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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Brooklyn Bolts Fireworks Nights

Who says Fireworks are just a summer thing? The Brooklyn Bolts will have two fireworks shows during their three game season at MCU Park. The season kicks off on October 15th with a half-time fireworks extravaganza and we'll also have a post-game fireworks show on Friday, October 24. Get your tickets now and ‪#‎BringTheThunder‬.

Fantastic attendance numbers for Luna Park

Daily News excerpt -

All told, 4.8 million rides were taken at Luna Park this year — up 30% from 2013, park officials said.

“This past season we had a great increase in park attendance and are proud that Luna Park has become an annual must-visit destination for visitors around the world,” said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International, which operates Luna Park.

These great numbers from Luna Park point towards the drawing power of the New Coney Island. You are also seeing the impact of the Coney rebirth spreading to Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay, just as it did 100 years ago, and just as anticipated. Muss sold out the Oceana complex in Brighton and is now going to build the Sheepshead Bay Tower.

Update - Sheepshead Bay Tower will have 1 bedroom apartments selling for $700 thousand

Sheepshead Bites excerpts -

The developers behind the 30-story residential tower slated for 1501 Voorhies Avenue are envisioning a luxurious haven for the area’s wealthiest residents, housed behind a gated entrance on Sheepshead Bay Road and with units starting at $700,000, Sheepshead Bites has learned.

The price is not for the weak of wallet. Our sources said that units are designed to be comparable to the Oceana Development, and will begin at $700,000 for a one-bedroom. One attendee told Sheepshead Bites that prices are based on a $700 per square foot rate, though this couldn’t be confirmed by others in attendance (most of the details shared here were corroborated by multiple sources). None of our sources could provide the proposed price for the building’s most expensive units, but at the Oceana they were marketed for approximately $2.1 million when the building first opened.

All of our sources say that the building will be split between rentals and owned condos, with Muss selling the condos and AvalonBay managing the rental properties. One of the sources said the bottom two-thirds of the building will be rental, while the top third will be owned condos. No proposed rates were given for the rentals.
The developer told attendees they expect to begin construction by spring 2015 if all goes smoothly.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oceana developers plan 30 story tower in Sheepshead Bay - Update

Brooklyn Daily excerpt -

Life in Sheepshead Bay is about to reach a whole new level. 

A 333-foot residential tower is coming to Voorhies Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road, according to plans released by the developer last week.

The new skyscraper will be 83 feet taller than the Parachute Jump, and three times the height of the tallest buildings in the neighborhood.

But because the 30-story project doesn’t conflict with local zoning, it does not require community board approval, so the development can break ground as soon as the Department of Buildings approves the plans. 

The developers met with members of Community Board 15 nonetheless to discuss the inevitable impact the massive, 250-unit building will have on the community, and the chairwoman said the board said she’s especially concerned about the roadway congestion likely with an influx of new neighbors. 

“We did give them input, such as traffic and infrastructure,” said CB15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo. “I worry about the infrastructure. I worry about the traffic.”

The foundation for the high-rise project was laid in July, when Muss Development and AvalonBay Communities bought two adjacent sites near the intersection of Voorhies Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road, according to the Commercial Observer

The combined area is nearly as large as five football fields. The footprint of the new building will cover most of that area, along with 176 parking spaces — 124 enclosed parking spots and 52 outside spots — and the rest will create walkways linking the development to Sheepshead Bay Road and Voorhies Avenue, according to plans. Perkins Eastman Architects PC is designing the sprawling site. 

Since the project is virtually inevitable, Scavo said residents should look at the upside of the development. New residents could be good for the community, she said, especially since the newcomers will live so close to businesses still struggling after Hurricane Sandy. 

“You’re bringing 250 new families to the community that are going to spend money at Sheepshead Bay Road,” said Scavo. “It is going to bring new business to the area.”

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Price gap between Manhattan and Brooklyn is shrinking

Real Deal excerpt -

Moving to Brooklyn is no longer the go-to cheaper housing option for New Yorkers. According to a report from StreetEasy, the price gap between the two boroughs is growing smaller, and some Brooklyn neighborhoods are already topping Manhattan sales levels.

