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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Footbridge to close until May 25th

Will be open for beach season -

Bay News excerpts -

The Department of Transportation will close the pedestrian bridge that connects Emmons Avenue to Shore Boulevard from March 2 until May 25 for repairs. But one resident said the closure is going to impact the dozens of pedestrians who cross the bridge as part of their daily commute to and from the train station on Sheepshead Bay Road.

The work on the bridge is necessary to combat an infestation of the wood-eating organisms called marine borers, according to a Department of Transportation spokesman.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

To those bloggers writing against the Coney chains today

Take a look at the pics to the right and see what New Coney is going to look like in 2016. Chains, both restaurants and big box, will be falling over themselves to get into the New Coney after the 2016 rebuild is complete.

Times Square by the Sea! Coney will get its respect back. Took 50 years to be rebuilt. 2016 is the year!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Wendy's opening on Brighton Beach Ave

More development along the South Brooklyn subway stations.

Sheepshead Bites excerpt -

Fast food fans, perk up. The red-headed wonder Wendy’s is coming to the area. Schlep to Ceasar’s Bay or Bay Ridge no longer; you can soon get your $1 Frosty fix just steps from the Brighton Beach B/Q station.

The burger franchise is slated to open at 621 Brighton Beach Avenue, near the corner of Brighton 7th Street. The spot used to be the home of Brighton King Meats. We’re not sure when they closed, but their latest review on Yelp, posted in June, suggests it was in the past six months.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Financial Times - Bed Stuy Real Estate

Excerpt -

Late last year a restored 1890s townhouse on Gates Avenue sold for $3m, a record sum for Bedford-Stuyvesant and more than $300,000 above its asking price. A four-storey brownstone a few blocks south on Arlington Place sold last December for $2.25m, more than $200,000 above its list price. Townhouse sales in the district hovered around $600,000 two years ago. Today, renovated brownstones in Bedford-Stuyvesant list for about $1.5m, according to Corcoran Group Real Estate. 

“I’m seeing in Bed-Stuy what I saw happen in [hip Brooklyn neighbourhood] Williamsburg in 2002,” says David Maundrell, founder and president of Brooklyn real estate brokerage The firm is marketing several new condominiums in the district, including 1188 Bedford Avenue, a 14-unit project that is among the most expensive in Bedford-Stuyvesant. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is priced at $825,000.

“The surge began with buyers who were priced out of other areas, but now prices are rising much faster than anyone predicted,” says Maundrell.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the average sales price in North Brooklyn, which includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, rose 17.7 per cent year-on-year to $605,961, according to data from property appraiser Miller Samuel. Prices in the area have risen 65.6 per cent since 2010, representing one of the largest increases of any New York City district.

Despite the rise, Bedford-Stuyvesant still represents a relative bargain compared with more established areas of Brooklyn such as Park Slope, Fort Greene and Williamsburg. The average price of a home in the latter — among the most rapidly gentrifying areas in Brooklyn — reached $1.12m in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Miller Samuel. “Buyers are getting a lot more for their money in Bed-Stuy and that’s still the most attractive feature,” says Brooke Safford, a broker at Corcoran Real Estate Group.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Save the Sheepshead Swans

Brooklyn Daily excerpt -

Sheepshead Bay’s assemblyman is giving the governor the bird. 

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay) has reintroduced legislation — which Gov. Cuomo vetoed in December — intended to save his district’s mute swans from the Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to eradicate the birds over the next decade by rounding them up and gassing them, or shooting them out of the sky.

The original bill, sponsored in the Senate by state Sen. Tony Avella (D–Queens), passed both houses last year but was shot down by Cuomo, whose office told Cymbrowitz that the department was creating a revised swan management plan that included parts of his legislation.

But the department — which considers mute swans as a “prohibited invasive species” — has still not released or commented on the supposed revisions, leading swan supporters to doubt that the state’s new plan will be an improvement, according to a local animal-rights activist.

“The feeling with the advocates is that DEC wants to go ahead and still kill the swans,” said David Karopkin, organizer of GooseWatch NYC. “They’re just trying to find a way to do it without a PR headache.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation said last year it wanted to exterminate the mute swan population because the birds destroy aquatic vegetation, displace native wildlife species, damage the water quality, attack residents, and pose a threat to aviation. But the assemblyman said there is no concrete proof of the department’s claims. 

