Thursday, June 14, 2007

Will City Transfer Parks Dept. Land to Coney Developer?


There's more detail on the possible transfer of Coney Island land controlled by the Parks Department to Taconic Investment Partners, and the possible deal is not being embraced with unanimity in the community. Taconic, which is acquiring land around the historic Childs Building for a major development, is looking to add city-owned land to its holding. Sarah Ryley reports in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that Taconic Senior VP Ari Shalam says the "negotiations are complicated because the transfer of land controlled by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation requires state legislation, and the replacement of an equal amount of land elsewhere in the vicinity." The story, which breaks new ground in reporting details of the Taconic part of the Coney Island redevelopment, continues:
Several people in the community, when made aware of the negotiations, say a private developer shouldn’t get control of the land. They say the vacant land and waterfront parking lots should be turned into a public park or used for amusements accessible to the working class, such as a new home for Astroland Park.

“They want to put luxury housing in, but when you come down here it’s a very democratic place — you see every variety of human being that you can imagine,” says Coney Island resident Ida Sanhoff. “When they put in this luxury housing, how are those people going to feel about going to the beach and sitting next to all these poor people?”

Taconic, which controls a 99-year lease of the landmarked Child’s building and owns an adjacent vacant block, in addition to vacant property north of KeySpan Park, plans to build a mixed-use development on the waterfront site. Plans include ground-floor “entertainment retail ,” housing and “food-related uses” in the restaurant.
The Eagle reports that Astroland's Carol Albert is interested in the land:
Carol Hill Albert, whose family has operated Astroland for 45 years, says she’d be very interested in moving her rides west of KeySpan, to land owned by the Parks Department...Albert has, in the past, offered to help the city pay to move Astroland’s rides anywhere in Coney Island, and recently agreed to take them off the auction block in response to pleas from elected officials.

But despite the ostensibly fervent effort on the part of the city to keep Astroland in Coney Island, Albert says she often feels put on the back burner, in favor of the big developers like Taconic and Thor Equities, and left to fend for herself.
If you've joined the show midway, we should note that Ms. Albert sold the property on which Astroland is currently located to Thor.

Related Post:
Taconic Working to Buy Land from Parks Department



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