When it comes to Coney Island, you don't mess with the Bloomberg. The mayor's controversial 47-block rezoning of the faltering amusement relic will be passed by the City Council today, but that's not the shocker. Avoiding what might have been an extremely bitter eminent domain battle, the Bloomberg administration has reached a deal for the 10.5 acres of Coney land owned by Thor Equities' Joe Sitt (UPDATE: It looks like the deal is for 6 of the acres; see after the jump) . So says Councilman Dominic Recchia, as quoted by the ArchPaper. If that's the case, we're disappointed. After all, Sitt's recent rhetoric against the city's redevelopment plan had us pretty darn excited about what insults he was willing to hurl if the fight got taken to the next level. Curiosity now centers around the deal's terms. Sitt spent $92 million acquiring the land, and recently turned down a $105 million offer (he reportedly wanted $165 million). A spokesman for the mayor wouldn't confirm the Thor deal but hinted it would soon be done. This is more exciting than a ride on the Cyclone!
As for the city's redevelopment plan (hotels! apartments! retail! etc.!), sketched in the gallery above and seen in full?albeit in a slightly out-of-date version?on the City Planning website, there is still one major issue to be sorted out. Many groups and local leaders argue that for Coney Island to become a full year-round destination, as is the goal, the open-air amusement district must be expanded from the currently planned 9 acres to 15 acres, give or take. Sitt's land just west of the Keyspan Park stadium is seen as a good target for that expansion. And about that amusement park! Who'll be the operator? Note to Disney Word: This town already has a Tower of Terror!
· Coney Circus Comes to an End [ArchPaper]
· All Coney Island coverage [Curbed]
UPDATE: City Room reports that the city's tentative deal with Thor is for 6 acres, leaving Sitt with some property on Surf and Stillwell Avenues to develop.