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

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.

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

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

You can download the whole public meeting on this page

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thor launches residential division

Crains excerpt-

Joe Sitt joins booming residential market

The prolific real estate developer, whose Thor Equities has a huge portfolio of office, retail and hotel properties around the world, adds a new division that will focus exclusively on housing.

Commercial real estate powerhouse Thor Equities has launched a new residential division, the firm announced Wednesday.

"Residential real estate is booming in many American cities, presenting Thor with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to enter this expanding market," said Thor CEO Joseph Sitt, a 2004 Crain's 40 Under 40, in a statement. "Utilizing the same strategy that we have successfully implemented in the commercial sector, this new sector will help round out our portfolio and present additional opportunities in the marketplace."

The midtown-based firm, which owns a portfolio of more than 15 million square feet of space in leading cities around the world, has traditionally specialized in commercial and retail real estate. Its notable recent projects include the renovation and leasing of the Takashimaya building at 693 Fifth Ave. But the newly created division within Thor will instead tackle residential acquisitions and development, with a focus on Manhattan rental-apartment buildings. The new division will also keep an eye out for opportunities in the other boroughs, including Mr. Sitt's old stomping grounds in Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coney Amphitheater - City Planning Review

Draft Agenda 
October 21, 2013 @ 1:00 P.M. 
Brooklyn Pre-Hearing

(Item 11)
Seaside Park and Community Arts Center
; zoning map amendment, special permit, zoning
text amendment, disposition of c-o-p, acquisition of property, modification of a previously
approved city map amendment. (K13) (1/3)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Coney Island October Events

For Immediate Release:


Celebrate Fall-Time-Fun in Coney Island this October


CONEY ISLAND, October 10, 2013 – America’s Playground welcomes visitors this Fall with an

exciting line up of events and promotions during the month of October.

Pumpkin Season is officially here, and Coney Island is joining in on all the fun. Celebrate the

season with family-friendly events that combines beloved Coney Island rides, attractions, and

concessions with Fall-Time-Fun themed programming.

Kick-off your Columbus Day Weekend at Luna Park’s Halloween Harvest, taking place every

Saturday and Sunday from 12pm onwards, during the month of October. Fall time festivities

include rides and games, picking pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch, pumpkin painting, and

seasonal foods. Additionally, a full program of FREE activities is available, complete with trick or

treating, scavenger hunts, “spooky” character illustrations, balloon artists, meet and greets and

photo ops with costumed characters, and daily entertainment at the Air Race stage. Exciting

contests round off the program, such as the “Giant Pumpkin Guess the Weight Contest” where

participants can win cash prizes and other giveaways if they guess the weight of the giant


After Luna Park, head on over to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium and

take part in African Penguin Awareness Day on October 12 with a weekend full of penguin-
themed activities, Saturday, Oct. 12 through Monday, Oct. 14, 12pm to 4pm. The goal of this

event is to raise awareness about the African black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus), an

endangered species native to the southern tip of Africa. Activities include: Touch Station –

where visitors can see and feel penguin bio-fact material including real feathers and eggs;

Games and Crafts – where children can make their own penguin craft and participate in exciting

penguin-themed games; and Penguin Feedings – which offer daily demonstrations that show

visitors how keepers feed the penguins.

Since no visit to Coney Island is complete without a stop at the Sideshow, this October Coney

Island USA presents, the HAUNTED Sideshow. It’s just like the Coney Island Circus Sideshow that

Coney Island visitors have come to know and love since 1985, but just a little bit scarier, offering

a perfect tie-in for Fall-Time-Fun in Coney Island. HAUNTED Sideshow performers include

Serpentina, Princess Pat, Alejandro Dubois, and Leo the Human Gumby. The show features each

Saturday and Sunday in October, including Columbus Day from 1pm to 8pm. For additional

details, visit

In the evening, make sure to stop by Coney Island USA’s Creepshow at the Freakshow – Coney

Island Criminals. A fascinating play by playwright Dick Zigun, Coney Island Criminals, features

the “true story” of teenage Al Capone getting his famous scars while working as a

bartender/bouncer at Coney Island’s Harvard Inn, a saloon owned by Brooklyn gangster, Frankie

Yale. The play features Friday’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s in October at 7pm at the Shooting

Gallery Annex (1214 Surf Avenue). For pricing, and additional information, visit

Over on the Boardwalk, concessionaires Tom’s Coney Island and Brooklyn Beach Shop are

offering Can’t Miss Deals and Promotions.

