Joe Sitt is poised to cash in.
A day before the City Council takes up Mayor Bloomberg’s rezoning plan for a new Coney Island theme park, the city on Wednesday made its first formal offer to buy out the amusement area’s largest landowner for $105 million — roughly $12 million more than the developer reportedly paid for the land that he began amassing just five years ago.
That’s a nice payday when the economy is in a Cyclone-like freefall, real-estate experts said.
“You can’t beat a rate of return like that,” said one consultant who does business with another Coney Island landowner.
Sitt’s lawyer, Jesse Masyr, disagreed, saying that his client’s costs include not only the price of the land, but taxes and demolition expenditures.
“Our [costs are] north of $130 million,” he told the New York Times this week.
A spokesman for Sitt declined to comment further.
The city needs Sitt’s 10-1/2 acres along the Boardwalk before it can move ahead with the mayor’s dream of a year-round tourist destination featuring a new city-owned amusement park alongside privately built attractions in the fabled and faded People’s Playground.
Sitt, whose extensive holdings include many of the Boardwalk storefronts and the site of the defunct Astroland theme park on Surf Avenue, snubbed the city’s prior verbal offer of $110 million last fall, holding out for a rezoning of his own so he can build a $1.5-billion Xanadu of rides, hotels and shopping.
Last fall, Sitt reportedly wanted more than $200 million for his land.
©2009 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.