heralds a new Coney
Coney Island will be restored to its former glory within the next few
years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday.
On the boardwalk at West 15th Street, the mayor announced a plan to turn
the seaside neighborhood into a year-round tourist attraction, complete
with a revamped amusement park and boardwalk, diverse new businesses and
a more developed residential community
He pledged an additional $50 million in city funding on top of $23 million
previously promised. Borough President Marty Markowitz has committed $7
million and Rep. Jerrold Nadler committed $3.2 million in federal funds.
Councilman Domenic Recchia, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and
Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff, Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC)
Chairman Joshua Sirefman, Assemblywoman Adele Cohen, Community Board 13
and CIDC member Sheryl Robinson and Dick Zigun, the unofficial mayor of
Coney Island and founder of the non-profit Coney Island USA, which is
dedicated to preserving Coney Island’s History, were among the speakers
at the event.
The $83.2 million facelift, which officials plan to complete by 2009,
will include improved entertainment attractions, development of a multicultural
community center with job training and recreational facilities and an
increase in the number of affordable housing units on vacant city-owned
property in the area.
“Coney Island is an icon in New York City,” said the mayor.
Some of the highlights of the blueprint for Coney Island’s future
•The transformation of Stillwell Avenue into Stillwell Midway, a
grand public open space connecting existing amusements with new development.
•A redesigned Steeplechase Plaza incorporating new open space around
the iconic Parachute Jump between Keyspan Park and the boardwalk. •New
entertainment uses and retail amenities east of Keyspan Park intended
to support the existing amusement attractions.
•More year-round activity on Surf Avenue including the possible addition
of a hotel and spa.
•Improving both Surf and Mermaid avenues.
•Enhanced boardwalk activity with added cultural activities, changing
facilities and connections to the beach and boardwalk, which will become
•Better integration of the New York Aquarium with the adjacent amusement
•Improvement of the area’s parking and transit infrastructure.
The CDIC will be working out zoning strategies and guidelines with the
Department of City Planning, as part of the next step of the process.
“For future generations of Brooklynites, the best days are yet to
come,” said Markowitz, adding that as a boy, Coney Island was his
Among the crowd gathered on the boardwalk were several skeptical Coney
Islanders, such as Luz Mejies and Cathy Phillips, who expressed fear that
the new development might increase the rents and force out local residents
and small businesses that are already there.
“I am concerned with where I live,” said Phillips. “How
affordable will the rent be in the new affordable housing?”
“The rents will rise,” said Mejies. “It’s happening
©2005 Community News Group