Tom’s Coney Island has partnered with the Brooklyn Nets in their quest to bring the

championship back to Brooklyn with a free ticket giveaway. Beginning on Columbus Day, diners

spending $40 or more can enter to win FREE game tickets to watch the Brooklyn Nets play at

the Barclays Center. Every two weeks a winner will be selected for 2 seats in the Loge Box

complete with a buffet dinner and non-alcoholic beverages at the 40/40 Club. Tom’s Coney

Island will be open daily from 8am-5pm during the month of October.

Next door, the Brooklyn Beach Shop is offering a door-buster sale throughout the month, with

select items on sale for the entire month. The Brooklyn Beach Shop, along with the Nathan’s

Famous Hotdogs’ Gift Shop and the Coney Island Beach Shop will open daily in October from

10:30am-5:00pm (weather permitting).

For those that want to cover all of Coney Island with a guided tour, Free Coney Island Tours, will

continue to offer free tours by appointment throughout the month, and for the remainder of

the year. For more information, or to schedule a tour, visit

Back at the Aquarium, the Ascarium returns. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York

Aquarium, is bringing back their Halloween event, Ascarium, for the last weekend of the month

on October 26 and 27. Ascarium activities include:

· Water Wizardry – Noted actor and children’s theater performer David Engel will present an

exciting and educational show about the importance of water. Light effects, music and

magic tricks will be used to show kids and their families how they can help protect the

Earth. (Show times at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., both days)

· Wildlife Theater Presents: The Sea Witch Spooky Show – The Aquarium’s Wildlife Theater

will introduce Nettie the Sea Witch, who learns throughout the show that sharks,

jellyfish and corals are amazing animals that help make the ocean a wonderful place.

Audience members will have a chance to touch real ocean artifacts. (Show times at 12,

2, and 4 p.m., both days).

· Pumpkin Patch at the Aquarium – Visitors will explore a pumpkin patch, located on the

Aquarium’s scenic Oceanview Deck. They can pick their own pumpkin to paint at a craft

station overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean. (11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., both days)

· Terrific Tunes – Performances by Barry G and Ramblin’ Davey of the children’s band Dream

Jam Band have developed a special show that celebrates sea life and Halloween that will

be both educational and fun. (Show times at 12:30 and 3 p.m., both days)

· Trick-or-Treat – Children are invited to participate in safe trick-or-treating fun throughout

the Aquarium. (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., both days)

To cap off an exciting program of events, the 4th Annual Coney Island Children’s Halloween

Parade will take place on Saturday, October 26th, beginning at 11am. Hosted by Council Member

Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and the Alliance for Coney Island, and Produced by Coney Island USA,

the parade has increasingly gained in popularity since its inception in 2010. Parade-goers will be

treated to free entertainment at MCU Park, featuring live music and entertainment including

magicians, face painters, and costumed characters. For more information, or to register as a

participant, visit

 To plan a trip to Coney Island and stay up-to-date on all Coney happenings, make sure to visit, sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook,

Twitter and Instagram, @ConeyIslandFun #ConeyComeback.

Alliance for Coney Island

The not-for-profit Alliance for Coney Island, Inc. is a private-public partnership dedicated

to continuing the year-round renaissance of Coney Island. The Alliance represents local

businesses, nonprofits, and the community, with support from Community Board 13, the New

York City Council and the Brooklyn Borough President. More info



Halloween Harvest Dog Parade and Dog Costume Contest

Halloween Harvest Dog Parade and Dog Costume Contest

Brought to you by Central Amusement International
Dogs like to dress up for Halloween, too! Bring your cute canine companion to Luna Park on October 19th for a special costumed dog parade and costume contest. Each registered dog will receive a free doggie bag with tasty treats and fun goodies.

