City, Developer $60 M. Apart Over Coney Island Land
The Bloomberg administration’s plans to redevelop Coney Island are being held up, in part, by less than $60 million.
The city has been locked in an evolving battle with major Coney Island landowner Joe Sitt and his Thor Equities for two years now, and has been trying to purchase all of his land since late last year. The Bloomberg administration is trying to rezone Coney Island in an attempt to turn it into a year-round entertainment hub that would have thousands of new apartments.
Now, thanks to the Freedom of Information Law, we now have Mr. Sitt’s request in full.
Per a set of documents I requested, it seems Mr. Sitt responded to a request by the city that he put a number on the table for the sale of his property. His price: $165 million, an amount that includes what Mr. Sitt considers a 20 percent profit. City officials, in turn, had offered $110 million, though the city publicly dropped its offer to $105 million Wednesday.
As can be seen in the document (see attached photo), Mr. Sitt spent about $96 million on land acquisitions, though he wants to be reimbursed for his costs associated with the planned redevelopment, which he puts at a total of $150 million. (Mr. Sitt, in an e-mail to the city, offered an opportunity to audit his numbers.) For a long time, officials encouraged Mr. Sitt to develop a plan in concert with the administration, but they eventually changed course when they found the two sides had irreconcilable visions.
All told, it seems that the two sides are between $45 million and $60 million apart.
By Elliott Brown
New York Observer