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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The transformation to Times Square by the Sea begins tonight!

A New Coney New Year's Eve tradition is born tonight at the Parachute Jump. And remember to come out for the Polar Bear Swim also tomorrow at 1 PM.

I want to thank everyone in Brooklyn for their continued support of the New Times Square by the Sea - Coney Island! We are just getting started! You ain't seen nothin yet!

News12 video - Coney vs Times Square tonight!

Excerpt -

BROOKLYN - It's nearly time to ring in the New Year, and what better way to celebrate than from the comfort of your own borough. 

For the first time ever, Brooklyn will rival Times Square with its own version of a ball drop in Coney Island.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Holidays!

From Zigun's Twitter -

Predictions for Coney Island's Future: Got some insider info yesterday I can't share as I predict great changes to Surf Avenue

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rybak Development has big plans for El Greco site and South Brooklyn

Crains excerpt -

Rybak Development & Construction, a prolific residential builder in south Brooklyn, has purchased the 40-year-old El Greco Diner in Sheepshead Bay for $13 million. Rybak plans to raze the diner and construct a 90,000-square-foot condo building with ground-floor retail space in its place.

The diner and its large parking lot occupy a full block at 1821 Emmons Ave. The Venetoklis family, who recently announced they were shuttering the Sheepshead Bay staple, owned and operated the property since the 1970s. 

The deal is the third that Rybak has done in the neighborhood in the past two years. The firm purchased 3041 Ocean Ave. for roughly $4 million in 2013, and is in the process of developing a 60,000-square-foot condo project there. It is also constructing a 100,000-square-foot residential building at 108 West End Ave. in Manhattan Beach, just south of Sheepshead Bay.

"They’re building a little empire in an area of the city that is really changing," said Erik Yankelovich, a broker with GFI Realty who handled the sale of both 1821 Emmons Ave. and 3041 Ocean Ave. "Prices in south Brooklyn are half of what they are in places like Williamsburg, and you’re seeing young professionals moving there."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Rise of the Chain Stores in NYC

You ain't seen nothin yet! Love it! Brooklyn respect! excerpt -

Our seventh annual ranking of national retailers in New York City reveals that the expansion of chain stores across the city picked up considerably over the past year. Overall, there was a 2.8 percent increase in the number of national retail locations between 2013 and 2014, a much more significant increase than the 0.5 percent gain between 2012 and 2013.
Our analysis shows that the 309 retailers that were listed on last year’s ranking expanded their footprint in New York City from a total of 7,303 stores in 2013 to 7,508 stores in 2014, a 2.8 percent increase.1 This marks the sixth straight year there has been a net increase in the number of national chain stores in the five boroughs. 

For the seventh consecutive year, Dunkin Donuts tops our list as the largest national retailer in New York City, with a total of 536 stores. Over the past year, Dunkin Donuts had a net increase of 21 stores in the city (a 4 percent gain). Subway is still the second largest national retailer in the city; gaining one additional store over last year’s total to make 468 locations across the five boroughs. Rounding out the top ten national retailers in New York are: Duane Reade/Walgreens (with 318 stores)2, metroPCS (294), Starbucks (280), McDonalds (244), Baskin Robbins (210), Rite Aid (2010), T-Mobile (185) and GNC (156). In all, there are now 16 retailers with more than 100 stores across the city.

Almost a third of the 300 national retailers on this year’s list3 increased their footprint in the city by at least one store over the past year, compared to 29 percent last year, and 27 percent reduced their footprints since last year. A few national retailers, including Coldwater Creek, Submarina CA Subs, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Juicy Couture and Goodburger closed all of their New York City locations since last year. The remaining 40 percent of retailers did not have a net change in the number of locations in the city.

