The passing of Horace Bullard raises questions about the future of some of Coney Island’s most important real estate.
Critics who accused him of sitting on the properties while he wrangled with the city over his grand plans blame the area’s stagnation in part on Bullard’s inaction. Coney boosters are waiting to see if Bullard’s heir will move forward on developing the family holdings, or perhaps even price them to sell fast.
Bullard willed his prime Surf Avenue properties to his daughter Jasmine, who says she has no immediate plans to develop or dispose of the properties, which include the landmarked Shore Theater and the Thunderbolt and Playland Arcade lots.
Jasmine said it was too soon to decide what she would do with the properties, though she indicated she wanted to honor her late father’s vision for the renewal of Coney Island — a plan the city blocked in the 1990s.
“I am my father’s daughter, but I can’t say yet what I’m going to do,” the younger Bullard said.
The parcels remain on the market, according to Bullard’s real estate agent, Joe Vitacco, with the same hefty price tags — a $12 million asking price for the Shore Theater, and a whopping $90 million for the combined Playland and Thunderbolt properties.
“Nothing’s changed, as far as I know,” said Vitacco. “Time will only tell how things will fall out.”
But even development advocates who attacked Bullard for sitting on the properties said they were willing to be patient to see new action taken.
“May he rest in peace, and we’ll work out the future in the future,” said unofficial Coney mayor Dick Zigun.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderma