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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights

Bloomberg excerpt -

Julian and Danielle Katz budgeted $1.5 million to buy a home in their popular Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Fort Greene. The only places they could afford were smaller than where they already lived.

The couple, who have three young daughters, instead bought a brick townhouse in nearby Crown Heights. They paid almost $1.2 million and are spending another $300,000 to renovate the previously vacant three-story home that’s a short walk to hipster hangouts cropping up on Franklin Avenue and a newly opened beer hall partly funded by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 

“We were priced out of a lot of Brooklyn neighborhoods,” said Julian Katz, a 41-year-old advertising producer who works in Manhattan. “We loved Fort Greene but we could only afford a modest apartment there. We could get a whole house in Crown Heights.”

Homeownership Reconsidered
A surge in Brooklyn home values is fueling rapid gentrification in Crown Heights, where apartment prices are up more than 50 percent from a year ago and rents are rising at the fastest pace in the borough. Growth in the neighborhood and adjacent Bedford-Stuyvesant, which were known for crime and racial tensions during the 1980s and 1990s, highlights an affordability squeeze for both relatively well-off New Yorkers and the poorer people being displaced.

Young buyers and renters who can no longer afford such established communities as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Williamsburg are moving to Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick, bidding against investors for townhomes that have been neglected for decades. Longtime tenants too poor to afford the new rents in the predominantly black districts are moving out to less-well connected, more dangerous places.

Ripple Effect

Redevelopment of dilapidated neighborhoods in New York and other global cities is accelerating as the world’s wealthiest people seek places to park their money, said Jerome Krase, an emeritus professor of sociology at Brooklyn College who studies urban change. That’s causing a “ripple effect” of rising values in close-in communities with good transportation options and housing stock, he said. 

“I have not seen such a quick changeover in my professional lifetime,” Brooklyn-born Krase, 71, said of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant. “A great deal of it is being fueled by this sense of disappearing possibilities of these kinds of brownstone neighborhoods. And the feeling if we don’t get it now, they’re going to be gone.”

Rent Surge

Monthly rents for newly leased properties in Crown Heights averaged $2,110 in July, up 18 percent from a year earlier, data from brokerage MNS show. The median price of a home soared 58 percent to $600,000 in the first seven months of the year, according to StreetEasy, a New York real estate website. 

Last month, Dixon Advisory, an Australian investment firm that has purchased 91 Brooklyn properties in the past two years, bought a fully renovated brownstone at 22 Arlington Place in Bedford-Stuyvesant for $2.25 million, a record for the neighborhood. A tenant this week agreed to pay the asking rent of $10,995 a month for the 3,000-square-foot (280-square-meter) 19th century house, said Josh Carney, Dixon’s leasing and marketing agent. 

Central Brooklyn -- including Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick -- is the most sought-after area for investors in the borough, said Jonathan Berman, vice president at Ariel Property Advisors. The price per square foot for multifamily buildings in Crown Heights has more than doubled to $241 this year from $102 in 2010, the brokerage’s data show.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A look at MCU Park field for Brooklyn Bolts Football

Fox NY video - Business is good at Coney Island

Excerpt -

From the brand-new Thunderbolt roller coaster to the world-famous boardwalk, tourists and business owners alike say Coney Island had a great ride of its own this summer.

Toms Coney Island's general manager Vasilios Tourlokas says the mild summer impacted his boardwalk business in the best way possible: a 10 to 15 percent increase.

Chris Smith of Brooklyn Rock says over all business is up. "Keep Brooklyn offensive" sweatshirts are Smith's hottest-selling item. He tells us his store was on the offensive financially this summer for a variety of reasons. He says the area has further recovered from Superstorm Sandy and it is so famous all over the world that tourists can't help but come here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Brooklyn Bolts Bring the Thunder - Ticket Plans

First, the Brooklyn Cyclones brought professional sports back to the borough for the first time in over 40 years. Now MCU Park will once again play host to a historic moment in Brooklyn sports history as the Brooklyn Bolts, a member of the newly formed FXFL, kick off their Inaugural Season this October.

The Bolts, along with the Miami Blacktips, Omaha Mammoths and a yet to be named Boston franchise, will be the initial members of the FXFL which will play a six-game regular season schedule. Games will be televised and played on weeknights to avoid scheduling conflicts with the NFL and collegiate football.