“There is no hard and clear evidence that mute swans are the kind of dangerous and damaging presence that DEC suggests,” said Cymbrowitz in a statement, adding that residents support the birds that have become iconic waterfront staples. “As far as my constituents are concerned, they’re beautiful birds and the official policy should be ‘live and let live.’ ”

Real Deal - #1 Biggest NYC Real Estate Project for January is coming to Coney

Top 10 biggest real estate projects coming to NYC 

List of January's biggest filed permits includes six Brooklyn projects 

1. 532 Neptune Avenue

 Ruby Schron’s Cammeby’s International is building a 691,405-square-foot mixed-use building at this Coney Island site. The SLCE Architects-designed building will have 44 floors, making it the tallest building in the neighborhood. The plans call for 513,850 square feet of residential space — divided among 544 apartments — as well as 162,220 square feet of commercial space and a 15,521-square-foot community facility.

BensonhurstBean confirms Coney IHOP for 2015

Excerpt -

Now IHOP is jumping on the Coney Island bandwagon, opening a location on 1019 Surf Avenue by the end of the summer, a spokesperson for the restaurant franchise has confirmed.

“Coney Island is a quintessential, classic New York place and we are a classic American brand, so what could be better?” IHOP spokesman Craig Hoffman told us. “We are very excited to be a part of it.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Alliance For Coney Island Looks Ahead

Excerpt from Page 27 of the Annual Report -

Looking Ahead

A central focus of the Alliance is to transform Coney Island into a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination while improving the quality of life for the entire community. That goal comes into greater focus with the planned opening of the Seaside Park and Community Arts Center. Situated at 2102 Boardwalk West between West 21st and West 22nd streets, the estimated $53 million project will serve as an entertainment complex and multi-purpose indoor and outdoor facility. Features of the project include a 5,100-seat amphitheater, an open-space public park with playground and the restoration of the historic Childs Building that also occupies the location.

Ground has been broken and visible progress is being made on the New York Aquarium’s future marquee attraction, “Ocean Wonders: Sharks.” The $150 million redevelopment project slated to open in 2016will include a state-of-the-art 57,000 square foot facility featuring a roof-deck overlooking the ocean,a cafĂ© and visitor seating. The three-story space will house over 115 species of marine wildlife including over 25 species of sharks and rays. The completed structure will represent the modern evolution of the legendary Coney Island skyline and help forge an even deeper connection between the community and the seascape that is such an integral part of its future.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

NY1 video - Officials Break Ground on Coney Island Storm Barrier

Excerpt -

City officials broke ground on a $25 million project in Coney Island, designed to protect the area against future storms.

The program has been in the works for many years, but Hurricane Sandy provided the spark needed to get federal funding. 

The Coney Island Shoreline Project spans a three mile stretch between West 37th Street and Brighton Beach.

The Army Corps of Engineers will be building jetties there to protect the area and prevent the kind of erosion that has plagued the shoreline for decades.

"They're basically stacked up rocks so we're putting about 100,000 tons of rock that are going to be shaped in the form of a T and a stem that comes down. It's about 250 feet wide by about 250 feet long," said Col. Paul Owens.

Video here -

Update on Shorecrest Towers - 2 relaunched Trump Village Towers

These are the 2 already relaunched Trump Village Towers that are preceding the 40 story Tower to be built next year. Both are rentals. Here are are the updated prices with a link to offers and pics

Studio - $1,500,  1 Bed- $1,650,  1 Bed - $1,895, 2 Bed - $2322, 3 Bed - $2,831

Expecting the 40 Story Tower to easily breakthrough $3,000 a month rent as the yuppies and hipsters have targeted Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay and the developers know this. One of the reasons is the upcoming Coney Amphitheater and resurgence of Coney as Times Square by the Sea. But the biggest reason is the hipsters are getting priced out of  North Brooklyn as those rentals compete with Manhattan levels.

The Village Voice had an interesting quote from a Brooklyn hipster recently -

After Annabelle Cazel, a classically trained pianist turned art-rock musician, returned to the States six years ago to tour with the Fiery Furnaces, rising prices drove her out of her Soho studio to four different rehearsal spaces in Williamsburg and one in Bushwick before she landed in Gowanus.