StreetEasy, looking at median sale and rent prices in all of Brooklyn’s 49 neighborhoods to Manhattan’s median prices over the last five years, found that 28 of the borough’s 49 neighborhoods outpaced Manhattan’s five-year growth in sales price.

In Dumbo — one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the entire city — prices increased 61 percent between 2010 and 2014. “Considerable” price growth was also seen in outer sections of the borough, such as Old Mill Basin and Bergen Beach.

Dumbo, Columbia Street Waterfront District, Manhattan Beach and Carroll Gardens all topped Manhattan’s median sales price in 2014.

Rental prices also saw rapid growth over the last five years, StreetEasy found, with 29 Brooklyn neighborhoods outpacing Manhattan’s five-year rent growth rate. Gowanus, Bushwick, Red Hook and Bedford-Stuyvesant saw the steepest increase in rent since 2010, according to the report. increase in rent since 2010, according to the report.

Brooklyn Real Estate Market remains hot

The Villager excerpts -

In Brooklyn, Elliman found, the rental market is also hot, with prices up for the 14th consecutive month and smaller apartments bearing the bulk of the increases. Tenants showed a greater willingness to seek affordability elsewhere rather than renew existing leases.

Price gains were seen across the studio and one-bedroom markets, with more mixed results in the larger size categories.

The median rent in Brooklyn grew 6.6 percent from a year ago to $2,852, but the luxury market rate increased only 1.8 percent to $4,500. The number of new rentals listed jumped 127 percent to 892 over the same period, reflecting strong tenant resistance to renewing leases at higher cost.

New developments are popping up across wide swaths of Brooklyn. According to a July report from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, there are 7,800 housing units in the development pipeline, 2,000 of which will be market-rate condominiums. Streeteasy ( recently reported that Brooklyn’s up-and-coming neighborhoods include those on the eastern edge of the borough, such as East New York and Carnarsie, plus neighborhoods near Prospect Park, such as Kensington, Flatbush and Sunset Park.

Cliff Finn, executive vice president at Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, offered his take on Brooklyn’s rental market.

“Many renters prefer the technology, design and amenities of today’s new developments, and they are usually willing to trade off a little space and often location to get it,” Finn said. “Brooklyn is no longer the big discount to Manhattan it once was. However, in most cases, there is still a bit of a discount when compared to comparable buildings in other Manhattan neighborhoods, which now may only be a 10 percent to 25 percent savings, sometimes higher or even lower depending on the location. Compared to some Upper East Side and Upper West Side locations, one will find parts of Brooklyn more expensive.”

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oceana developers plan 30 story tower in Sheepshead Bay

NY YIMBY excerpt -

When we found out in July that Muss Development and AvalonBay were planning to build a mixed condo/rental building of around a quarter of a million square feet in Sheepshead Bay, we knew something big was coming to the neighborhood. But how big, we weren’t quite sure.

Now, we know: architect Perkins Eastman has filed for a new building permit at 1501 Voorhies Avenue, and the tower will reach a whopping 333 feet into the sky, hitting 30 stories at its peak. The project – situated on an oddly shaped parcel adjacent to the Brighton Line elevated structure, overlooking the Sheepshead Bay express stop – will be 280,000 square feet in total, mostly residential but with a 15,000-square foot commercial space.

The project will be a game changer for development in southern Brooklyn, and will be the tallest building — by far — to go up in the area since the post-war years. While the immigrant neighborhood is well outside of AvalonBay’s traditional in-city orbit, it’s solidly within Muss’s wheelhouse – the Forest Hills-based builder is most at home beyond the gentrifying fringe, in areas like eastern Queens and southern Brooklyn.