All boroughs except Staten Island experienced net increases in the number of national retailers, with Queens seeing the largest year-over-year percentage increase in the number of chain stores. Between 2013 and 2014, the number of national retail locations in Queens increased by 6.4 percent, going from 1,663 stores last year to 1,770 stores this year. The Bronx saw the second highest percentage increase in the number of national retailers (+4.2 percent—from 877 stores in 2013 to 914 stores in 2014), followed by Brooklyn (+3.4 percent—from 1,540 stores to 1,593) and Manhattan (+0.4 percent–from 2,798 stores to 2,808). The number of national retailer locations on Staten Island remained the same since last year, at 425.

Starbucks has more stores in Manhattan than any other national retailer, with 205 locations. In each of the other boroughs, Dunkin Donuts tops the list—it has 161 stores in Queens, 125 in Brooklyn, 79 in the Bronx and 31 on Staten Island.  Starbucks actually had a net loss of seven locations in Manhattan and one on Staten Island, and net increases in all the other boroughs.

Among the retailers with significant store growth over the past year:

  • metroPCS: 294 locations, up from 261 in 2013 and 7 in 2009
  • T-Mobile: 185 locations, up from 161 in 2013 and 96 in 2009
  • CVS: 140 locations, up from 118 in 2013 and 107 in 2009
  • Dunkin Donuts:  536 locations, up from 515 in 2013 and 429 in 2009
  • GNC: 156 locations, up from 138 in 2013 and 110 in 2009
  • 7-Eleven: 139 locations, up from 124 in 2013 and 59 in 2009
  • Checkers: 28 locations, up from 18 in 2013
  • Chipotle: 50 locations, up from 43 in 2013 and 25 in 2009
  • Cohen’s Fashion Optical: 58 locations, up from 51 in 2013 and 45 in 2009
  • Family Dollar: 66 locations, up from 60 in 2013 and 5 in 2009
  • Applebee’s: 30 locations, up from 26 in 2013 and 17 in 2009
  • L'Occitane:  23 locations, up from 14 in 2013 and 12 in 2009
  • Modell’s: 43 locations, up from 39 in 2013 and 34 in 2009
  • Pret A Manger: 39 locations, up from 34 in 2013 and 21 in 2009
  • Urban Outfitters: 14 locations, up from 10 in 2013 and 7 in 2009
  • Second Time Around: 11 locations, up from 5 in 2013
  • Tiger Schulmann’s: 11 locations, up from 6 in 2013 and 7 in 2009
  • M•A•C Cosmetics: 16 locations, up from 12 in 2013 and 7 in 2009
  • Chop’t: 14 locations, up from 11 in 2013 and 8 in 2012
  • Just Salad: 14 locations, up from 11 in 2013 and 6 in 2011
  • Pep Boys: 12 locations, up from 8 in 2013 and 7 in 2009
  • Uniqlo: 5 locations, up from 3 in 2013 and 1 in 2009

Monday, December 22, 2014

Barclays Center - Elton John on ABC’s New Year's Rockin’ Eve

Press Release -

BROOKLYN, NY (December 5, 2014) – The world-renowned Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015 on ABC will broadcast live music performances from Barclays Center for three consecutive years, starting this year when Elton John performs his anthem “I’m Still Standing” in a special live appearance from his concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  John joins the largest music celebration of the year, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015 beginning at 8:00 pm ET/PT on ABC Television Network.

“New Year’s Eve concerts are becoming a new New York tradition at Barclays Center and we are thrilled to welcome back the worldwide audience of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015,” said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark. “We are delighted to form a continuing alliance with dick clark productions, one of the world’s largest producers of televised live event programming.”

“In just two years, Barclays Center has become an international brand and a destination for some of the best events in sports and entertainment,” said Mark Bracco, Executive Vice President of Programming and Development for dick clark productions and Co-Executive Producer of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015. “We couldn’t be happier to include a performance live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.”

A Barclays Center New Year’s Eve special live remote performance was first featured on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve last year during a live event cut-in of Billy Joel.

