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NYguy Apr 21, 2010 2:14 PM

A concrete Boardwalk? Call it the Riegelmann Sidewalk in Coney
Is it a sidewalk or the Boardwalk? These metal planks along the Coney Island Boardwalk will soon be topped
with concrete, not wood, planks. Purists are horrified.

By Michèle De Meglio
April 21, 2010


Is Coney Island’s famed Boardwalk becoming a sidewalk?

The city is now replacing the wood planks on the Riegelmann Boardwalk with large concrete slabs from Ocean Parkway to Brighton First Road.

“It’s not going to look like wood at all,” admitted Martin Maher, chief of staff of Brooklyn Parks.

The slabs will have a tan hue and be textured to resemble pebbles and sand, said John Natoli, the Parks Department’s chief engineer.

He added that concrete will be more durable than wood and last “100 years instead of 30 or 40 years” — but fans of the classic wood planks were having none of it.

“Not only is it going to be ugly, it’s going to be unbearably hot,” said Brighton Beach resident Ida Sanoff. “People are not going to be able to walk barefoot over that. They’re going to burn their feet.”

Others said it’s not a boardwalk without the boards.

“It’s not supposed to be a concrete walk,” said Marion Cleaver, chairwoman of Community Board 13.

The traditional wood planks will be a key component on the Boardwalk near the area’s traditional amusement area, from West 10th Street to Stillwell Avenue.

After the summer, Parks will examine the wear and tear on the Boardwalk to determine which materials — the concrete in Brighton Beach, the wood by the amusements or some synthetic lumber planks on Steeplechase Pier — hold up best.

That material will be used if additional portions of the Boardwalk are replaced.

Busy Bee Apr 21, 2010 3:05 PM

Bullshit. Why not just use a wood plank that lasts forever—like ipe or something? That can't being any more $$ than this faux 'character' concrete they're planning on laying? Now if it resembled those aggregate concrete 'beams' used on the High Line I'd be less upset, but I doubt that's gonna happen. Sounds like they're planning a cheesy seaside themed textured driveway.

NYguy Apr 22, 2010 1:02 AM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4805339)

Yeah, ever since the plan was first announced, I thought it was a ridiculous idea.


He added that concrete will be more durable than wood and last “100 years instead of 30 or 40 years”
That's not enough of a tradeoff. If it was 100 years to 3 or 4, I could see a point to it.

NYC4Life Apr 22, 2010 5:33 PM

Sadly, Coney Island is just a dump right now. Please bring it back to its glory days! Trash, graffiti, concrete board walks, cheap amusement parks, not my idea of a great amusement area. The area deserves a lot better.

NYguy Apr 23, 2010 5:56 AM


Originally Posted by NYC4Life (Post 4807237)
Sadly, Coney Island is just a dump right now. Please bring it back to its glory days!

The City agrees, which is the only reason anything is happening now.

Rizzo Apr 24, 2010 8:01 AM

Is it a sidewalk or the Boardwalk? These metal planks along the Coney Island Boardwalk will soon be topped
with concrete, not wood, planks. Purists are horrified.


ardecila Apr 24, 2010 10:07 AM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4805339)
Bullshit. Why not just use a wood plank that lasts forever—like ipe or something? That can't being any more $$ than this faux 'character' concrete they're planning on laying? Now if it resembled those aggregate concrete 'beams' used on the High Line I'd be less upset, but I doubt that's gonna happen. Sounds like they're planning a cheesy seaside themed textured driveway.

They have been using ipe. It doesn't last forever with thousands of people walking on it, and even ipe requires continual staining and sealing.

Personally, I'd go for Trex, hardiboard, or some other kind of low-maintenance planking. It's got to be better than an exposed-aggregate slab, which has got to be one of the most evil building materials ever devised by mankind.


NYguy Apr 24, 2010 3:32 PM

Coney Island Getting a $30 Million Italian Makeover
Workers in Altavilla Vicentina, Italy, prepare a ride that will become a new attraction at Coney Island in New York City

April 23, 2010


ALTAVILLA VICENTINA, Italy — Alberto Zamperla sweeps through the cavernous workshop here where his amusement rides are manufactured while workers measure and bang and solder enormous platforms, oddly shaped beams and assorted fiberglass vehicles.

Spring is a busy time for his company, and attractions are being prepared for the summer season that is about to open in theme parks around the world.

This year, however, one destination has Mr. Zamperla racing against the clock: Coney Island in Brooklyn, where in just a few weeks he will present a new amusement park featuring 22 rides, including the Tickler, a family-oriented roller coaster; the whirly Mega Disko; and Air Race, a heart-gulping aerobatic experience.

Coney Island is the largest investment yet in the 50-year history of the Zamperla Group. Zamperla is the majority shareholder of Central Amusement International, the New Jersey-based company that signed an agreement in February with New York City to build and manage the amusement area. So far, Central Amusement has spent $15 million on the refurbishment of the park, about half of the $30 million it expects to invest.

“Ride manufacturers have been operating rides in parks or fairgrounds for many years,” said Andreas Veilstrup Andersen, executive director of the European office of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. “However, a project as big as Coney Island is very unusual.”

Time has been tight, with the park’s opening set for the end of May.

“We had a pretty good idea of what we could produce on time,” said Mr. Zamperla, who is chief executive and president. “There’s a lot of pressure, because all eyes are on us. Things just can’t be good, they have to be perfect.”

