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

Saturday, December 7, 2013


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.

No comments: