Friday, May 25, 2007

Coney Island Looking Like Sitt for Memorial Day

Coney Blight One

We spent part of yesterday afternoon in Coney Island enjoying the nice weather, and couldn't resist noticing that the blight along Stillwell Avenue and W. 12 Street is looking splendid just in time for the official kickoff of the summer season this weekend. What's especially curious is that developer Joe Sitt and Thor Equities aren't even bothering to paint the hideous, depressing fence they've erected or to cover over any of the tagging that's already happened. (Curiously, a couple of panels have been painted and others have been left tagged. Did they run out of paint?) We watched dozens of people stop and stare at the semi-cleared parcels of land where the Go-Cart Tracks and Batting Cages were and also noted that there there are less businesses operating than last year in Sitt-owned properties.

The Sitt-created blight--which could be corrected by installing temporary amusements--is one thing. But, it is truly a curious thing that as the summer season begins a developer pitching a $2 billion project hasn't even bothered to prettify the problem or to address the potential public safety hazard that he has created. If we were prone to making extreme statements, we'd call what Mr. Sitt has already done to Coney Island an act of civic contempt that could result in unsavory things as the summer crowds come to the Thor Equities Corridors of Blight. In fact, if we were the types to ascribe underhanded motives to developers, we would suggest that Mr. Sitt has been callous and calculated in creating emptiness and deadness in the heart of Coney Island long before any redevelopment will happen. We might say, in fact, that he is committing a kind of premeditated neighborhood homicide.

But, we won't say any of those things, because we know the man that calls himself "Joey Coney Island" wouldn't do any of those things. Instead, we'll simply say, what a sad and terrible shame.

Coney Blight Two

Coney Blight Three

Coney Blight Four

Blight from Above

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're too new to the city to remember what Coney Island looked like around ten years ago this time.

You, buddy, need a sense of historical perspective.

Construction is better than blight.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is absolutely fantastic to see that the negotiations are not in the papers anymore and Coney development is being negotiated between the city and Thor. Its ridiculous for Thor to negotiate in the press and the net when you have total anti-development NIMBY blogs such as yours covering this.

A true lifelong Brooklynite - MUSCLE13


9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon -- you're missing the point. sitt's not going to construct anything. he's de-constructing to try and raise the value of his holdings. it's not that nothing shouldn't get built there, it's that in the interim, there should be SOMETHING there, instead of crappy tagged up plywood. that's the f'n shame.

nice job, gl. as usual.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon - I'm also new to the city, I can only speak to the Coney of 1999. But I also remember popular go-karts and a popular batting range in Coney '99, and the 2006 edition featured two relatively new amusements in the same area as well. Even the flea market added some life to what was previously an empty lot.

Saturday, I saw blight in their place. Not construction, as you would suggest, only ruin.

I wonder whose historical perspective needs fine tuning.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been out of town and have had less time to keep up with my favorite blogs, so I just came back to re-read this post after skimming it the other day. I like the phrase, "premeditated neighborhood homicide." Truer words were never spoken (or not spoken, right?)

Anyway, keep up the great coverage.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only people who want what Thor is wanting to give us are people who want condos only where amusement rides used to be. THere will be only condos in Coney Island. Thor wants to kill Coney Island, proof is in their fences which their permits proudly proclaim they will only be there for this summer season and will disappear right after labor day. Why make Coney look like crap for the summer season? To drive business away.

Condos or any type of residential element and public activities will never mix, and anyone who says opposite is just plain lying to you. Dont believe me? ask the residents of little italy and their opinion of the San Genaro festivial. Ask the residents of Luna Park who constantly call the 60 precent to complain about the noise coming from Coney.
aka Capt_Nemo

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its wrong to take Coney Island down just for condos. You got to be kidding me. That place is a historical part of Brooklyn. I've gone their for like hundreds of times and I'm still not tired of it. It's the best view from my window now it has too go and those condos wont even stand for 5 years, the way they build them today all condos stink. All thair made out of is drywall slapped on together and put together to look like a building. That's all I have to say.

6:26 PM  

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