There is much love today for the city's big Coney Island redevelopment plan. The "unofficial mayor" of Coney (Mermaid Parade founder Dick Zigun) is quitting the Coney Island Development Corp. in protest of the big revisions to the city's redevelopment plan that shrinks the proposed amusement from 15 acres to 9 acres. He was the only representative of the amusement industry on the CIDC's board and had been a major supporter of its efforts and of the original plan announced in November by the Mayor and former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff. A letter to Mayor Bloomberg is fairly smoking with anger, suggesting that the revised plan has "betrayed" supporters of the original and that the rezoning will bring "NikeTowns, Toys R Us and 4 thirty story hotels."
Here's a bit from the letter, which includes some interesting detail about the revised plan:
The CIDC Plan promised a world class tourist attraction with an entertainment core: lots of rides complimented by year round nightclubs and enclosed waterparks. Instead the core will now be rezoned for a shopping mall full of NikeTowns, Toys R US and 4 thirty story hotels. One of these massive hotels is even proposed directly in front of The Wonder Wheel, a NYC Landmark. Only 9 acres out of 61 will be reserved for amusement park rides. The original CIDC Plan promised that any condos built within the empty lots of the 61 acres would have Entertainment Retail on the ground floor such as bowling alleys and theaters. Instead the 61 acres now crams in 26 new high rise towers up to 30 stories each with dry cleaners and hardware stories no tourist will ever visit. We worked four hard years for consensus and I for one feel betrayed.The letter suggests that if the plan isn't withdraw, there will be "protests, yelling and lawsuits." The bottom line: none of this bodes well for Coney Island redevelopment to happen soon.
· Coney Island Mayor resigns over redevelopment plan [NYDN]
· Coney #2: Dick Zigun's Blazing Hot Resignation Letter [GL]