The Dog Costume Contest has five categories: Scariest, Cutest, Funniest, Original and Best of Show. The winner in each category will win $100. The Best of Show winner will receive $100 and 4 wristband vouchers to Luna Park!

Brooklyn Eagle - Treyger: Send Super Bowl money to Coney Island

Excerpt -

Calls on NFL to remember Sandy victims

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

City Council candidate Mark Treyger is throwing a flag down on a play by the National Football League to donate $2 million to New York City to help Hurricane Sandy victims.

Treyger, a Democrat running for the seat in the 47th Council District (Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst), said he doesn’t object to the fact that the NFL and the Super Bowl host committee plan to give the money to the city for Sandy-related projects. The problem, he said, is that Coney Island isn’t on the list of communities that will receive the financial help.

That’s no way to score a touchdown with Brooklyn voters, according to Treyger.

The Bloomberg Administration should be hit with a penalty for not pushing for Coney Island to be included, he said. “I wish I could say I’m surprised, but once again the Bloomberg administration has ignored the needs of working families in Coney Island,” said Treyger, a New Utrecht High School teacher who said many of his students were displaced by Sandy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

“Worldwide recognition of how strong the Brooklyn market is.”

Businessweek excerpt -

“If we’re able to consummate this with Greenland we would be able to deliver the housing and the balance of the project more quickly,” Linton said in an interview. Greenland’s interest in the deal suggests “worldwide recognition of how strong the Brooklyn market is.” 

The investment is the largest of its kind by a Chinese developer in the U.S., Greenland said in an e-mailed statement. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

Rising Rents

Brooklyn apartment rents are soaring and investors are racing to partake in that income by acquiring multifamily buildings. In September, rents in the borough climbed 10 percent from a year earlier to a median of $2,800, the second-highest in five years of record-keeping, according to New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Purchases of multifamily properties in Brooklyn totaled $1.17 billion in 2012, up 23 percent from the previous year and the most since 2006, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc. Sales this year are on pace to match that, with about $897 million of buildings changing hands through September. 

“They want to build as quickly as possible to capitalize on how strong the market is,” said Samit Parikh, an analyst with ISI Group in New York, who rates Forest City a strong buy. “Brooklyn rents are rising quickly. There’s a huge gentrification happening. They understand this is a great opportunity to get this going right now.”

Bloomberg News - China Developer in $5 Billion Project at Brooklyn Nets Arena

Excerpt -

Greenland Holding Group Co., a developer building one of China’s tallest towers, is investing in a New York property project valued at more than $5 billion, the latest Chinese real estate company to venture overseas. 

Greenland signed a memorandum of understanding on Oct. 2 with Forest City Ratner Cos. LLC to develop the Atlantic Yards Apartment Project in Brooklyn, the Chinese company said in an e-mailed statement today. Greenland will take a 70 percent stake in the development, anchored by the Barclays Center, home of the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets. It is the biggest deal of its kind by a Chinese developer in the U.S., Greenland said.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rental Units soaring in Brooklyn

Bloomberg excerpt-

Brooklyn condo boom cooled by rentals

Developers are choosing to build rentals instead of condos in the borough, mainly to take advantage of soaring rents. Rents in August climbed higher in Brooklyn than in Manhattan, up 4.6% compared with 1.8%, from last year.

(Bloomberg) -- The last time Douglaston Development built something big in Brooklyn, New York, it was a 565-unit condo project across two towers in Williamsburg that debuted in 2008, when credit markets were freezing and mortgages were hard to get. Now, Douglaston is taking a different path, building a 510-unit luxury rental tower right next door.

"The velocity at which the economic cycle moves and the fear of interest rates moving up made it very prudent to do a rental," Jeffrey Levine, chairman of Douglaston, said in an interview. "Greed is always tempered by fear."

