housing costs.


Mr. de Blasio's pro-development policies have helped allay fears in the real-estate industry that perhaps the most liberal Democrat in the race would, as mayor, be a fearsome opponent on big developments.

Mr. de Blasio said Friday he would differ from Mr. Bloomberg in taking "a more rigorous approach that focuses on community benefits like creating infrastructure like affordable housing, like local jobs, hiring for local residents. And I think we just need to do a lot better job at driving a hard bargain with the real-estate industry."

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. 

Some liberal community groups said they feel betrayed. "The whole thing is a joke to us that people are looking at this guy as if he cares about the community," said Marlene Donnelly, a member of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, a group that pushed to get the Gowanus Canal designated a Superfund site—a goal Mr. de Blasio unsuccessfully opposed. "I don't find any step of the way that he's actually been on our side here."


Mr. de Blasio has met with developers, and his campaign has received some $460,000 in contributions from real-estate interests, including developers, brokers, architects and construction firms, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

He has drawn praise from big developers, including Toll Brothers, which opposed the Gowanus Superfund designation, a move that helped kill its housing development with 30% affordable units. "When things got tough and he could have abandoned us," David Von Spreckelsen, a senior vice president at Toll Brothers, said of Mr. de Blasio. "He stuck with us, he stuck to his word. He was the only local politician who stayed with us."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324123004579059483893443404.html

NY Post - Jay Z selling minority share of Brooklyn Nets to Jason Kidd

Excerpt -

Jay Z is selling his minority ownership in the Brookyn Nets to coach Jason Kidd, sources exclusively tell Page Six.

We’re told Kidd will take over Jay’s .067 percent (1/15th of a percent) stake in the team for about $500,000.

The move comes as Jay was forced to sell his Nets shares over a conflict of interest after he started a sports agency, Roc Nation, signing clients including Yankee Robinson Cano and Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant.

A source told us, “Other owners want to give Jason a part ownership of the team, and urged Jay to sell his shares to him.”

Amazingly, Jay was introduced to the team in 2003 by Drew Katz , the son of one of the Nets’ principal owners, after Kidd, then the Nets’ marquee point guard, suggested the music mogul buy the team.

According to reports, Jay helped design the team logos and choose the Nets’ stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it.

The Times reported Jay’s influence stretched so far, he courted top players to join the team and even counseled execs on music to play during games.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Schumer announces Beach Replenishment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 6, 2013
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES SAND REPLENISHMENT AT CONEY ISLAND STARTS THIS WEEK; $7 MILLION PROJECT WILL ADD 600,000 CUBIC YARDS OF SAND FOR EMERGENCY BEACH PROTECTION

Superstorm Sandy’s Destruction Made Coney Island’s Beaches Vulnerable to Future Storms; Senator Fought For & Secured Sandy Relief Funds for Coney Island Reach Project


Schumer Announces Sand Replenishment at Coney Island Will Begin This Weekend

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the $7.2 million contract awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers to place 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island is scheduled to be pumped this upcoming weekend. Schumer fought for and secured approval for this emergency project as part of the Coney Island Reach project, which extends from West 37th Street to Brighton Beach.
 
“Coney Island was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and soon, its beaches will be well on their way to being protected against future flooding,” said Schumer. “This emergency project is critical to Coney Island beachgoers and homeowners and that’s why I fought hard to make sure this replenishment project had funding necessary from the Sandy Relief Bill. It is gratifying to see this work about to begin.”
 
The Coney Island Reach project, which extends from West 37th Street to Brighton Beach, consists of approximately 3 miles of beachfront which provides storm damage reduction to the densely populated communities and infrastructure located along the shoreline of Coney Island.
 
Through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (the Sandy Relief Bill, or PL 113-2), the Corps of Engineers is authorized to restore certain previously constructed projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy to their original design profile. Through this legal authority, the Corps of Engineers is authorized to place the additional sand at Coney Island to restore the project area to its original design profile. PL 113-2 also allocated the funds for the coastal restoration work.
 
Schumer today announced that the Corps expects the work will begin the weekend of September 7th and will pump 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island.

http://www.schumer.senate.gov/new_website/record.cfm?id=345655

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Brooklyn Bridge Park update

WSJ excerpts -

A developer has been chosen to turn a collection of deserted Civil War-era warehouses along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park into a new office, dining and shopping destination.

Midtown Equities, a New York real-estate investment and development firm, was selected over nine competing bidders to revitalize the vacant Empire Stores warehouses in Dumbo, New York City officials said on Wednesday.

Midtown Equities will sign a 96-year lease for the site and is scheduled to begin construction in early 2014 and finish in the fall of 2015. The city also announced a long-term lease with the performing-arts group St. Ann's Warehouse to convert the nearby Tobacco Warehouse, a 19th-century tobacco inspection center, into a theater.

West Elm, a furniture-store chain that already has an outlet along Front Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood, is expected to become the anchor tenant of the Empire Stores redevelopment.

Nearly 80% of the roughly 380,000 square feet of space in the old warehouses will be used for offices. The developer is also in talks with the Brooklyn Historical Society to use about 3,200 square feet of space for exhibitions.

