1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


Here's a copy of a press release we received late yesterday from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz:



"Worldwide, the words 'Coney Island' conjure 'America's Favorite Playground'--renowned for its outlandish and iconic amusements, a beautiful beach and bustling boardwalk, food and entertainment, and a unique sense of affordable family fun. This summer, I stand with the Coney Island community and all Brooklynites and New Yorkers and say loud and clear that Coney Island is indeed 'really fun, and really open!'


I commend the Mayor and City officials for prioritizing the creation of a year-round, affordable Coney Island for the 21st century. Coney has always been a place where families of every economic means could come to play and to dream. It's where I spent summers as a child and remains an essential part of childhood for generations of children past, present and future. It's not about profits, it's about families. And we all agree that now is the time to deliver for the families of this city and beyond and get the job done.


After taking into consideration public hearing testimony and suggestions offered by residents, amusement operators and businesses, as well as stakeholders on all sides of the issue, I am pleased to approve the City's rezoning plan with conditions that I'm confident will allow us to chart the best possible course for the future. I now ask the City Planning Commission and the Council to move decisively and save one of our City's greatest icons.


I have approved the City's rezoning plan--demapping parkland to facilitate residential and commercial development and mapping new parkland to create an amusement park--with a few essential conditions. By adopting the following changes to the rezoning plan, we will ensure a new Coney Island distinguished by vibrant, visible amusement activity and guaranteed awe-inspiring design--as well as reward loyal businesses and residents who have kept the faith and should benefit from any new infusion of resources."


Summary of Recommendations:


1.      More Amusements: Increase Amusements in Coney Island Special District

2.      Guarantee Glitz: Create Design Committee to Ensure Awe-Inspiring Architecture

3.      Build With Coney, By Coney, For Coney: Build in Community Opportunities: Local Jobs, Housing, Rewards and Resources


1) More Amusements: Increase Ground Floor Amusements and Visibility/Access


This recommendation calls for a Coney Island teeming with amusements run by various operators, as has been its tradition, with an increased ground floor amusement frontage along Surf Avenue, Stillwell Avenue and West 10th Street.

*      Vibrant Amusements: Recommends that required ground floor amusement space be increased from zero to a minimum of 15 percent of the frontage on Surf and Stillwell Avenues and West 10th Street, with a goal of creating 150,000 square feet of ground floor amusement space in the Special Coney Island District.

*      Multiple Amusement Operators: Asks that there be no overarching manager of the amusements, but rather various operators, as has been the tradition.


2) Guarantee Glitz: Create Design Committee to Ensure Awe-Inspiring Architecture


Coney Island has always been known for its awe-inspiring architecture and ambience--the famous Luna Park was fondly described as "Electric Eden." The recommendations call for establishing a Coney Island Design Committee charged with ensuring the development of the Coney Island amusement area (i.e. the Special Coney Island District) remains unique, creative and iconic with regard to elements such as architecture, signage, lighting and the preservation of appropriate buildings and amusements, as well as the upholding of certain aesthetic values for thrilling, over-the-top design both now and in the future.


3) Build With Coney, By Coney, For Coney: Local Jobs, Housing, Rewards and Resources


*      "Coney Built and Coney Operated": Anything built for Coney Island should be built "by" Coney Island, and the operation of amusements, retail and businesses should also provide opportunities for local residents. The recommendations call on the City to require the following in all Request for Proposals (RFPs) it issues:

o       That there be targeted outreach so that residents of Coney Island benefit by obtaining not less than 50 percent of new jobs created as a result of the Coney Island Plan

o       Union labor should be used where appropriate, and all contractors, subcontractors and employers should pay prevailing or area-wide wages for every trade and position

o       To the greatest extent possible, contracts and suppliers should be minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) and local-owned business enterprises

o       That all contractors, subcontractors and employers must have a track record of successfully performing the services at issue, paying livable wages and benefits and complying with all applicable city, state and federal laws, including health and safety laws, environmental laws, wage and hour laws and anti-discrimination laws, for at least the past five years

o       That all building service workers must be paid prevailing wage and supplement rates

o       Livable wages for non-union eligible jobs

o       Promote neighborhood entrepreneurs by encouraging developers to provide space for small businesses

*      Coney Resident Discounts: City should show appreciation to Coney Islanders by providing local discounts (modeled on discounts provided to Richmond, Virginia residents who visit King's Dominion; Gatlinburg, Tennesseans who get discounts for local attractions and Southern Californians who get "twofers" for Disneyland, Legoland, etc.

*      Guaranteed Affordable Housing: Increase affordable housing in the Coney West or Coney North districts from 20 percent to 35 percent of total units

*      Respect for Long-Standing Businesses: Asks that the City honor proprietors who have "kept the faith" in Coney Island during the lean times (notably, Deno's Wonder Wheel and Gargiulo's Restaurant) by working with them on zoning requests

*      Additional Community Resources:

            This recommendation also calls for addressing the community's most pressing needs, such as its lack of indoor recreational space and need for access to healthy foods.

o       Gymnasium and Community Center at PS 188: Calls on the City to advance design and construction of this project

o       Abe Stark Ice Rink: Asks that the rink continue in operation until such time that a replacement rink has been constructed at an alternative location

o       Supermarket: Due to limited access to affordable fresh food in this neighborhood, the recommendation asks that the developer of one of the City-owned properties in either the Coney West or Coney North districts provide a supermarket, and that such requirement be included in all RFPs.

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