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Joe $itt poised to cash in at Coney

The Brooklyn Paper
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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.

Updated 5:44 pm, April 2, 2009: Story was updated to provide more context to Jesse Masyr's quote.
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Reader Feedback

Stumpy Pete from Bath Beach says:
How sad that Coney Island and those who really love it get the shaft - while the greed hounds and the political fools play their games.
April 2, 2009, 11:47 am
jerry from coney island says:
Between Councilman " Southampton" Recchia & Joe"Deal, NJ" Sitt, they really screwed the stakeholders of Coney Island. They don't & have never done their Summers in Coney Island. Recchia has a BIG Waterfront House on Peconic Bay in Southanpton NY & Joe Sitt summers in Deal NJ. They are birds of a feather & stick together. Dump Recchia in 2009!
April 2, 2009, 2:46 pm
Steve from Coney island says:
Recchia and Markowitz are like mafia. Markowitz with his outdoor concert area where the plans and costs are a big secret and Recchia the guy that Bloomberg gave millions to when he sold out the Brookly people with congestion pricing. I agree we need to DUMP Reccia AND MARKOWITZ...These crooks think they are above the law....
April 3, 2009, 7:47 am

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