Good fences may make good neighbors, but having the world’s largest roller coaster spanning two properties in Coney Island would make for a partnership.
Which is exactly what Joe Sitt, the principal of Thor Equities, would like to do with the city.
Sitt, who sold seven of his approximately 11 acres of Coney Island property in the amusement district late last year for $95.6 million to the city, said he’d love to partner with the Bloomberg administration on putting the world’s largest roller coaster in America’s playground.
“That’s still my dream. I’m hoping that once the city executes their final plan on the amusement district they can do something that can somehow incorporate something on our property and their property for one huge ride,” said Sitt.
A few years ago, before Sitt sold the property, he proposed a roller coaster that runs through Coney Island’s entire amusement district.
The city, which bought the property in reportedly testy negotiations, reacted skeptically.
“We welcome him (Sitt) to incorporate new and exciting uses on his properties that are within the realm of zoning,” said Libby Langsdorf, spokesperson for the city’s Economic Development Corporation.
Sitt said he is waiting for the city to make necessary infrastructure improvements before he finalizes plans for what’s left of his property.
“We’re in the back seat right now,” said Sitt. “We can’t do anything til the city does their side.”
Sitt said this includes infrastructure work such as installing electrical and sewer lines.
It also includes raising the heights of the streets because it’s so close to the beach, he said.
Sitt suggested the city can even get federal stimulus money to pay for the work.
As for his remaining property, Sitt said he anticipates possibly building a hotel as well as an assortment of retail and amusement-related businesses such as an indoor water park and restaurants.