"Who knows when the rents will go up there?" she asks. "Most of my musician friends have moved several stops on the L train or further on the G train or way south, to Ditmas Park, Sheepshead Bay, Windsor Terrace, or Flatbush. Gowanus is done with."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Commercial Observer - Brooklyn Retail Scene Red Hot

Excerpt -

A new report from CPEX Real Estate confirms what many had already suspected: the number of retail stores in Brooklyn continues to grow expeditiously and shows no signs of slowing down.

CPEX’s 2015 Brooklyn Retail Report, which covers the borough’s retail activity in 2014,  highlights that the number of active retail corridors in Brooklyn grew to 121 retail corridors at the end of 2014, up from 88 corridors at the same time in 2013. A year earlier, that figure was 67.

“The one thing that we really found shocking was the growth of the corridors since 2013,” Ryan Condren, the managing director of retail leasing at CPEX, told Commercial Observer. “To grow over 80 percent in two years is remarkable.”

Of all the Brooklyn neighborhoods, Park Slope has the most retail corridors with 15, followed by Williamsburg with 13 and Crown Heights with seven. At the end of 2014, 13 retail corridors in Kings County had asking rents that exceed $100 per square foot. In 2013, there were eight.

Some neighborhoods which have historically have had a dearth of shopping options have been particularly impacted by the growth of retail in the borough. Bedford-Stuyvesant saw 33 new shops open in 2014 alone. And many national retailers made Brooklyn their home for the first time last year, including Apple and Madewell in Williamsburg, JCPenney in East New York and Neiman Marcus in the borough’s downtown.

The report attributes much of the explosive retail growth to the rapid increase in residential units in the borough. Since 2013, the number of new building permits in Brooklyn for residential properties increased 116 percent, the report says. The average household income in the borough today is $150,000.

“It was only a matter of time,” said Mr. Condren, referring to the borough’s eye-popping retail growth. “Brooklyn is going back to its roots as being its own city and not being dependent on Manhattan. We’ve always had the infrastructure in place. Not only has the residential density gotten stronger, but office vacancy rates are at historic lows.”

Thursday, February 12, 2015

AM NY - Southwest Brooklyn real estate is heating up

Excerpt -

Although north Brooklyn neighborhoods are the focus of most of the borough’s real estate investment hype, the southwest section is catching up.

The number of buildings sold in that area extending from Sunset Park to Coney Island, including Bensonhurst, increased about 40% between 2013 and 2014, according to Adrian Mercado, the vice president for research at Massey Knakal Realty Services. The southwest end also contributed to 25% of Brooklyn’s total buildings sold, compared to 22% in northern Brooklyn, which includes Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick.

“As Brooklyn has become a stand-alone market, much in the way Manhattan is a stand-alone to New York City, more investors have come to Brooklyn as a whole looking for opportunity and yield,” Mercado said.

Loehmann's Building set to go higher

Bay News excerpt -

Loehmann’s could be getting a loft.

Community Board 15 narrowly approved an application to re-open a 20-year-old zoning variance to allow the owner of the Loehmann’s building to construct office space on top of the existing structure, which has been vacant since the department store chain went out of business last year.

2 Trump Village Towers relaunch as rentals

Get ready for the hipsters coming to Coney. This is just the start

Brownstoner excerpt -

Two 23-story rental buildings at the 1960s-era Trump Village in Coney Island have been completely gut renovated and rebranded and just hit the market. Rents start at $1,500 for studios, $1,650 for one-bedrooms and $2,332 for two-bedrooms. Many of the 880 apartments at the renamed Shorecrest Towers had been rent stabilized.

Andres Escobar handled the interior design. Now the apartments have stainless steel appliances, oak floors, high-gloss white lacquer cabinets and marble floors in the bathrooms. The lobbies, hallways, roof deck and lounge are also getting upgrades. is marketing the two towers at 2940 and 3000 Ocean Parkway.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This week's Bay News on Coney Trader Joe's

Tentative plans for the new shopping center include “upscale” stores like Trader Joe’s — a contrast to pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and discount stores that line the shopping complex now.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Think South Brooklyn is not changing? Think again................

Sheepshead Bay 30 Story Tower coming

Brighton Beach - Oceana Condo 16 Building development

Coney Island - 40 Story Tower and Trader Joe's coming

Bath Beach - 24 Story Tower coming

REW - Brooklyn’s development boom continued unabated in 2014

Excerpt -

Brooklyn’s development boom continued unabated in 2014 accounting for nearly a third of the $6 billion in investment property dollars spent in the borough last year, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Brooklyn 2014 Year-End Sales Report.  

