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 City-Data.com, 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
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
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
“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.