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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

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.

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