Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Meet the Coney Island Sleeper: Taconic Investment

Taconic-Sitt from Above

While Thor Equities and developer Joe Sitt have garnered most of the attention and generated most of the controversy with their $2 billion Coney Island redevelopment proposal, almost no space has been devoted to Taconic Investment Partners and its plans. In contrast to Mr. Sitt's very public style--including the release of renderings and drawings to drum up interest--Taconic has been virtually flying below the radar. Yet the firm has significant residential and retail developments in the works and is in the process of buying more property. It purchased a big parcel of land known at the Washington Baths site from Thor for $90 million and will redevelop the Childs Restaurant site, which it is leasing.

Taconic has also been acquiring a significant amount of land near the Child's site, with a $6.65 million purchase in December and a purchase of $5 million in April.

One of the posters on the Coney Island Message Board has been following Taconic's purchases and directs attention to the Coney Island South Venture and the Coney Island North Venture.

Of the South Venture, the firm writes:
Beginning in August 2006, Taconic began assembling land on the south side of Surf Avenue, adjacent to the beach. This land now totals nearly 240,000 square feet or 5.5 acres.

Taconic hopes to have the potential to develop between 1,125,000 and 1,800,000 square feet of residential, retail and parking areas on nearly 5 acres of prime beachfront property. In addition, Taconic is in preliminary discussions with the City to acquire approximately 11 acres of City owned land in various locations immediately adjacent to the property. While the feasibility, cost and likelihood of such a disposition by the City can not been determined for some time, there is the potential to increase the total size of the development to more than 5,000,000 square feet.
Of the North Venture, the firm writes:
Beginning in spring 2005, Taconic began assembling land on three city blocks along Surf Avenue. Since then, Taconic has purchased a total of 109,000 square feet of land area. ... Taconic hopes to achieve final designations that will allow for construction of nearly 1,000,000 square feet of residential and retail space as well as parking for over 1,000 cars.
Taconic appears to be in the process of trying to acquire a huge parcel of land of up to three city blocks on the south side of Surf Avenue, some of which is city-owned. Much of the city owned land is in the hands of the Parks Department.

Significantly, Taconic's holdings are outside of the area that will be the focus of Thor's fight to rezone the amusement area to allow housing.

All of which can easily lead one to conclude that Taconic could well turn out to be Coney Island's Sleeper Megadeveloper.

UPDATE: The North Venture and South Venture pages are down or have been pulled down, as noted by the commenter below, who publishes Kinetic Carnival. So, for the curious, here are links to the cached Google pages. Go here for the North Venture page and go here for the South Venture page.



Blogger Omar Robau said...

Intresting that when bloggers publish Coney content from big developer's websites, the developer quickly rushes to remove it.

Apparently, Taconic Investment Partners has removed the information about their Coney Island South and North Ventures from the Investement Portfolio section of their site.

They must either be updating or avoiding scrutiny from the press.

11:19 AM  

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