Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Home for Coney Island Sideshow and Museum?

Coney Sideshow

In looking around for information about the Coney Island businesses that apparently are being evicted by Thor Equities well in advance of any Coney makeover, we came across a couple of related posts on the Coney Island Bulletin Board over at coneyisland.com. The most interesting bit of news, as we understand it, is that Coney Island USA, aka the Coney Island Museum, whose lease is expiring, looks like it will be getting a new home courtesy of New York City. We noticed this because one of the comments addressed to Coney Island USA's Dick Zigun (who also joined the board of the Coney Island Development Corp. this year) says:
Dick, how would you be feeling and talking right now IF, the city hadnt been the one to buy the building your in right now, and trade it to Thor for the Grasshorn building on Jones Walk and Surf Av, and put you in that building on the corner?
So, eventually, Mr. Zigun's museum and related enterprises will be moving? Meanwhile, Mr. Zigun himself writes as part of an ongoing discussion about the Thor evictions:
If you remember, eleven years ago I WAS KICKED OUT of the building I rented by a heartless landlord. I PICKED MYSELF UP BY MY OWN BOOTSTRAPS...rented another space...and re-established my business at a higher rent and struggled many many years to get back on track!

Yes, I AM LUCKY this time around and I am on the CIDC. Since we cannot successfully fight capitalism and the American way of private property...I have no intent of even trying.

What I CAN DO is get the best deal out of the NEW Coney Island that I can. The city is listening to my staff about landmarking suggestions generally. Design suggestions, etc. The city has saved the B&B and Child's on the Boardwalk and the sideshow and by the time we are done a few more landmark structures at the beach.

I cannot change the fact that old well established landlords whose families were in Coney for GENERATIONS are the people who have taken Thor's $ and sold out the old amusements. That is not my fault but it is a reality the members of the CIDC have to deal with simply because it is the new reality....After 26 years of hard work the city has indeed given me a break I might actually deserve for service already well done. I am not taking the money and running out of the neighborhood. I am staying and getting the best deal I can for the new Coney which is coming soon whether or not either of us wants it.
While we wonder about appearances in this case, Mr. Zigun and his operation helped hold the fort when Coney was down. It's refreshing to see an entity that isn't a huge development outfit actually benefit for a change. It is also heartening that someone is standing up for the amusement industry and for Coney landmarks in the face of pressure to bulldoze and build highrise luxury condos on and near the boardwalk.

Related Post:
Developer Starting to Empty Out Its Coney Properties?

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