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

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Crains- Brooklyn housing boom pushes sale prices and rentals to new highs

Excerpt -

Rents and home prices reached record levels in Brooklyn during the second quarter of 2015, according to a market report released Thursday.

The average sale price for a Brooklyn home reached a record $788,529 during the second quarter, according to a report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The price inched above the previous high-water mark the same time last year by $5,233. Historically low inventory, a lack of new product being built and tight credit conditions contributed to the increase.

As a consequence, many people who would have purchased a home continued to rent, especially in popular Brooklyn neighborhoods. That pushed median rent in the northwestern portion of Brooklyn, which runs from Greenpoint and Williamsburg down through Park Slope, to an all-time high of $2,964 a month. 

"Whether you're renting or buying, you're looking at higher housing costs," said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel, the firm that prepared Douglas Elliman's report. "As a general rule, this is not necessarily a good thing for a city that is creating jobs, because the people who fill them might not be able to afford to live here."

Granted, Brooklyn did record a 35% increase in the supply of for-sale homes compared with the same period last year, according to a report from the Corcoran Group. But those apartments came on the market after three quarters of declining inventory, and were being snapped up at a historically high pace, only sitting on the market for an average 71 days. 

Sheepshead Bay Macy's has signs up

Scheduled opening Fall 2015. Just a couple of months away. Old Loehmann's location on Emmons Ave. All indications are a Starbucks and a cafe will be attached. Just wonderful news!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

More on the Amphitheater site

Seaside Park is being designed by the same firm that did Brooklyn Bridge Park - Michael Van Valkenburgh

Excerpt from ISTAR's site -

As a catalyst for residential development, iStar is developing a ~5,000-seat covered outdoor amphitheater, restoring the historic Childs Building as a restaurant/event facility with rooftop bar, and building out a one-acre Michael Van Valkenburgh Public Park.

The park will include graded walking paths, shaded picnic areas, a sloped sunning lawn and a children’s playground. Once the amphitheater and park have been created, we intend to build one million square feet of housing on our neighboring Bath Site.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Birdair press release regarding Coney Amphitheater

Coney Island’s Seaside Park Amphitheater to Feature Birdair Membrane

The Seaside Park will include a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater which will be topped with a Birdair PVC membrane roofing system

Published: June 17, 2015
Sometimes the best way to replace a deserted historic landmark is with a new community-centered space. The Seaside Park and Community Arts Center is a new development aimed at making Coney Island, New York, more of a year-round destination. The estimated $53 million project will include an entertainment complex and public park that will be housed in the empty landmarked space that was once home to the historic Childs Restaurant, one of the country’s first restaurant chains, which flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. The Seaside Park will include a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater which will be topped with a Birdair PVC membrane roofing system. The project is set to be completed in May of 2016.          

A Community Centerpiece
In addition to the 5,000-seat seasonal, open-air amphitheater which will host approximately 40 concerts between May and October, the project will also include a playground, an amusement park district and a 20,000 square-foot restaurant. The food served in the restaurant is expected to be similar to the pancakes and other breakfast fare served by the old Childs Restaurant.

The project is being developed by iStar Financial, an affiliate of Coney Island Holdings LLC, in partnership with the community-based non-profit Coney Island USA.

“We hope the amphitheater is a catalyst for a neighborhood resurgence,” said Julia Butler, senior vice president at iStar Financial, in a statement. “Neighborhood programming from movie nights and poetry slams to high school graduations and community theater performances are all envisioned for the Amphitheater.”

A Team Effort
The Seaside Park and Community Arts Center was designed by Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects. The team also includes FTL Design & Engineering Studio as the tensile roofing consultant, WSP USA as the structural engineering firm and Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers for the geo-tech engineering. Hunter Roberts Construction Group will serve as the general contractor for the project. The team selected Birdair for its design-build expertise with tensile structures.

The unique and iconic Birdair roof on the Seaside Park Amphitheater will feature approximately 40,900 square feet of a PVC membrane exterior and 32,565 square feet of a PVC membrane liner with two acoustical curtains supported by multiple structural steel arches.  The structure is temporary and will be put up and taken down once a year.

