Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Coney Island #1: What's Up with the Coney Island Development Corp.?

Coney Saturday

Regardless of how you feel about redevelopment plans for Coney Island, the Coney Island Development Corporation is going to play an important role in setting the framework with which Thor Equities and other developers must work. Along those lines, there are a couple of noteworthy things to report.

1) Lynn Kelly has been named president of the CIDC. The news was reported by Crain's. She has been vice president for special projects at the EDC since 2001 and has been acting president of the CIDC. The CIDC has , had been doubletiming as CIDC's acting president for some time, said officials. The CIDC, which was formed in 2003, has a 13-member board that includes city officials as well as local business and community leaders from Brooklyn.

2) At the CIDC's meeting on Monday, a wide variety of topics were covered. Kinetic Carnival has a full report. We will summarize his coverage of one important item: What to do about the Dead Zone that has been created on Stillwell Avenue between Surf Avenue and the boardwalk. The CIDC is considering the idea of placing vendors and concessions along the strip, which is boasts of big plywood fences. Objections include creating competition for existing businesses and eliminating parking. Kinetic writes:
Another member agreed that the current fences are a horror by saying, “People are coming to Coney Island and saying this is the last season.” He also said, "They are already tagged with graffiti". But one major problem in placing kiosks or concessions there is that it would force the foot traffic to walk on the street. In conclusion the same board member who offered placing the stands on the sidewalk suggested using narrow concessions, which would not interfere with the whole sidewalk. “That way, we’ll have our cake and eat it too.” He said. The board decided that they would look into them because the strip definitely needs to be livened up, somehow. “We need to keep Stillwell Avenue exciting”, said Lynn Kelly.
More developments to follow.



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