City Slated To Launch Coney Island Redo

January 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

The Bloomberg administration’s plans to remake Coney Island are slated to take a major step forward on Tuesday, as the city intends to launch its rezoning for the historic amusement site. Revitalizing the decaying entertainment destination has been a top priority for the mayor’s economic development team, which has well over $100 million budgeted for the project.
While the date is not yet final—a spokeswoman for the Department of City Planning said the city is “working to finalize” required environmental review documents—the Planning Department’s Web site shows the project on a draft agenda for a Tuesday meeting that would launch the public review. The seven-month public approval process involves a series of community meetings and requires the City Council’s assent.

The plan calls for turning a portion of the area that once housed amusements—now vacant sites or parking lots—into apartment buildings and hotels, while creating a new core of entertainment with indoor and outdoor amusements. The plan is a relatively optimistic one, as it attempts to transform an area that sits a lengthy subway ride away from Manhattan and has little remaining market for amusements into a thriving, year-round destination with water parks, luxury apartments and hundreds of hotel rooms.

The process will no doubt be tainted by the fact that a landlord who owns the bulk of the property in the amusement district, Joe Sitt, has been battling the Bloomberg administration over what to do with his land. He has resisted the proposed rezoning, saying it would be so limiting that it would prevent new construction (the plan calls for a panoply of restrictions and requirements for any new development in the amusement zone, aimed at making it a vibrant entertainment area). He has failed to reach a deal with the city to buy his land.

by Eliot Brown

The NY Observer

Entry filed under: Brooklyn, Go Coastal, Public Waterfront.

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