“The intricate complexities of the site and its use required a seasonal structure which could be demounted during the off season and stored on site. Fabric solutions offer one of the few possibilities for such a condition and the PVC fabric is especially well suited for this application,” said Nic Goldsmith, Senior Principal of FTL Design & Engineering Studio. “Our design approach combined the inherent stability of two pairs of leaning arches defining smaller scaled fabric fields that allow for demountable conditions.  The clear span arches give unobstructed sightlines throughout both for the enjoyment of performances and infrastructure support for sound and lights.”

PVC membrane is a cost-effective alternative to traditional roofing systems and can be produced in a multitude of colors to coordinate with individual building project needs. When produced in bright white, this flexible fabric membrane reduces radiant heat gain, keeping interior temperatures cooler during warmer weather conditions. Technically, PVC is a molecule comprised of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine. The combination of these elements results in a single-ply membrane that is simple to manufacture. During fabrication, remnants can be recycled and melted down to be reproduced, resulting in less waste.

Because PVC is a thermoplastic, this membrane can be softened into a semi-solid state and infused with UV light inhibitors and anti-soiling fungicides. During installation, multiple sheets of the fabric can be overlapped and fused together in a process known as weldable seam technology. Once cooled at room temperature, these sheets form one continuous membrane.

Lastly, PVC membrane is fire resistant and meets numerous energy code standards, including those set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Why Tensile Architecture?
Birdair’s expertise in the construction of tensile structures in the entertainment and leisure sectors is reflected in a variety of completed amphitheaters, resorts, and casinos worldwide.

These venues are designed and engineered to encourage relaxation and celebration, ideals that reinforced aesthetically by the use of architectural fabric membranes. No other material is as versatile; a membrane roof can be contoured into just about any imaginable shape. In daylight, tensile membrane translucency offers soft diffused naturally lit spaces reducing the need for interior lighting. While at night, artificial lighting creates an ambient exterior luminescence.

When it comes to entertainment venues, the lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution requiring less structural steel to support the roof or fa├žade, enabling long spans of column-free space. In addition, membrane offers facility owners reduced construction costs and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.

Sheepshead Macy's will have a separate cafe as well as Starbucks!

Previously reported a Starbucks job opening at the new Macy's coming to Sheepshead Bay. Now here is an ad for a Cafe position -

Job Description 

Team Member, Restaurant Supervisor: Brooklyn, NY, Macy's Backstage Sheepshead Bay Taste Bar Cafe

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Boxing at the Beach!

NY Post excerpt -

Former IBF, WBA and NABA International Junior Welterweight Champion Dmitriy Salita and his Brooklyn Brawl Series are heading to Coney Island on Aug. 25, starting a year’s worth of events with a professional fight at the minor league complex.

Headlining the opening card is Alex Miskartachian (25-3-1), a world-rated former world title challenger and two-time European Champion, taking on NABO champion Cornelius Lock (22-7-2) in a main event featherweight clash.

“I am very excited to bring the Brooklyn Brawl series to the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones in Coney Island,” Salita said in a press release. “Coney Island is a world-famous gathering place and a hub in New York City, where people come to get rest, relaxation and fabulous entertainment.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Times Square by the Sea

For those of us witnessing Coney Island's transition to Times Square by the Sea this year ( New Years Eve Parachute Jump Ball Drop and Fireworks, Costumed Characters on the boardwalk, all the chain restaurants - Wahlburgers, IHOP, Applebees), just wait until 2016.......

New Amphitheater, MCU Park, Luna Park, New Aquarium all lined up on the boardwalk, and the Trump Village Shopping Center rebuilt with a 40 story residential tower and Trader Joe's.

Things are really changing for Coney Island - Times Square by the Sea!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 4th Coney Fireworks from MCU Park

Times Square Costume Characters Invade Coney Island

Times Square by the Sea Baby! 

PIX 11 news excerpt-

CONEY ISLAND — With summer in full swing, many New Yorkers are looking for a chance to head to the beach — even Spider-Man, Minnie Mouse, SpongeBob, the Minions, and more.

The infamous costumed crusaders that normally work the sidewalks of Times Square have made a summertime appearance on the beach boardwalk in Coney Island.