More than 9.8 million buildable square feet of development properties (both residential and commercial) traded for over $1.8 billion in 2014, a 28 percent increase in dollar volume from 2013 and an 84 percent increase in dollar volume since 2012. 

Prices per buildable foot varied greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, with the most desirable residential destinations commanding values north of $500 per buildable square foot and a greater portion of neighborhoods now commanding values north of $200 and $300 per buildable square foot.  

Major development site sales were primarily clustered in North Brooklyn where developers invested more than $200 million Downtown and nearly $400 million in Williamsburg. Over 80 properties totaling more than 1.25 million buildable square feet traded in Williamsburg, which saw the highest development dollar and property volume in the borough. In nearby Greenpoint, 27 properties with close to 1 million buildable square feet traded for nearly $155 million. 
“Parts of North Brooklyn, waterfront areas in particular, are now competing with Manhattan-level prices while neighborhoods further inland are increasingly catching up,” said Daniel Tropp, vice president of Ariel Property Advisors.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bay News on Wahlburgers and more chains!

Excerpt -

The franchise is leasing the Stillwell Avenue storefront from Thor Equities, and the restaurant will be a little larger than a basketball court — including rooftop seating that overlooks the amusement district. It will employ about 60 people.

Bringing another name-brand franchise to the area will be a boost to economic development in Coney Island, Cestare said, which was another reason he wanted to open in the People’s Playground.

“I wanted to be a part of the rebuilding,” he said. 

Whalburgers will be the latest in a slew of burger chains opening in Coney Island. An Applebees started slinging sandwiches in fall 2013, and a Checkers and a Johnny Rockets are slated to open on Surf Avenue soon, as well. But Cestare is confident that there’s plenty of room for everybody.

“We love competition — we think there’s enough business to go around,” Cestare said. “We want people to come down to Coney Island and enjoy — whether you go to Applebees, Nathan’s, or Wahlburgers.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To the bloggers that hate the chains

Do any of the bloggers that hate chains so much, ever remember that Coney Island has been a colossal economic failure for about half a century and is a winter ghost town? The problem is not keeping the chains out, but getting the chains interested enough to invest in a neighborhood that has been ignored and virtually left for dead by the development community for decades. 

Thank goodness that is turning now, as it is for all of South Brooklyn. Thor, iStar, Muss, Avalon Bay, Schron  and Rybak Development are active now. More to come.

Coney is changing to Times Square by the Sea. The Yuppies and Hipsters are heading south in Brooklyn. The big developers and the chains understand that.

WSJ - Brooklyn’s Most Expensive Listing: $40 Million Brownstone

Excerpt -

A roughly 17,500-square-foot brownstone in Brooklyn Heights is expected to list for $40 million, according to the listing agent—a record price for residential real estate in the New York borough.
Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, said the property will break a listing price record for a single-family home or apartment in Brooklyn. The second most expensive is a roughly 11,000-square-foot condo currently listed at $32 million, he said.

Located on Pierrepont Place, the mansion was built in 1856-57 and is known as the Low Mansion, named after the onetime owner and businessman A.A. Low, whose son, Seth Low, became mayor of Brooklyn, and then mayor of New York starting in 1902. In total there are 15 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms and more than 9,000 square feet of garden and outdoor space. The building is currently subdivided into eight apartments, but the tenants are on short-term leases and the house can be sold vacant, according to the current owner, Jeff Keil. The building retains many of its historic features, including fireplaces with stone surrounds, high ceilings and a grand staircase with a central skylight.

NY1 Video - Piece of Velvet Coney Grand Opening

Excerpt -

Last year's record breaking attendance in Coney Island is attracting new businesses to the neighborhood, including one that's not typical for the area. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed this report.
The walls are being painted and the floors measured as a Coney Island storefront one block from boardwalk is being transformed into a specialty cake shop called A Piece of Velvet. 

"Every cake we do here is a velvet cake—so the texture and the moistness of the cake. It's always light, always moist," says owner Michael Morgan.

There are 25 varieties in addition to the signature red velvet cake. 