Muss already proved the market for luxury condos marketed towards immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Brighton Beach with their Oceana complex. While condos elsewhere in Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach tend to sell in the $400s per square foot, units in Muss’s Oceana towers have been fetching $600 a foot or more since the market rebound. We expect similar pricing for the condos at 1501 Voorhies, which will make up for the lack of Oceana’s beachfront setting with height that rivals anything else south of downtown Brooklyn.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

CBS NY - 3 Former Jets Are On Brooklyn Bolts’ Coaching Staff

Excerpt -

When the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) launches next month, it will serve as an unofficial developmental league for the NFL.  It will give players who have been released from NFL clubs an opportunity to play a six-game season which could potentially be a bridge to their return to the NFL.

But the FXFL isn’t just a league of opportunity for players.  It’s also a chance for coaches to make a name for themselves.  Locally, the Brooklyn Bolts have assembled a coaching staff that will feature a few familiar names to local football fans.

The Bolts have named former Jets offensive lineman John Bock as their head coach.  Bock played six seasons in the NFL for the Jets and Dolphins after playing college football at Louisville and Indiana State.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” said Bock. “It’s a chance to go back and coach professionally, and at the same time I really went out and found some good coaches that really deserve a chance to be noticed. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”

After retiring as a player, Bock entered the world of coaching when he was hired by Howard Schnellenberger to be the offensive-line coach at Florida Atlantic University.  After three seasons, Bock left coaching to raise his family.

Bock stayed active in football by coaching in nine college All-Star Games and winning seven of them.  He also coached youth football for the last six or seven years, while also guiding a very successful Pop Warner team which lost just three games in two years.

“I kept my hand in the game, but at the same time I just wanted to raise my family,” said Bock.
At one point, Bock turned down a coaching opportunity with the Oakland Raiders so that he could spend more time with his family.  Then, last year, he was coaching in a college bowl game when he was noticed by the FXFL.

“The people that are running the FXFL really liked what I did,” said Bock, who was officially named the Brooklyn Bolts’ head coach last week.

Bock has brought in two of his former Jets teammates as assistant coaches.  Former Jets first-round pick Marvin Jones will serve as linebackers coach and former Jets starting right tackle James Brown will serve as offensive-line coach.

Jones has put off coaching for many years, but decided that it was time to return to the game that he loves.

“It’s in my blood, I guess,” said Jones, who was taken by the Jets with the fourth overall pick in 1993.  “I just felt the need to go where my heart has been.”

Ironically, Jones was attending the Jets-Raiders game at MetLife Stadium last week when he got the call from Bock about the job.

It didn’t take him long to give Bock an answer.

“I guess after being at a Jets game and feeling the energy and how New Yorkers are great folks, I said yes,” said Jones, who played all 11 of his NFL seasons with the Jets.

Jones played in 142 regular-season games, racking up 1,021 tackles.

Team de Blasio falls to City Council in softball game

Daily News excerpt -

Mayor de Blasio felt the agony of defeat Wednesday night in Coney Island, as his softball team fell 17 to 13 in a fiercely competitive game against the City Council.

The showdown at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones was perhaps the biggest fight to date between the mayor and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who have a cozy relationship.

But it was a short game for the mayor: he benched himself at the end of two innings, after grounding out at his first at bat and bobbling three catches at first base, starting his team toward the 10 errors they racked up.

The mayor summed up his showing succinctly: "I'm troubled," he said.

His wife, Chirlane McCray, did better, reaching first base - after Mark-Viverito, who was pitching, fell to her knees while trying to scoop up the short hop the First Lady hit.

But the Mayor's team was no match for the squad of Council members, anchored by Staten Island Republican Steve Matteo, who kicked things off with an inside the park grand slam in the second inning. That earned him "the best reception a Staten Island Republican has ever received in Brooklyn," said former Borough President Marty Markowitz, who hammed it up on the PA system throughout the game.

He handed out nicknames to the Council sluggers - Mark "the Coney Island stallion" Treyger, the home town favorite, Mark "Lethal Weapon" Weprin of Queens, and Brad "Ten Cent" Lander, a dig at the latter's proposed fee for plastic bags.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bolts Promo Schedule

October 15th
 vs. Boston 7:30 PM
Pink T-Shirt Giveaway
Breast Cancer
Awareness Day
Halftime Fireworks
Homecoming Game
On Sale
October 24th
vs. Omaha 7:30 PM
Bolts Stein Giveaway
Post-Game Fireworks
On Sale
November 7th
vs. Florida 7:30 PM
Bolts Jersey Giveaway
Military Appreciation Day
Super Hero Day
On Sale

Brooklyn Bolts Ticket Brochure

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Great Irish Fair

The Irish American Building Society Charities Inc. Presents

Saturday and Sunday, September 13th & 14th, 2014

10:30 AM to 8:00 PM

Location: Surf Avenue & West 21st Street - Coney Island, NY

A Family Friendly Event Celebrating New York City's Great Irish-American Heritage & Culture

Join us and enjoy a day filled with:

Brooklyn Triathlon - BRING IT BROOKLYN!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

1,500 triathletes are Brooklyn-bound in the inaugural Brooklyn Triathlon on Sunday, October 26. There are competition distances for everyone regardless of age or fitness level. You can be a serious competitor or a weekend warrior. Whichever one you are, you’ll have a great time, while being challenged (to your personal limit) on a scenic route with an iconic finish at Coney Island.

The event features an ITU-style course that swims in Raritan Bay, cycles thru Brooklyn, and runs and finishes on the Coney Island Boardwalk. The finish line will be at the parachute drop in Luna Park, the amusement park’s tallest structure. Competitors will get a unique street-level, unparalleled view of the borough and of Coney Island, its top tourist destination.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mayor de Blasio and City Council to face off in Coney Island softball game

Daily News excerpt -

Call it the Coney Classic.

Mayor de Blasio and the City Council will face off in a softball game next Wednesday, taking over the Brooklyn Cyclones’ home stadium in Coney Island.

De Blasio laid down the challenge to Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Twitter early Wednesday, writing, “I challenge @NYCCouncil to a #NYCSoftball game. The date is set - 9/17. Your move, @MMViverito.”

Mark-Viverito quickly accepted the challenge, tweeting, “You're on! Dust off your glove and name the place.”

De Blasio and his staffers will play Mark-Viverito, Council members and staff at MCU Park, where the minor league Mets affiliate Cyclones play their home games.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Brooklyn Eagle - Cheesecake lovers rejoice: Iconic Junior's will stay intact

Excerpt -

Say cheese!

Devoted customers of iconic Junior's Restaurant — and its owner Alan Rosen — were smiling big Tuesday because the famed cheesecake purveyor will not be torn down and replaced with an apartment tower.

Rosen, the third-generation owner of the famed eatery that has commanded the corner of Flatbush Avenue Extension and DeKalb Avenue since 1950, has decided not to sell the property for a whopping $45 million. He had gotten that offer because he'd had the building on the sale market since February.

“I feel great,” Rosen told the Brooklyn Eagle Tuesday. “I feel relieved.

“I'm going to sleep well tonight. I had many sleepless nights — trust me.”

Bolts games will have halftime fireworks

Home Reporter News excerpt -

According to Steve Cohen, vice president of the Cyclones, who is running the business side for the Bolts, fans can expect a similar experience at the football game that they would at a Cyclones game.

“We’re actually putting together a lot of ideas right now,” he said. “It’s only three games so there’s not a lot of time, but we’re excited. We have an Oktoberfest planned for one of games and other promotions. Fans will be able to meet the players and kick field goals after the game. We’re also going to do halftime fireworks.”

Bolts games will be televised on SNY!

CBSNY excerpt -

One of the most important things for any team or league is television exposure, and the Bolts are no different.  All of their games will be televised by SNY as part of the league’s comprehensive television coverage.

“SNY has become the go-to network for sports in New York, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” said Woods. “Our partnerships with regional networks will provide our brand with far-reaching distribution. We’re excited to kick off our inaugural season and showcase our exceptional on-field product.”

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bay News - Score! Brooklyn is getting its first football team in 70 years.

Excerpt -

“Brooklyn is very attractive to us,” said Brian Woods. “It’s an under-served and up-and-coming sports market.”

The league is not affiliated with the NFL, but Woods said he wants it to become a farm program for the gridiron juggernaut. Rules will match the national league, and most of the players are NFL training camp alums who didn’t make the cut this season, he said. 

The league is also fielding teams in Boston, Miami, and Omaha.

The Cyclones — itself a farm team for the New York Mets — will handle marketing, ticket sales, and day-to-day operation, according to Woods.

“They understand the developmental-league model and local marketing,” he said.

So of course there will be wacky theme nights — though it is not clear yet what they may be, according to Cyclones vice president Steve Cohen.

“The challenge is that it’s only three games,” Cohen said. “You have to cram a lot in a short season, but we want to do as much as possible to keep fans entertained.”

The last professional football team to tackle Brooklyn was an early NFL team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, who also called a baseball stadium home, sharing Ebbets Field with the more famous Dodgers from 1936 until 1944. Eventually, through a convoluted series of sales, moves, and name changes, the football-playing Dodgers became the Baltimore Colts in 1953. 

The Bolts’ name is a reference to the Thunderbolt roller coaster and continues the tradition of christening teams for Coney Island thrill-rides — plus it is fiercer than other names the team kicked around, Cohen said.

“It was a little more intimidating than ‘The Bridge,’ ” he said.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

City Point - Crown of Gold

I remember when everyone used to say a couple of years back that City Point development would never happen. Well take a look. It's happening. Just like Barclays/Atlantic Yards and Coney is happening.

Brooklyn Eagle excerpt -

Crown of gold: City Point in Downtown Brooklyn

The tower-in-the-making over at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn wears a bright ring of paneling — kinda looks like a crown, doesn't it?

On Friday, we caught sight of the regal facade of the massive residential and retail development, reigning over Flatbush Avenue Extension.

Federal government awards $108M to Coney Island Houses to combat future hurricanes

Daily News excerpt -

The federal government has awarded $108 million to Coney Island Houses in Brooklyn to combat future hurricanes, Mayor de Blasio announced Friday.

The funding — the single largest investment in the sea-side development in decades — will serve as a model for how the city seeks federal money for other New York City Housing Authority buildings hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

Officials said future buildings that could end up with similar funding include NYCHA developments in the Lower East Side, Red Hook, and the Rockaways.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Coney Island Parachute Jump ‘goes gold’ for Childhood Cancer Awareness Friday

Brooklyn Eagle excerpt -

The Coney Island community is invited to join Councilmember Mark Treyger; Zamperla, owner of the Coney Island Parachute Jump; parents and advocates on Friday evening as the Parachute Jump lights up gold to raise awareness for childhood cancer as part of a global initiative called The Gold World Project.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. at the base of the parachute jump adjacent to the boardwalk at W. 16th Street and will culminate in a countdown, leading to the lighting of this iconic local landmark. Residents are urged to attend this event to show support for children and families across southern Brooklyn and New York City who are battling childhood cancer.

“This is a great chance for southern Brooklyn to come out to the boardwalk and show our support for our neighbors who are fighting childhood cancer and raise awareness of the need for increased funding,” said Councilmember Treyger. “The work these parents and advocates are doing is absolutely inspiring, so this is the least we can do to let them know they are not alone in this effort.”

Councilmember Treyger contacted officials at Zamperla after learning that the Empire State Building had denied a request to light up gold as part of The Gold World Project. New Hampshire father Tony Stoddard had made the request in memory of his five-year-old son, Cole, who passed away after a battle with Neuroblastoma.

In response, Zamperla quickly agreed to light its Parachute Jump gold for one full week starting Friday, to ensure that Brooklyn and the famous Coney Island skyline is part of this great cause.

“While it was disappointing that the Empire State Building is not participating in The Gold World Project, I am thrilled that Coney Island and its world famous Parachute Jump will be lighting up the shoreline on behalf of families around New York City and the world,” Treyger said. “I urge the entire community to come out to the boardwalk to take part in this great cause.”