The FXFL – Fall Experimental Football League – is intended to be a developmental platform for players, coaches and referees who are on the cusp of fulfilling their NFL dream. Rosters will consist of recent college grads and NFL players cut during the final weeks of training camp.

The season get underway on October 8th with three Bolts home games scheduled to be played at MCU Park on Wednesday, October 15th, Friday, October 24th and Friday, November 7th.

The team will announce a coaching staff and roster in the coming weeks.

Season tickets for the Inaugural Season of Brooklyn Bolts football, which start at just $25 per game, are available now by calling 718-37-BKLYN.  Here's a look at the various season-ticket options that are currently available:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Football Team Grows in Brooklyn

Have been in  touch with the Cyclones. It looks like the Bolts will have 1 Wednesday game and 2 Friday games at MCU Park October 15th, October 24th and November 7th. Tickets are not on sale yet. Should be very shortly

CBSNY excerpts -

There was a time, many years ago, when Brooklyn played host to professional football. From 1930 to 1943, the Brooklyn Dodgers played in the NFL and called Ebbets Field their home.  In 1944, the team changed its name to the Brooklyn Tigers but merged with the Boston Yanks in 1945 because of financial difficulties.
Before that, the Brooklyn Tigers began playing in the NFL in 1926 but later changed their name to the Brooklyn Horsemen. The franchise left the NFL for the All-America Football Conference in 1946.

Fast forward 68 years and Brooklyn is back in the professional football business.

Last week, the FXFL (Fall Experimental Football League) — a new developmental league that hopes to one day become a partner with the NFL — announced that the Brooklyn Bolts will be one of four teams that will play in the league’s inaugural 2014 season. The Bolts will play at Coney Island’s MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Brooklyn Bolts logo (Credit: 5W Public Relations)
Brooklyn Bolts logo (Credit: 5W Public Relations)

“New York is an important market to us for several reasons,” said FXFL Founder and Commissioner Brian Woods. “Number one, for the media presence. And, obviously, the partnership with the Brooklyn Cyclones embodies our business model for this league.”

That model includes containing costs, smaller venues and taking advantage of partnering with a minor-league baseball team that already has an infrastructure in place.  The Cyclones will provide the Bolts with marketing support in an area that has developed a craving for professional sports.

The Brooklyn Bolts will play at MCU Park, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones. (Photo Credit Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
The Brooklyn Bolts will play at MCU Park. (Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

In 2001, Brooklyn witnessed the return of professional baseball with the Cyclones.  Then, in 2012, the New Jersey Nets relocated to Brooklyn to play at Barclays Center.  In 2015, the Islanders will join the Nets on Atlantic Avenue after their 43rd and final season at Nassau Coliseum.

Come this October, Brooklyn sports fans will get a peek at some young football stars that hope to use the FXFL as their ticket back to the NFL.

“We’re a developmental league first and foremost,” said Woods. “That’s a priority for us.  We see ourselves as the unofficial developmental league for the National Football League.”

The fans will see a field at MCU Park that runs parallel to the first-base line and will be angled slightly towards right-center field. They will be able to start circling dates on their calendars later this week when the FXFL releases its schedule and announces its television partners.

For more information on the FXFL go to

Sunday, August 24, 2014

NY1 video - Brooklyn Bolts football coming to MCU Park

Did some research on the Coney Amphiteater coming in May 2016.

Went back and watched the City Planning Commission and City Council hearings on the project. The deal was iStar sold the land to the city after the rezoning was completed last year. It is a city development project. The funds were set aside to develop the Amphitheater by the the Borough President's office years ago.

iStar along with CIUSA will operate the facility on a 10 year lease. iStar is working with John Scher, Metroplitan entertainment to have 15 free and 25 paid concerts every season from spring through October. CIUSA will handle community event bookings on off concerts days.

During dual events in Coney, (ie. - baseball and a concert same night) the Aquarium parking lot will be used, in addition to the stadium parking lot, and people will be shuttled from the aquarium lot to the Amphitheater.

I am very happy this is a city project. Very similar to the the ballpark being built in Coney in 2001. Built with city funds not private funds. When the city is involved these projects get done. It was originally scheduled to be completed in 2015 but there are provisions in the lease that the latest this gets done is summer 2016. Much like MCU Park was supposed to be built in 2000 but got done in 2001.

