CONEY ISLAND—The Coney Island History Project gets a new/old mural painted on the metal gate of its new home Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. The artists are Philomena Marano and Marc Kehoe, who painted the original mural for the CIHP at the organization's former location under the Cyclone coaster.
KIPS BAY—A couple of tipsters have written in to let us know about the sudden closing of the Crunch Gym located in the "'strip mall' of the damned on 2nd avenue at 30th [Street]". Members were informed that their memberships were transferred to the Club H located on 34th Street between Second and Third Avenues. The departure of Crunch Gym is the most recent for the strip of retail on the east side of Second Avenue between 30th and 32nd Streets, joining Border's and Office Depot among others. One thing that sets the building apart is that it is set well back from the street, separated from Second Avenue by a driveway and a median.
The Dept. of Transportation has agreed to turn this avenue-parallel service road into a pedestrian plaza for three months this summer, beginning in May. The summer will serve as a test before the DOT makes a decision about permanently turning the area into pedestrian plaza, a move that reportedly has strong support among neighborhood residents, according to DNAinfo. [Curbedwire Inbox; DNAinfo]
CHINATOWN—New York City’s Department of Finance and Department of Small Business Services have admitted that property owners were wrongfully charged illegal Business Improvement District (BID) fees. The fees in question were charged against Chinatown business owners retroactively, before the BID was even put in place. The business owners who paid will be reimbursed after the city admitted wrongdoing. [Curbedwire Inbox]