Stoddard was grateful and ecstatic for the tribute to his son, and to all who fight the cancer menace.

“Shortly before my son Cole passed away from cancer, he told me he was not going to grow up to be or do anything. I promised my son he would do ‘something big’ someday,” said Mr. Stoddard. 
“’Something big’ is happening; we are turning the world gold in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”

Brooklyn Bolts season schedule announced

1 Wednesday, October 8th 7:30 PM Florida Brooklyn FIU Stadium TBA
2 Wednesday, October 15th 7:30 PM Brooklyn Boston  MCU Park TBA
3 Friday, October 24th 7:30 PM Brooklyn Omaha  MCU Park TBA
4 Friday, October 31st 7:30 PM Boston Brooklyn Harvard Stadium TBA
5 Friday, November 7th 7:30 PM Brooklyn Florida  MCU Park TBA
6 Wednesday, November 12th 7:30 PM Omaha Brooklyn TD Ameritrade TBA

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Coney Island shopkeepers are cheering a new developmental football league coming to MCU Park

Daily News excerpts- 

Brooklyn Cyclones' season end gives way to new developmental football league coming to MCU Park

The Brooklyn Bolts will play three homes games at the 7,500-seat beachfront stadium as part of the FXFL developmental league’s inaugural season, which starts Oct. 15.

“We really hope it will help us through the winter,” said Rushana Shlemin, 29, who manages Grimaldi’s Coney Island pizzeria, located near the stadium.

The only other major attraction for the area in the winter is the Polar Bear Club ocean swim on Jan. 1, she added.

League officials also hope the games attract visitors to the People’s Playground during a time when street traffic is almost nonexistent.

“It’s going to generate a very positive economic impact for that Brooklyn area,” FXFL commissioner Brian Woods said.

The other two home games are set for Friday nights on Oct. 24 and Nov. 7 as to not interfere with the NFL or college football.

The league includes three other cities: Boston, Miami and Omaha. The teams are currently being put together largely from the pool of 400 to 500 NFL players who were just cut.

Overseas Buyers Bidding up Brooklyn

Crains excerpt 

The borough is seeing the lion's share of a record $600 million-plus in acquisitions in the outer boroughs in the first half.

Earlier this year, four besuited Japanese men representing Sumitomo Corp., whose holdings stretch from banking to automaking, paid a call on Adam Hess, a Brooklyn-based sales broker. They told him the Tokyo-based company wanted to add a new type of asset to its portfolio—Brooklyn real estate.

So do many other overseas-based property investors, who are increasingly bypassing Manhattan—the preferred landing strip for alien invasions of the past—in favor of jumping straight into the market in now world-famous Brooklyn. Through the first half of the year, foreign groups have shelled out more than $600 million for real estate in the city's outer boroughs, the most ever invested from abroad, with the lion's share of it gushing into deals in Brooklyn, according to data from Real Capital Analytics.

The biggest of those investments by far came in June when the Chinese firm Greenland Holdings bought a majority stake in the massive residential development planned for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards, which Greenland last month rechristened Pacific Park.

Many others have also swooped in this year. U.K.-based Ennismore Capital recently snapped up a nearly 40,000-square-foot development site in Williamsburg for its Hoxton hotel brand. Another British investment firm, Quadrum Global, spent $100 million acquiring two residential development sites: one in Greenpoint and one just over the border in Long Island City, Queens.

Real estate experts say that more deals from overseas buyers are on the way. A large, roughly $200 million development site on the waterfront in Williamsburg just south of Schaefer Landing that can accommodate 800,000 square feet of residential space, for instance, has attracted several foreign groups. Nearby, along the East River waterfront, Richard Mack, chief executive of Mack Real Estate Group, is courting offers from foreign investment funds to partner with him in a separate $200 million acquisition of a development, where he is planning to build rental apartments.

"Everyone wants to be in Brooklyn now, and the same is true with foreign buyers," Mr. Mack said.