So in 2016 we will have the Amphitheater, MCU Park, Luna Park, and the new Aquarium all lined up in row. It's going to be absolutely amazing. Biggest attractions in Coney's history!

Ring of Honor Wrestling at MCU Park

4th straight year of professional wrestling appearing at Coney

Brooklyn Daily excerpt -

There was a time when seeing two grown men fighting in Coney Island was undoubtedly a bad sign — now it’s a toss-up.

Independent wrestling organization Ring of Honor held a knockdown, drag-out tournament at MCU Park on Aug. 15 that drew fans from all over the city, and a longtime Bronx resident there said seeing Coney Island’s resurgence nearly knocked him out.

“It’s so much better — I’m going to be going there a lot more now,” said Eddie Martinez, who went with his son Eric. “I hadn’t been to Coney Island since the mid-80s and the crack epidemic.”

During the tournament, there was a four-man free-for-all match, a tag-team cage battle, and six one-on-one throw-downs. And wrestlers signed autographs and posed for photos after the matches.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Coney Volleyball Tournament

Place To Beach's 2nd Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament


Place to Beach (PTB) is proud to announce its 2nd Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament to be held on Saturday, August 30th and Sunday, August 31st (Labor Day Weekend).  This two day beach Volleyball Tournament is Mixed Brackets, for all skill levels from masters to disasters.  You may sign-up as a Team or Individual Player. Individual players will be placed with another player at random to create a 2 person team.  All Players must be over the age of 21 years old.  The tournament will take place on the beach at Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island across from the PTB restaurant. Come join us for the festive day where we celebrate sport, Labor Day and some good old fun!

Flicks on the Beach - Gravity

Flicks on the Beach - Gravity


07:30 PM


Monday, August 25, 2014

Come on down to the Coney Island Beach at West 10th Street to see our rescheduled screening of Gravity, the Oscar-nominated film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. 

Flicks on the Beach, programmed by the Alliance for Coney Island in partnership with Rooftop Films, NYC & Company, Good Humor Ice Cream and I Love NY, New York State's Division of Tourism, features free movie screenings every Monday for eight consecutive weeks. Click here for the rest of the 2014 summer lineup.

Parachute Jump going gold for September

Daily News excerpt -

They're taking a stand against a deadly killer — and striking back at the Empire, to boot.

City Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island) and Zamperla, the owner of the Coney Island Parachute Jump, will light the historic 262-foot structure gold in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

It was a golden opportunity to take a jab at another iconic city structure, and they seized it. Empire State Building management rejected calls from several Brooklyn officials and health advocates to join the campaign and gild the top of the skyscraper.

“We all know that Brooklyn, and not Midtown, is now the center of New York City, so it is great that Coney Island and its famous Parachute Jump will be part of The Gold World Project,” Treyger boasted in a gleaming proclamation of borough one-upsmanship.

Brooklyn’s so-called Eiffel Tower will be lighted gold for one week, starting on Sept. 5.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Brooklyn Bolts Logo

Part Brooklyn Bridge Part Lightning Bolt. I like it. Name fits in with the New Thunderbolt Rollercoaster in Coney.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Now we can make progress on year round Coney

MCU Park - Fall Football. New Amphitheater - will have a year round 20,000 square foot restaurant with a performance stage. New Aquarium will attract much more year round visitation.

We are seeing a pattern form.

Brooklyn Respect

By 2015 there will be 4 professional sports teams playing in Brooklyn - The Nets, the Islanders, the Cyclones and the Bolts. Major league basketball and hockey teams and Minor league baseball and football teams.

Has Brooklyn arrived or what? Wow!

Brooklyn Bolts Football comes to Coney!

Daily News excerpt -

Are you ready for some Brooklyn football?

Yes, the borough made famous in sports by Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers, and more recently, the Nets, will host a professional football team this fall, when the FXFL developmental league kicks off its inaugural season.

New York is one of four cities hosting FXFL teams, including Boston, Miami and Omaha. The Brooklyn Bolts will play home games at MCU Park in Coney Island, the home park of the Brooklyn Cyclones, Mets minor league affiliate.

