Take a bite out of this potato chip, concert fans!
Here’s a first look at the updated design for Borough President Markowitz’s dream project, the Beep’s $64-million outdoor amphitheater in Coney Island’s Asser Levy Park.
The just-released, potato-chip-influenced design from Manhattan-based Grimshaw Architects, significantly refined since an earlier version was leaked in January, adds in some flourishes to make it more fitting with what the city hopes will be a revived amusement zone just to the west.
Markowitz has justified the capital expenditure by saying that the borough needs such a venue to steal some summertime concert business away from Jones Beach, making Brooklyn “a natural stop on the summer concert circuit for entertainers,” Markowitz told The Brooklyn Paper last year.
His own concert series, of course, is one of them.Markowitz hopes “The Chip” will be open by 2011.
Neighbors, however, aren’t so sure. Earlier this year, residents of the quieter portion of the neighborhood said Markowitz’s dream concert hall would ruin one of the neighborhood’s only open spaces, which is on Surf Avenue near West Fifth Street, three blocks east of the Cyclone.
But according to BD, an architecture trade magazine that broke the story on Thursday morning, 3,000 seats out of the amphitheater’s 8,000 overall capacity, will be removed when not in use to allow for the space to be used as a park.
The magazine suggested that locals are already calling the project, “The Pringle,” because of its shape, but our reporting indicates that people prefer “The Potato Chip.”
Markowitz could not be reached for further comment owing to the Passover holiday, but on Friday morning, we received this statement:
“The renovation of Asser Levy Park will only enhance the surrounding community,” the borough president said. “Residents will benefit from a new playground, park house and community facilities, in addition to upgrades throughout the park. Replacing Asser Levy’s antiquated band shell with a state-of-the-art one will ensure that free cultural programming (it was used for 45 different community events last year) remains in Coney Island. Moreover, this beautiful new park will be a key component of a revitalized Coney Island for visitors and the community in the days and years ahead.”