Over the course of the bizarre saga of Coney Island redevelopment and rezoning, developer Joe Sitt has famously feuded with Planning Director Amanda Burden and suffered a very public spanking by the Mayor and former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Dan Doctoroff. Last week, the Mayor stepped in to say that Astroland, which "closed for good" a couple of weeks ago, should be saved until rezoning is done. He's also rumored to be working to get Mr. Sitt to cut a deal. In any case, Coney Island Development Corp. head Lynn Kelly, who is not known for outbursts, issued what the post described as "the strongest public rebuke of Joe Sitt by a city official," suggesting that he's (say it ain't so) buying up prime land and clearing it out so he can force the city's hand and get the okay to build condos and retail. Kelly suggested that the developer has even set up crappy rides destined to fail and may be happy they flopped. "What's his point? Unless it's [a deceptive attempt] to show that amusements don't work and amusement zoning doesn't work." The city hasn't been successful in getting an extension for Astroland. In the meantime, the park's owner says interested buyers for the rides include "Arab Princes" who want to take them to Dubai.
· City Rides Bizman Over Coney Closure [NYP]
· As the Astroland Turns: Bloomberg Wants One-Year Reprieve [Curbed]