Since its momentous opening on September 28, 2012, Barclays Center has hosted more than four million guests at nearly 450 events, which have included world-class entertainers such as Justin Timberlake, JAY Z, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, and Pearl Jam. The venue has also hosted major events including the MTV Video Music Awards and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Coney New Year's Eve Press Release

Brooklyn Eagle -

Adams announces first ever New Year's Eve ball drop in Coney Island

From BP Eric Adams' Office

On Thursday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams with the partnership of Council Member Mark Treyger and the Alliance for Coney Island, announced the first-ever New Year’s Eve ball drop in Coney Island. The iconic Parachute Jump will be the site of a digital countdown display that will ring in 2015 along with a fireworks show. This announcement fulfills a campaign promise Borough President Adams made last year to bring a New Year’s Eve celebration to Coney Island, in addition to the festivities that he will continue to put on at Grand Army Plaza, in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.

“This New Year's Eve, you won't want to miss our beachfront boardwalk blast in Brooklyn!” said Borough President Adams. “With fireworks in Coney Island and at Grand Army Plaza, the best parties for ringing in 2015 will be in the hippest and most colorful borough around. Now that we have our very own seaside ball drop, why be squished like a sardine in Times Square when you can rejoice like royalty in the County of Kings!”

The inaugural event will also feature a DJ and, in the spirit of Coney Island, some of the community’s great sideshow performers. Attendees will be treated to giveaways as well as free hot chocolate.

“With Brooklyn becoming the center of entertainment and fun in New York City, it only makes sense to ring in the New Year along Coney Island’s famous boardwalk and beach,” said Council Member Treyger. “I am thrilled to join Borough President Adams and the Alliance for Coney Island in welcoming residents and visitors from across the city to the People’s Playground for a unique and memorable celebration. This is a very exciting time in Coney Island, so come out on New Year’s Eve and join us to usher in 2015 in true Brooklyn fashion.”

“The Alliance for Coney Island is proud to work with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Mark Treyger on a spectacular new addition to Coney Island's year-round programming,” said Johanna Zaki, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island. “New Year’s Eve in Coney Island will join beloved traditions like the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge in promoting economic activity for the businesses and residents of Coney Island. With true Coney Island flare, sideshow performers will dazzle crowds before 8,000 LEDs on the iconic Parachute Jump, nicknamed Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower, countdown to 2015. Southern Brooklyn residents looking for an exciting event in their own backyard will be delighted by New Year’s Eve in Coney Island.”

Supporters of this initiative include the FDNY, Department of Parks and Recreation, NYPD, Department of Sanitation, Assembly Member Brook-Krasny, Community Board 13, NYPD PSA 1, Central Amusement International, ConEdison, Coney Island Beautification Project, Coney Island Generation Gap, Ed Cosme, Friends of Kaiser Park, Garden State Fireworks, Inc., Heritage Equity Partners, Investors Bank, Maimonides Medical Center, Peggy O'Neill's, Rooftop Films, South Brooklyn Youth Consortium and Tom's Coney Island.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Parachute Jump lit tonight to honor the 2 fallen police officers

Coney New Year's Eve Preview

NY Times - More Towers for Williamsburg

Excerpt -

Tower after tower has shot up along the radically revamped waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, over the past decade, and the latest one to rise, called 1N4th, will be far from the last.

The 2005 rezoning of almost 200 blocks of Williamsburg, and parts of neighboring Greenpoint to the north, catalyzed the transformation of the waterfront area, a once-bleak industrial zone lined with trash transfer stations and contaminated sites. The controversial rezoning made way for thousands of new apartments in towers, some more than 40 stories, but it also was designed to spur creation of affordable housing, along with a public esplanade and a 28-acre city park.

A 41-story building with 510 rental apartments at 1 North Fourth Street, 1N4th is now topped out and started leasing this month, but has received little media attention since construction began, perhaps because it blends in with Williamsburg’s growing collection of littoral towers. When pioneer towers like Schaefer Landing, completed in 2003, the Northside Piers development (2007) and the Edge (2008) went up, they drew many more stares.

