Some interesting info on the first day of Spring about the ongoing condos vs. amusements fight in Coney Island. Developer Thor Equities, which has floated a $2 billion redevelopment plan, continues to say there's no way it can build an amusement park without condos. Its plan is based on drawing 1.4 million visitors a year (compared to Astroland, which gets 350,000). The plan includes four towers on Stillwell Avenue, one of which would be 50 stories tall. Apparently, Thor's purchase of Astroland was a surprise to the Coney Island Development Corporation, which wasn't planning on it buying an operating Coney amusement. This all comes via a long story in the (subscription only) Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which has been posted on the Coney Island Message Board.
In the meantime, the city is concerned about stories that Coney will be left empty and that its own plans to anchor development with the Parachute Jump on one end and a redone Coney Island Aquarium on the other could be sabotaged. Also, the founder of the Save Coney Island group that is planning a protest against the boardwalk condos is Diana Carlin, the owner of the Lola Staar Boutique that was evicted by Thor after she refused to sign a confidentiality clause. The Eagle story reports a "breakdown in the negotiations between Thor Equities and the city." No word on the status of developer Joe Sitt vs. Planning Director Amanda Burden.
· Inside the Coney Island Redevelopment Drama [Gowanus Lounge]
· The 'Mix-Use' of Rides and Condos [Kinetic Carnival]