Cyclones GM Steve Cohen and Sterling Equities (the Mets’ parent company) “will play a significant role in the franchise’s development and Brooklyn market penetration,” according to a league press release.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the FXFL and bringing professional football back to Brooklyn,” said Jeff Wilpon, the Mets’ COO.

The NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers played at Ebbets Field from 1930 to 1943, and in 1944 as the Brooklyn Tigers.

While there is no official relationship between the FXFL and the NFL, the developmental league’s commissioner hopes that a partnership can be agreed upon in the near future.

Monday, August 11, 2014

$400 million in infrastucture spend for housing

Daily News excerpt -

“We take very seriously the notion that infrastructure has to move as further development occurs,” de Blasio told me. A top aide adds that almost $400 million is going to infrastructure in areas eyed for more affordable housing, like Coney Island and western Queens.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Everything changes in 2 summers!

New Amphitheater, MCU Park, Luna Park, New Aquarium. All lined up in a row!

2016 - Welcome to Times Square by the Sea, Welcome to the New Coney Island! Beautiful!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

AMNY - Q&A with Anthony Russo - Gargiulo's owner

Excerpt -

What are some changes you’ve seen in Coney Island?
It’s friendlier now. There are more bars and restaurants and there’s new rides and more rides for children. It’s getting newer and bringing more people down here. The past wasn’t working. There’s also an overflow of Russian people, coming from Brighton Beach, it used to be Italian when I was younger so the culture is changing.

What could be better about the neighborhood?

It could use a nice hotel. Right now I don’t think it’s a concrete destination. It’s good for a day trip but you could also spend one day on the beach and another day on the rides. If they put a Comfort Inn or something here, it wouldn’t hurt. If you can put a Comfort Inn in Sheepshead Bay you can put one here. Something like that would be a positive thing.

Do you have any outstanding memories growing up here?

I remember the wax museum on the corner of 15th [Street] and Surf [Avenue] and the wax fortune teller lady there that was always laughing, she would always creep me out. I remember the old lady who lived under the old wooden Thunderbolt, she had full house there. It’s day and night from the ’70s and ’80s to today.

Locals ask for Coney chains

AMNY excerpts -

The amusement area is now radiating a fresh feel and the influx of chain establishments like It’s Sugar, Applebee’s and a soon-to-come Johnny Rockets says Coney Island is once again a place to be.

“Let’s say you moved out of New York 20 years ago and came back, you wouldn’t recognize what’s going on,” said Citi Habitats real estate agent Mark Martov. “It’s a night and day transformation.”

But some, like Pugh, believe Coney Island – largely a working- and middle-class area which, according to, is comprised of a majority of African Americans in addition to Latinos, older generation Italians and a new influx of Russians – still needs a lot more development.

Locals don’t want their neighborhood to get left behind as nearby areas like Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach experience a commercial and residential development boom.

“People think it’s all fun and games and forget that people live here,” Pugh, who is also on Community Board 13, said, describing the residential portion as left out. “The improvement shouldn’t end with the rides.”

She noted that north of Surf Avenue could use more retail. 

“We want to see businesses come out here,” she said, adding that right now “we have to leave the island to shop.”

Both she and Mark said an anchor store like Target or The Gap would make Coney Island more than a summer destination and help make activity here consistent.

“We don’t leave once the amusement closes, we’re still here in the winter months,” Mark said, noting that residents also want to see a community/training center that offers more job skills and opportunities.

Amphitheater opening moved to May 2016

As I previously noted on this blog, it's been moved to 2016. Same year the New Aquarium is coming -

AMNY excerpts -

According to iStar Financial, the project will include a 5,000-seat amphitheater, a 20,000 square-foot restaurant overlooking the ocean, a playground and an amusement park district, which will be open year-round. The amphitheater will host roughly 15 free and 25 paid concerts during the outdoor concert season. And during the year, an array of community-based recreational and educational events will be held.

“We hope the amphitheater is a catalyst for a neighborhood resurgence,” said Julia Butler, senior vice president at iStar Financial, in a statement.

Residents also hope the project will give back to the community in some way. Butler is certain this will happen.

“Neighborhood programming from movie nights and poetry slams to high school graduations and community theater performances are all envisioned for the Amphitheater,” she said.

Butler noted that construction is expected to begin this fall. The opening has been pushed back from 2015 to May 2016.