About 10 waterfront high-rises may eventually join 1N4th, including three towers at the Domino Sugar site and several more on sites south of the Williamsburg Bridge. These could add as many as 4,300 apartments.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Video - Look out Times Square, Here Comes Coney Island!

News12 excerpt

BROOKLYN - Coney Island will be rivaling Times Square this New Year's Eve.

For the first time ever, Brooklyn residents won't have to travel to Manhattan to see a ball drop because the iconic Parachute Jump will have a ball drop of its own, which could be the start of a new tradition that'll bring more visitors to the borough. 

The event comes after a remodeled Parachute Jump was unveiled at Luna Park back in June, with many calling it the "Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn."

Video Here

News12 Video - Officials Break Ground at Pacific Park

Excerpt -

Prospect Heights is now the new site for affordable housing in the borough.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn officials and community members broke ground at 535 Carlton Ave. Monday. The development will bring 298 units to Pacific Park, formerly known as the Atlantic Yards site.

The mayor says the apartments will be affordable to low, moderate, and middle income households. It will be a mix of studios and apartments with bedrooms for families. The ground floor will also have retail space.

Video here

Brooklyn Eagle - Emmons Ave is awesome

Excerpt  - 

Eye On Real Estate  

By Lore Croghan 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Cherry Hill for breakfast, Liman for lunch — Emmons Avenue is awesome.

When the weather in Brooklyn was freakishly warm the other day, we heard the siren song of the shoreline calling us. All of a sudden, Sheepshead Bay seemed like a place we really needed to be.

We longed to sit at Cherry Hill Gourmet Market's outdoor café and take in the scenery.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Brooklyn Paper - New Year’s revolution: Countdown to 2015 coming to Coney Island

Excerpts -

Champagne, a midnight kiss, and a … Nathan’s hot dog?

The Coney Island Boardwalk will host a massive New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31, Borough President Adams announced on Dec. 18, and he promised the party would have many happy returns.
“We are starting a Brooklyn tradition,” Adams said in front of the iconic Parachute Jump, which will be the centerpiece of the festivities.

Rather than drop a ball like they do in that other borough, Brooklyn will count down to the new year with a pulsing light show using the Parachute Jump’s dazzling new $2-million lighting system that switched on last year.

Adams touted the seaside celebration as the more authentic way for New Yorkers to ring in the new year.

“Why go to Manhattan and be squashed by tourists when you can come to the county of Kings and be treated like royalty?” said Adams. “Real Brooklynites like to be here in Coney Island. Times Square is for a few people, but Coney Island is for everyone.”

The crowds aren’t the only thing that will be better in the People’s Playground, the local councilman said.

“Times Square has confetti, but we’ve got the fireworks — real fireworks,” said Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island).

Boardwalk revelers can also catch music, performance art, and sip a little (non-alcoholic) bubbly during the celebration, Adams said. But Boardwalk bars like Tom’s of Coney Island and Ruby’s will also be open and slinging their higher-octane libations, owners said.

A DJ will handle kicking-out-the-jams duties this year, but the Borough President said starting next year he’ll hold an annual competition to select live performers to feature at future New Year’s bashes.

“This has been five years in the making,” said Eddie Mark, a member of Community Board 13 who advocated for the party. “The new regime — Eric Adams and Mark Treyger — is saying, ‘Coney Island is ready for a change.’ This is a sign of major things happening in the neighborhood.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another New Year's Eve update - Daily News

Coney Island will host major New Year's Eve party

The big night in South Brooklyn will feature music, fire-spitting performers from the Coney Island Sideshow and fireworks at midnight.

Party on, Coney Island.

The famed Brooklyn neighborhood will host a New Year’s Eve ball drop to rival the annual tourist-choked celebration in Times Square, borough officials announced.

The big night in South Brooklyn will feature music, fire-spitting performers from the Coney Island Sideshow and fireworks at midnight.

The main event will be a ball drop simulated in LED lights on the Parachute Jump, the towering steel structure in the center of the Coney skyline.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Update on New Year's Eve in Coney!

