Bloomberg Pimps Coney I-sore

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New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg unveils a $2.5-billion plan to revitalize Coney Island, building a year-round, amusement arena that will pump new life into the diminishing entertainment mecca.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce held an elite business luncheon featuring New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Thursday, November 8th, at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island, during which time, the Mayor unveiled a $2.5-billion plan to revitalize Coney Island, building a year-round, amusement arena that will pump new life into the diminishing entertainment mecca. 

During the banquet, the Mayor stated that the City has been working with the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) in an effort to alleviate outdated zoning restrictions, which have blocked improvements that would attract private investors, and that the revitalization of Coney Island would lead to $2.5 billion in private investment over the next ten years, resulting in the creation of at least 3,000 new permanent jobs, including 20,000 construction jobs over the next 30 years.

In collaboration with the CIDC, the Mayor devised a plan to revitalize 19 city blocks, covering 47 acres, both north and south of Surf Avenue.  The proposal includes rezoning the land bounded on the east by Stillwell Avenue, on the west by West 20th Street and on the north and south by Mermaid and Surf avenues for residential and retail use.  “That will create the capacity for up to 1,800 new apartments, including affordable units, and 100,000 square feet of retail space,” the Mayor said.

The area between West 19th and West 24th Streets and south of Surf Avenue that is now used for parking, they propose, while preserving adequate parking, to connect to the Boardwalk and to the rest of the neighborhood by opening up a new network of streets, creating conditions that will lead to the development of 2,700 apartments and 360,000 square feet of retail space.

The area bounded by West 8th and West 19th Streets, Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk, the Mayor, together with the CIDC, propose to make it possible to have indoor amusements and sit-in restaurants, which are currently prohibited.  They also propose to map the latter mentioned area as new City parkland, which would create 50 adjoining acres of public park for quality recreation.

According to the Mayor, the proposed changes would allow for development of a high-speed roller coaster, an ice-skating rink, new rides, a year-round water park and hotel with slides and rides, year-round aquatic attractions and outdoor performance areas for live music and entertainment on the Boardwalk and on the beach.

The New York City Mayor stated that he will work closely with Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, City Councilmember Domenic Recchia and the community to go through the RFP process to find a “dynamic developer and manager to whom the City would lease the amusement area in Coney East.”

Pursuant to the affair, a Q & A session was held, at which time, BSN inquired of Mayor Bloomberg if the proposed plan would force community residents out of their homes, to which the Mayor replied,  “No.  Nobody will lose their homes.  In fact, the plan would create more affordable housing.”

"This [Coney Island] has become an area that has seen its better days, but we can make its better days in the future," the Mayor chimed.

Brenda Jeanne Wyche is Managing Editor for The Black Star News and Harlem Business News.  If you have a solution, contact .  Maybe we’ll talk.

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