A separate plan to build apartment and hotel towers near the park is also in the works. 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324123004579055320644303480.html

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First ever NHL game at Barclays



 

A select number of limited view seats for the New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils preseason game on September 21st have just been released. The first 10k fans in attendance will receive a free commemorative pin. Visit http://bit.ly/18pe7RJ to buy tickets.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=588957137813132&set=a.173210986054418.30893.111562862219231&type=1&theater 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Final Flicks on the Beach for 2013

Tonight! The FINAL Flicks on the Beach screening of 2013: Wreck it Ralph! Bring the kids & have some fun while school's still out! Movie at dusk. More info: http://ow.ly/owypV Who's joining us?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151661307189514&set=a.376477074513.156108.18664769513&type=1&theater

From Coney Island Facebook

Though swimming season is over, the amusements will be open through the end of October and the Aquarium and restaurants are open year round. Check out everything happening in Coney: http://coneyislandfunguide.com/

https://www.facebook.com/coneyislandfun

Monday, September 2, 2013

Great article on De Blasio and Brooklyn development

Excerpt from Capital NY -

In fact, de Blasio’s record as a councilman demonstrated a willingness to work with developers to spur economic development and tackle the city's affordable housing crisis, using an approach to land use that at times bore a strong resemblance to Bloomberg's own.

For instance, de Blasio, like Bloomberg, was a staunch backer of the Atlantic Yards project, on the basis of the developer's promise to provide union construction jobs and more than 2,000 units of below-market housing.  

While de Blasio fought for affordable housing requirements during the rezoning of Fourth Avenue, he only pushed up to a point. When the planning department wouldn't budge, de Blasio voted for the rezoning anyway, citing the fact that it would, at least, help control the demand for market rate housing in the neighborhood.

In 2009, he pushed through a rezoning of a development site on the Gowanus Canal so Toll Brothers could build 447 condos there. And, when Toll Brothers said they would pull out if the federal government declared the canal a Superfund site, de Blasio backed a Bloomberg alternative cleanup that the city promised would take fewer years and have the added benefit of not scaring developers away by stigmatizing the neighborhood with the "Superfund" label. Critics countered that Bloomberg's alternative clean-up would prove less thorough.

And, like Bloomberg, but to the consternation of some very vocal Brooklyn Heights residents, he supported the development of condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park to help fund the park's operations.

He uses that background to allay concerns in the real estate industry that he would be difficult to work with as mayor.

“When he talks to the real estate industry, he tells us to look at his record,” one real estate executive told me.

“I’ve been in situations where he refers back to Atlantic Yards and Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said another industry executive.

Bill de Blasio represented Park Slope as a city councilman from 2002 through 2009. His years in that position coincided with the rise of Brooklyn as we now know it: Hipster credibility undermined by Manhattan real estate prices, a deep-seated anxiety about gentrification and overdevelopment infused with arriviste NIMBYism. So when, in 2005, Bruce Ratner and the Pataki and Bloomberg administrations announced an agreement to build 16 skyscrapers and an arena at the nexus of Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Fort Greene, and Downtown Brooklyn, and when it then used the threat of eminent domain to pressure existing residents to sell or relocate, brownstone Brooklyn (or a good part of it) balked.

Residents took issue with the project’s reliance on eminent domain, the developer’s evasion of the city’s onerous public review process, the development’s sheer scope (8.6 million square feet), and its implications for traffic, parking, schools, sewage. Some even worried about the shadows it would cast.

After several members of Park Slope's Community Board 6 voted against the project, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and de Blasio “purgedthem.

“I support the project because I believe that we're at a crisis in New York City when it comes to affordable housing. ... And I think we're in a crisis when it comes to economic development and providing real jobs for the community,” said de Blasio at a hearing in 2006. “But I also want to stress as much as I believe this project will help move us forward in terms of economic development and especially affordable housing.”

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/08/8533321/bill-de-blasio-development-pragmatist?top-featured-image


Sunday, September 1, 2013

End of summer, beginning of Year round Coney

NY1 excerpt -

"Actually, this is last weekend for everyone but for me," said one beachgoer. "I will continue as long as I can."

"Labor Day is for the tourists, you know, real Brooklynites come to Coney Island all year long," said another.

Plus, these people come not just for the beach.

With many of the amusements open through October, and some restaurants open year round, it's clear the party here is far from over.

See more at: http://brooklyn.ny1.com/content/pages/188089/coney-island-wraps-up-solid-summer-season#sthash.sLuo4P0C.dpuf
"Actually, this is last weekend for everyone but for me," said one beachgoer. "I will continue as long as I can."
"Labor Day is for the tourists, you know, real Brooklynites come to Coney Island all year long," said another.
Plus, these people come not just for the beach.
With many of the amusements open through October, and some restaurants open year round, it's clear the party here is far from over.
- See more at: http://brooklyn.ny1.com/content/pages/188089/coney-island-wraps-up-solid-summer-season#sthash.sLuo4P0C.dpuf