As first reported on Dec 7th on this blog, there is a press release coming out soon. Here is an update from another Coney blog with details.

Yes!!! Times Square by the Sea baby!!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

City Planning Commissioner mentions Coney Island Housing Growth Opportunities

Crains excerpt -

He also fingered Coney Island in Brooklyn, the eastern half of the Bronx, and Sunnyside rail yards in Queens as possible growth hot spots.

"We think there are enormous housing opportunities in Coney Island," he said, noting that they could be realized after an ongoing sewer project in the neighborhood is completed.

NY Mag - Brooklyn Is the Least Affordable Housing Market in the Country

Manhattan is Third! Brooklyn real estate is changing very quickly now

Excerpt -

Brooklyn real estate is more expensive than ever, and according to one new study that looked at 475 counties around the country, the borough now also has the dubious distinction of being the U.S.'s least affordable housing market.
Via Bloomberg:
Of the 475 counties analyzed by RealtyTrac through October, 98 areas weren’t as affordable compared with the average level for the period starting in January 2000, the Irvine, California-based data company said in a report today. Brooklyn, New York, where a resident would need to devote 98 percent of the median income to afford the payment on a median-priced home of $615,000, was the least-affordable market, followed by San Francisco and Manhattan.

Brooklyn Eagle - Finally! Brooklyn is getting an Apple store to call its own

Excerpt -

This long-awaited affirmation of Brooklyn's hotness as a retail venue arrived Tuesday via New York Post real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo, who reported that the tech icon signed a lease for its first-ever Brooklyn location at 247 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg.

“It's about time,” Christopher Havens, head of the commercial division of, told the Brooklyn Eagle.

New condos coming to Emmons Avenue!

Sheepshead Bites excerpt -

Sheepshead Bay’s iconic El Greco Diner is set to shutter next week after the property has gone into contract for a sale, making way for a new residential tower with ground-level commercial space, sources tell Sheepshead Bites.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Year's Eve in Coney

Sources have informed this blog that a press release will be coming out shortly about New Years Eve in Coney Island!

Wahlburgers location

Sources have informed this blog that Wahlburgers will be located next to the Nets Store where BurgerFi was rumored to be coming last year. Wahlburgers should be arriving in Coney in about one year.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wahlburgers restaurant coming to Coney Island!

Press release 


Written by Wahl Blogger on . Posted in News & Events, Wahl's New
Media Contact:
Lori Moretti or Meghan Almquist​
CM Communications
(617) 536 – 3400


(BOSTON) – December 4, 2014 – Wahlburgers, a casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg and subject of the popular A&E TV reality series announced multi-unit franchise deals in Florida and New York, continuing its rapid expansion in North America.

Davgar Holdings Group, LLC will open 20 Wahlburgers throughout Florida over the next several years, as New York- based Big Apple Burgers prepares to launch six restaurants in Manhattan and one 0n Coney Island.

Since its 2011 debut in Hingham, Mass., Wahlburgers has a total of 40 stores either open or under agreement. A second location opened in Toronto last month to great fanfare, and franchise agreements are secured in Philadelphia and Las Vegas in addition to Florida and New York. Two corporate-run Wahlburgers are slated to open in the Greater Boston area in 2015.

“These agreements put us closer to our vision of making Wahlburgers a happy part of people’s lives across America and around the world. Donnie, Paul, and I appreciate the support of our fans and all those who love great burgers,” said Mark Wahlberg.

“We are pleased to continue to grow with great partners who share our values and standards for delivering an exceptional customer experience,” said Rick Vanzura CEO of Wahlburgers.

According to Vanzura, Wahlburgers is committed to partnering with experienced operators with a demonstrated history of multi-unit success. Manny Garcia of Davgar Holdings Group, LLC and John Cestare and partners of Big Apple Burgers meet the criteria.