"There's vanilla velvet, chocolate velvet, strawberry vanilla velvet," says manager Lucy Almonte.
"We have Bailey's Irish Cream alcohol cake, so we have a alcohol section in fact. We have Ciroc Coconout cake. We have a Rum Pina Colada cake," Morgan says.

The cakes are baked here at the old Pfizer building in Williamsburg, now set up as a food manufacturing hub. They're then distributed to its retail stores—one in Harlem, the other in Fort Greene on Fulton Street in the former space of legendary Cake Man Raven. The baker, known as the Cake Man, closed his business at this location back in 2012. 

It's his former employees who started this new velvet venture. 

"It's definitely a draw on red velvet cake and a draw on what Cake Man actually started, definitely. But where he put it down, we picked it up and we've run with it," Morgan says. 
This Surf Avenue storefront will be the company's third retail site. It will be a sit-down cafe with free wifi and outdoor seating in the summer. 

"We don't have something that fits that niche of a cafe, wireless internet type of establishement here in Coney Island so we're very excited about it," says Johanna Zaki of the Alliance for Coney Island.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Real Deal - Mapping Brooklyn's red-hot hotel market

Excerpt -

Brooklyn’s hotel development scene is booming, a trend fueled by an influx of well-off residents and an increase in tourism in the borough. A total of 1127 hotel rooms will open in Brooklyn in 2015, a 26 percent increase in one year, according to data from hospitality research firm STR. In 2016, at least another 991 rooms will likely be added.

 Despite more inventory coming online, room rates have been soaring. Average hotel rates in Brooklyn climbed from $144 in 2010 to $170 in 2014, a nearly 18 percent rise. Meanwhile, the supply of available rooms during the same period jumped from 3,247 to 4,272, about a third higher.

In contrast, the number of rooms in Manhattan went up about 13 percent during this period to 87,768. Average rates increased about 14 percent, to $292 in 2014.

Brooklyn has 11 hotels slated to open in 2015 and at least 10 planned for 2016. While the buildings tend to be concentrated in the northern section of the borough, particularly Downtown Brooklyn and the city’s planned BAM-centered Brooklyn Cultural District. But hotels will go up in a number of Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Indeed, this year new hotels will open their doors in, among others, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Gowanus, Bushwick, Brownsville and Crown Heights.

Prices will likely continue to climb, even with a sizable portion of growth coming from midscale hotels, including three La Quinta Inn & Suites, two Sleep Inns and a Quality Inn.

For a big picture view of Brooklyn Hotels opening in the next two years, take a look at our interactive map.

See more at:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Marty at Kings Theater ribbon cutting ceremony

Borough President Adams joined Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, Council Member Mathieu Eugene and former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz in cutting the ribbon at the reopened Kings Theatre in Flatbush, the borough's largest indoor theater which was restored after a $95 million renovation that his office helped fund. 

Photo Credit: Kathryn Kirk/Brooklyn BP's Office

Bay News picked up on the Amphitheater construction

The one thing they got incorrect is that this will be completed this summer. It is slated for May 2016. The permit applications are linked in the story and nothing on the DOB website points to the lawsuit as holding this up.

Here is the Bay News story

Big thanks to the Coney Island Blog for bringing this story to the attention of the Bay News

Clarification on the Coney Amphitheater Development

Lots of questions going around the internet about the Amphitheater and the construction fences going up while the community garden's lawsuit is still pending.

My understanding is that the lawsuit has nothing to do with when construction begins as noted here on the Community gardener's website

Excerpt from 6/23/14

Our court appearance yielded mixed results. We are disappointed that the Judge, Hon. Mark Partnow, denied our request for a preliminary stay/injunction, which would have put a complete halt to the amphitheater construction while this lawsuit is still pending.

Some are assuming that the DOB hasn't approved construction permits because of the lawsuit, but I see no evidence of that. Construction permit approvals are often delayed or denied for multiple reasons.  It is routine in the development process for them to be delayed and then later approved.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Yuppies and Hipsters are coming

Wahlburgers, Amphitheater, 40 Story all RENTAL Tower at Trump Shopping Center, Trader Joe's, 30 Story Tower at Sheepshead with 70% rental apartments. 

All signs point to the North Brooklyn hipsters and yuppies moving to South Brooklyn as they get priced out of Williamsburg and Park Slope. And the developers know this - 40 story rental building with studios and 1 bedrooms. Think about it. Development is targeting the young renters.