Dressed as favorite cartoon characters or superheroes, they try to pose with tourists and excited children — then demand an additional tip. They have been known to harass picture-takers. Last year, several of these dressed-up personalities were accused of being overly aggressive in Manhattan’s biggest tourist destination.

Video here

The Brooklyn Real Estate Bubble Will Never Pop

Gothamist excerpt -

The housing crash of the late 2000s was supposed to have decimated property values across the nation. But in Brooklyn, the housing market barely broke its stride. Supply and demand is supposed to be an immutable truth, yet a well-documented boom in development has done little to stop spiraling prices. Every few weeks, a different neighborhood in New York City's most populous borough seems to break its own record for most expensive sale. Intuitively, it feels like the borough is at a breaking point. If something goes up, must it come down?

"There's no end in sight," says Jesse Keenan, the research director at Columbia University's Center for Urban Real Estate, referring to Brooklyn's obscene housing market. 

Currently, the monthly payments on a median-priced home in Brooklyn eat up 98 percent of the borough's median income of $46,000. The median sales price in the nation's "most unaffordable city," just passed $600,000 for the first time. The 70 percent of Brooklyn residents who rent aren’t faring any better—average rent in the borough rose by 77 percent between 2000 and 2012. According to a March report by StreetEasy, "the typical new renter will spend 60 percent of their income on rent in 2015," the highest rent-to-income ratio in all of New York.

And the Times is running trend pieces about how Brooklynites are moving to Manhattan because it's cheaper, which means the trend started at least five years ago.

In order to bring housing prices down in any significant way, Keenan told me, the city would need to massively expand its housing stock. That's especially true of Brooklyn, whose historic neighborhoods are largely made up of townhouses and not apartment buildings. 

A 2013 report Keenan co-authored estimates that 300,000 to 350,000 new units must be built to house the next generation of New Yorkers, nearly double the 200,000 affordable units that Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to build or preserve

"I know that sounds crazy and there are significant sensitivities there, but we're so far in the hole that it's a long-term challenge to our labor economies," Keenan said.

New York lags behind other cities in construction of new housing units. According to figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 20,483 new housing permits were issued in the five boroughs in 2014, or about 2.4 units for every 1,000 people. While this represents a strong improvement over the city's paltry permitting pace during the '80s and '90s, it's still low compared to other cities, including San Francisco (3.2) and Washington, D.C. (6.4), to say nothing of famously pro-development cities like Seattle (11.5 permits per 1,000). 

A housing expert who works for a prominent real estate investment company who asked to remain anonymous because he was speaking so candidly, agreed that New York has a chronic supply shortage that will take decades to fix. Even if the housing market cools off, he said, "when the bottom falls out ... you will only see massive rent decreases in marginal neighborhoods."

Even if Brooklyn's housing sales end up being a bubble, the expert says, it's unlikely that renters will reap the benefit of it bursting, as "rents are not speculative, whereas housing prices are."

Daily News on the New NY Aquarium


The futuristic-looking building rising over the Coney Island Boardwalk will give visitors quality time with more than 45 sharks and one killer view of the ocean.

The New York Aquarium’s much-anticipated $157 million “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” won’t open for another year, but the Daily News got an exclusive look and details about the 57,000-square foot, three-story structure and its breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean.

“It’s really about reminding New Yorkers about the waters around us and opening their eyes to the wilderness that is New York City underwater,” said Susan Chin, chief architect for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the aquarium. “It’s a very dramatic and beautiful space.”

She said the building’s wave-like design was inspired by schooling fish. When construction is completed, an art piece titled “Shimmer Wall” will wrap the structure with 33,000 aluminum tiles that move with the wind and reflect the sky and the ocean.

The project started 10 years ago, but was delayed after Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the aquarium in 2012. As a result, the new building will have features to withstand future storms.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Seaside Concerts at MCU Park in July

MCU Park
WED, JUL 22, 7:30pm

“The Voice”

(Formerly of Kool & The Gang) JT Taylor
MCU Park
THU, JUL 23, 7:30pm

MCU Park
FRI, JUL 24, 7:30pm