Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sitt Offers Glimpse of Coney Development Plan

Coney Map with Text

Gowanus Lounge was interested to find an article in the NY Times about the Thor Equities $1 billion Coney renovation plan. The story contained several interesting nuggets hinting at the shape of the redevelopment plan. The plan's focus is the blocks south of Surf Avenue from 12th to 15th Streets. Some of the area is occupied by a go-cart track, rides & games, the Coney Island Museum and other amusements. One large part of the parcel is now vacant and another is used for parking school buses. The boardwalk side of the parcel is home to staples like Cha Cha's, Shoot the Freak and other businesses. Nathan's also sits in the footprint on Surf Avenue.
Nathan's would remain in place. But Mr. Sitt [Joe Sitt of Thor Equities, the developer] plans to replace the bumper boats and go-cart track with a year-round water park on the east side of Stillwell Avenue that would be connected to a family-oriented, S-shaped hotel, which would include apartments and time-share units.

On the west side of Stillwell, there would be a second, more luxurious, 500-room hotel and a condominium tower on the Boardwalk. Plans call for a dramatic entrance to the complex. The towers, ranging from more than 20 stories to more than 30 stories, would sit atop a shopping center, a modern game arcade and a multiplex theater.
Thor Equities is s talking to Nickelodeon about developing a family-oriented hotel and to race car driver Mario Andretti about "a racing attraction."

(We played with a Google map to show the development parcel, which is above.)

We do know that the scale of the highrises is likely to spark controversy as is the plan to put housing in the "amusement zone" south of Surf Avenue, an idea that is likely to meet with some opposition, especially if Dick Zigun and his allies have a voice in shaping the plan. There are also those that have questioned why someone would want to build an indoor water park in a place people visit in order to be outdoors.

The outcome will depend heavily on zoning changes that the city opts for after a consultant's study is completed. While there are few that would argue that the Coney boardwalk in its current state is a desirable thing, you can expect that proposals for luxury apartment towers on the boardwalk will lead to bloodshed as will anything likely to make Coney less of a "beach" attraction and more of a Times Square sort of place.



Blogger Sonja Shield said...

man. great research, amazing illustrated pic.

11:44 PM  

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