Hold On: No Reprieve Yet For Astroland!!!
That story about Astroland getting a one-year stay of execution? It may not be true. amNY reports this morning that "negotiations for an extension appear to have bogged down over rezoning concessions the site's developer is seeking from the city." Astroland's owner, Carol Albert, in fact, says she hasn't been offered any lease extension at all. David of Coney Island USA says the Post's Thursday story saying that Astroland and developer Joe Sitt had reached an agreement "is not correct." He posts the following on the Coney Island Message Board: [Astroland owner] Carol [Albert] asked me to let everyone know that she is not involved in any talks...Astroland has not been given a reprieve. The Post is wrong. He posted a comment to that effect last night on GL.
Yesterday, GL tried to contact Thor spokesperson Tom Corsillo to talk about the Post story, but he did not respond. In the meantime, we were told that an agreement with Mr. Sitt had been reached to keep Astroland open, but that the developer had subsequently backed away from the deal and had, in fact, made the one-year extension contingent on winning zoning concessions he is seeking. A city official described the tactic as Mr. Sitt pointing "a gun" at his head.
Kinetic Carnival also picked up some conversations yesterday and reports:
Council member Domenic Recchia said that he did have talks with Thor Equities and they did say they would work about a plan to keep Astroland open for the '08 season. He also stated that Thor Equities later added further dialogue which indicated that they would extend Astroland for another season only if and when the city changes the zoning to their favor.Thor spokesperson Lee Silberstein, meanwhile, is quoted in amNY as saying, "Thor is confident it will be able to reach an agreement with Astroland to keep the rides open next summer."
Recchia, regardless, promised he will work hard and fight to keep Astroland open at the current location for another season and also help them find another location for the future.
Apparently, very high level meetings with Thor have been going on all week, which could explain some of the motivation behind the stories about the change from condos to hotel rooms and time shares, and the new renderings, that began circulating this weekend. GL has learned that both Borough President Marty Markowitz and Council Member Recchia met with Thor executives this week and that Mr. Sitt met this week with Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff. That meeting was described as having "laid everything on the line."
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