“The Garcia family has been steeped in the food and restaurant industry for many years,” said Manny Garcia, well-known Florida restaurateur and managing partner of Davgar Holdings Group, LLC. “And now, we are thrilled to partner with the Wahlbergs, another family that’s equally dedicated to high quality food, legendary service, and delighted guests.”

“We’re confident that our knowledge and expertise will be a great asset to the Wahlburgers brand,” said John Cestare of Big Apple Burgers. “It’s exciting to partner with the Wahlberg family and brand knowing we share the same values and family-work culture.”

The Florida and New York restaurants will share all the signature characteristics of the flagship Wahlburgers in Hingham, Mass., including full-serve and quick-serve dining options, take-out and a full bar. To inquire regarding business opportunities please visit

Founded by Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg, and celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, Wahlburgers, the subject of an A&E Network original series is a Boston based burger restaurant with stylish décor symbolizing the brothers’ life trajectories from Dorchester neighborhood kids to rising chef and international superstars. The restaurant offers both fast casual and table service dining featuring a menu of made-to-order fresh ground beef burgers, pure beef hot dogs, crispy fries, onion rings, tater tots, signature salads, and specialty frappes. In addition to great food and drink, guests will enjoy music from a variety of genres and eras playing from the restaurant’s state-of-the-art sound system. Wahlburgers serves lunch and dinner daily. For locations, hours, and additional information visit

Avalon Sheepshead Bay construction set to begin! Yes!!!!!

Bay News excerpt -

Work is set to begin soon on a controversial tower in Sheepshead Bay.

A row of vacant buildings on Sheepshead Bay Road will be demolished within the next few days in first phase of construction of a new 300-foot residential tower. A spokesman for one of the developers said the demolition will start as soon as the Department of Buildings issues approval.

“We expect it any day and will move forward shortly thereafter,” said Muss Development spokesman Jeff Kay.

The plans for the as-of-right project — which became public in September — include 250 units and 176 parking spots on an area that is nearly the size of five football fields. Amenities for the tower residents will include storage space, a bike room, a tenant’s lounge, and a playroom. The area underneath the demolished buildings will serve as a walkway to the building.

The developers — Muss Development and AvalonBay Communities — bought the two adjacent sites near the intersection of Voorhies Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road back in July, and Kay said the construction will start soon after the demolition.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hotel/ Synagogue coming to Kings Highway? Huh?

NY Yimby excerpt

There, a permit application was filed on behalf of Elmhurst-based Z&K Realty Developers LLC to construct a joint hotel/synagogue building with 162,000 square feet of commercial space (though this may include some space already built from lots that could be contributing air rights to the project). To put its size into perspective, the same square footage is similar to that of Jeanne Gang’s Solar Carve tower, planned for the High Line.

The person who answered the phone at Z&K (headed by Alex Klein as president and Yi Han as V.P., according to the permit application) pleaded ignorance about the project, but the Schedule A filing reveals some details about the plan. The first floor would have a retail space, an “eating and drinking establishment,” and a hotel lobby, while the second floor would be taken up by 189 parking spaces (plus another 72 in the cellar, for a total of 261 spots in automated, attended garages).

The third floor and its mezzanine would house a synagogue large enough to hold 150 people, catering to the large Jewish population in Midwood and nearby southern Brooklyn neighborhoods
Above the synagogue, starting on the fourth floor, would be 147 hotel rooms, fairly evenly distributed throughout the fourth through ninth floors. The 10th story would be occupied by another bar or restaurant, plus an outdoor seating area on the roof.

The project would be situated on the eastern side of East 9th Street between Kings Highway and Quentin Road, in place of a couple one-story brick buildings and a more ornate structure at 815 Kings Highway, for which a demolition permit was filed in September.

Brooklyn's rise to real estate prominence

Real Deal excerpt -

If 2014 was the year of record-shattering co-op sales, stratospheric asking prices and Brooklyn’s continued rise to real estate prominence, what will 2015 bring? We posed that question to several top industry players in our cover story for the December issue, now available online. (Cheat sheet: Double the number of new condos hitting the market)