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Coney Island businesses fight for the ‘soul’ of boardwalk

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A business next to an amusement park on a boardwalk. The shop has a blue and white striped awning, and a sign that says “Paul’s Daughter.” Shutterstock

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“We’re fighting again to save Coney Island’s soul”

Massive rent increases may force some longtime business owners on the Coney Island Boardwalk to shutter their stores, but they’re not going away quietly.

The New York Post spoke with Dianna Carlin, aka Lola Star, who has operated a souvenir store on the boardwalk since 2001. According to Carlin, Zamperla, the Italian company that operates much of the boardwalk (including the Luna Park amusement park), plans to raise her rent five times over what she currently pays; the hikes would also affect other old-timer businesses like Ruby’s Bar & Grill and Paul’s Daughter.

Carlin was one of the business owners who pushed for the 2009 Coney Island rezoning, which established a 27-acre “urban amusement and entertainment district” and helped some of those stakeholders stay in business. Now, she says she feels “stabbed in the back and betrayed” by the current turn of events. A coalition of area stakeholders known as Save Coney Island is planning a rally on the steps of City Hall for December 2 to push back on the hikes.

And in other news…