About 15,300 new rental units are under construction or planned in the next two years for Brooklyn, compared with just 1,700 planned condos, according to New York brokerage MNS. Developers see rentals as a safer bet in a market where rents are climbing faster than in Manhattan and neighborhoods such as Bushwick, Greenpoint and Crown Heights are gentrifying, drawing professionals seeking more space and tree-lined streets.

The median apartment rent in Brooklyn, the most populous of New York's five boroughs and once a refuge from Manhattan's sky-high costs, was the highest in at least five years in August, rising 4.6% from a year earlier to $2,850, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Douglas Elliman Real Estate. In Manhattan, rents gained 1.8% to a median of $3,150.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Parade


It's almost time for Coney Island's 4th Annual Children's Halloween Parade, hosted by Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and Alliance for Coney Island! Produced by Coney Island USA.

Festivities begin at 11:00am in MCU Stadium, with live music by Jambalaya Brass Band! There will be Magicians, Face Painting, Costumed Characters and MORE!

Stop by the Treats Station sponsored by IT’SUGAR!

Back by popular demand… The Marching Cobras!

Adam "The First Real Man" Rinn will be performing live and in person.

Celebrity Guests Sandy the Seagull and Pee-Wee will be in attendance!

Make sure to say hello to Nathan's Frankster & the Grand Marshall Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr.!

Brooklyn's Transformation

The Atlantic Cities excerpt -

Brooklyn has been part of New York since the end of the 19th century, but it's always felt like a city of its own. In recent years it's undergone a massive transformation that's positioned it as one of America's top cities — despite not actually being an independent metro.

"If you look at the last decade in Brooklyn, here you have a top ten city in the United States that really, the story just gets better and better," said Robert K. Steel, New York's deputy mayor for economic development, during a panel on urban success stories The Atlantic's CityLab summit. "Now Brooklyn is the place where lots of the new economy companies want to be."

When pushed to describe the pillars of Brooklyn's success, Steel identified four key factors:
  1. Public safety. By enhancing public safety across the city, said Steel, New York became a bigger place, with Brooklyn neighborhoods once considered dicey now very livable.
  2. Real estate development. Steel pointed to investments made in Dumbo "which basically re-birthed it." (Oddly enough, as The New York Times recently pointed out, the original name "Dumbo" was conceived in the 1970s by a group of artists hoping to deter development.)
  3. Alternative transportation. Expansive as New York's subway is, it still doesn't do a great job reaching the outer boroughs. But an expanded ferry service and the Citi Bike program have made it possible to access a neighborhood like Dumbo in a sustainable way even without a subway line nearby.
  4. Quality of life. By this Steel meant amenities as basic as urban parks — a type of lifestyle, he says, that "competes with Portland, Seattle, and Boulder."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Coney Island Library to reopen

Brooklyn Ink excerpt  -

The Coney Island Public Library will reopen on October 23rd. It was one of five borough libraries devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and “was completely demolished,” said Debi Ryan, Development Director of Coney Island USA. “There was nothing you could really save.”

Rebuilding the library cost $2.6 million, said David Woloch, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Brooklyn Public Library. The bulk of the funding came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance money. “There was a lot of damage,” he said. The library “lost all the technological and computer equipment.” It needed a new boiler, elevator, and electric system. “The entire first floor had to be gutted.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Brooklyn Triathlon

2013 Inaugural Brooklyn Triathlon

The Brooklyn Triathlon marks the first-ever triathlon in Coney Island and first major triathlon in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City.

Working in partnership with the Alliance for Coney Island, Inc., the inaugural Brooklyn Triathlon is another component of the continuing transformation of Coney Island into a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination.

The swim-bike-run route starts on an L-shaped course in the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island Beach and Raritan Bay, then cycles through the heart of Brooklyn, racing portions of Surf Ave, Ocean Pkwy., Neptune Ave. and Shell Rd., and finishes on the famous Riegelmann Boardwalk near the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones' MCU Park after a run through the iconic "People's Playground" of Coney Island.

Limited to 1,500 registrants, click here to register.