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Monday Coney Island #2: $64 Million of Music & Climbing

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Neighbors may want it as much as an inflamed and infected boil on their rear ends, but plans are moving ahead for a $64 million outdoor performing arts center on the Brighton Beach/Coney Island border that may give "stiff competition" to Jones Beach and the PNC Bank Arts Center. The cost of the 5,500 seat proposed venue has already ballooned from $40 million to $64 million when it was first announced two year ago, and that's before a spade of dirt has been turn or an architect has been selected. Grimshaw Architects has been chosen to design it. Borough President Marty Markowitz told the Post he's tossing in $54 million from his capital improvement fund and the city will kick in another $10M. There are thousands of people who live in highrises directly around the Asser Levy Park site. A former member of the local community board says, "Why is this being stuck right next to a high-rise residential neighborhood? It should be built west of the park in the amusement area, where commercial use belongs." On the other hand, Dick Zigun of Coney Island USA who is considered the "mayor of Coney Island" says it "will be a tremendous asset and a real first-class draw." We can't wait to see what happens when Metallica or O.A.R. play and seriously liven things up. The lineup in the past has been more like the raucous Liza Minelli and Peter Frampton, who is apparently still alive.
· Coney's $64 Mil Rock in the Park [NYP]
· Coney Roundup: Grimshaw Venue, More Bling, Fish Coup [Curbed]

[Photo courtesy Zodak/flickr]