City Makes Huge Change to Its Coney Plan
The city has made some major changes to its Coney Island plan in an effort to craft a compromise with landowners like developer Joe Sitt and to get it moving. Today's Times reports that the core amusement area that would be acquired from landowners has been reduced from 15 acres to nine acres and that existing owners would be allowed to develop property removed from the plan in accordance with the rezoning that is approved. An excerpt:
The proposal, which would turn the area into a year-round attraction, still calls for a lot of stores and as many as 5,000 apartments along Surf Avenue, but it would reduce to 9 acres from 15 a city-owned open-air amusement park north of the Boardwalk between KeySpan Park and the New York Aquarium. The city would buy the land for a permanent amusement district from local property owners including Thor Equities and the Vourderis family, which owns Deno’s Amusement Park and the Wonder Wheel.There are more details to the changes, but it's safe to characterize them as a major reversal in that it would cut the amusement park envisioned by the original proposal by nearly half and would allow hotels along Surf Avenue.
But in a departure from the original plan unveiled in November by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, those owners would be able to develop the remaining parts of their property themselves as long as they followed the city’s master plan, which must still undergo an environmental review and a land-use review. The city’s plan for the area north of the amusement district calls for a series of buildings that could include a glass-enclosed water park, games and amusements, a bowling alley, restaurants and entertainment-oriented businesses like House of Blues, Dave & Busters, NikeTown and movie theaters. Finally, the new zoning would allow for hotel towers on the south side of Surf Avenue.
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