Luigi De Vita, managing director of the company, added: “When we’re under pressure, we give the best of ourselves.”

Theme parks and amusement parks have a global lure, with about 758 million visitors worldwide in 2007, according to the latest study from PricewaterhouseCoopers on the outlook for entertainment and media. Worldwide revenue in 2007 was $24 billion, the study said.

The Zamperla Group, according to industry experts, is ranked among the top five manufacturers of amusement park rides.

The Coney Island project will be called Luna Park, after the original playground that stood there until World War II. Drawings for the new main gate on Surf Avenue mimic the original design, but flashier.

The park at Coney Island “had its glory but lacked an innovative spirit,” Mr. Zamperla said of a site that in recent decades had become seedy.

In February, Central Amusement won the bid on a 10-year lease to build and operate the park, which sits on a city-owned lot.

“Their specific proposal was a nice blend of honoring the history of Coney Island while developing it as a modern 21st-century amusement park,” said Seth W. Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

The Zamperla Group was chosen because it had a sound track record in operating amusement parks, including the Victorian Gardens, a children’s amusement area at Wollman Rink in Central Park in Manhattan. And it was known as the producer of “some of the most exciting rides in the world,” Mr. Pinsky said.

The Zamperla family has been building amusement park attractions in Altavilla Vicentina since the early 1960s. Alberto’s grandfather, Umberto Zamperla, opened one of the first movie houses in Italy, then moved into carnival attractions. His father, Antonio Zamperla, worked in traveling shows before deciding to settle in this Veneto town to start inventing and manufacturing rides.

Alberto Zamperla, 58, the eldest of five children, took the show on the road, so to speak, and there are now factories or sales offices in several countries, including the United States, China and Russia. His group sells to customers in more than 90 countries and now exports about 95 percent of its products.

There are about 185 employees in Italy, with an additional 270 around the world.

The nuts and bolts of the business — its administration as well as its main manufacturing activities — are at the headquarters near Vicenza, an industrial district that is the third-largest exporting center in Italy, according to the local chamber of commerce.

A stroll though the headquarters at Altavilla Vicentina hints at the complexity of producing amusement park rides for the world’s theme parks, including various Disney Parks (“In our business, it’s the best reference you can have,” Mr. Zamperla said), Six Flags theme parks and malls worldwide. Even the late Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch has Zamperla rides.

On average, the company spends about one million euros ($1.3 million) a year designing new products, using complicated computer algorithms and mathematical models. The attractions are then built and tested here. Zamperla has dozens of patents on items like merry-go-round decorations and roller-coaster seats.

“This is where ideas are born,” Mr. Zamperla beamed as he looked at the MotoCoaster, a ride being prepared for a dinosaur theme park in Changzhou, China. Each ride requires about a year from design to delivery, he said, and can cost anywhere from 20,000 euros to 6 million euros. The MotoCoaster sells for 3.5 million euros and will be one of the attractions at Coney Island next year.

Demand is growing in new markets, especially in the Middle and Far East. The Zamperla Group has a factory and sales offices in Suzhou, China, to serve the fast-growing Chinese market. “We’re not going to make the mistake of underestimating the Chinese,” he said.

The factory in China produces about four million euros worth of rides for the Chinese market. He exports about the same amount from Italy to China and hopes to reach 20 million euros in sales in two years.

In well-established markets like the United States, long-term success in the amusement ride industry depends on novelty, Mr. Andersen said.

This year, for example, Air Race, an airborne experience that the company describes as “the ultimate thrill ride” will have its debut at Coney Island, alongside more placid family fare. Next year, rides are expected in the Scream Zone, an addition to the park that will feature several Zamperla roller coasters intended mostly for teenagers.

“In the end, all we want to do is build rides that people will enjoy,” Mr. Zamperla said. And Coney Island, he said, “will be the perfect showcase.”

NYguy Apr 25, 2010 1:53 PM


NYguy Apr 26, 2010 2:20 PM

Coney Island's new Luna Park, modeled after original, will debut 19 thrilling rides on May 29

BY Erin Durkin
April 26th 2010


It's now a drab construction site dotted with piles of dirt - but by Memorial Day weekend, a gleaming new amusement park will rise in Coney Island where Astroland once stood.

"We're working three shifts, around the clock, 2-4/7," said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International and Zamperla USA, the companies responsible for building the new Luna Park.

Visitors will find 19 new rides, with highlights that include a spinning roller coaster dubbed the Tickler, an airplane ride that will have thrill-seekers "doing corkscrews in jets," a giant swinging pendulum and a log flume with a steep, watery plunge.

There'll be teacups, swings, hot air balloon rides and the Disc-O, which spins passengers up and down a 60-foot rail. Look for a smaller coaster, a flume ride for kids and the Beach Shack, a surfboard ride where the brave are buffeted by simulated winds.

"There will be more edgy rides, and we're going to bring in new rides every year," Ferrari said.

It's been modeled after the original Luna Park, the legendary lunar-themed Coney Island mecca that opened in 1903 and closed because of fire in 1944 - with some thrilling modern twists.

Since his companies were tapped by Mayor Bloomberg in February to open a park on land the city bought from developer Joe Sitt, Ferrari has been reading up on Brooklyn history and devoured Charles Denson's book "Coney Island: Lost and Found."

"One thing that struck me is that even though we have all the technology that we have these days, they had back a hundred years ago amazing rides," he said.

Ferrari said he's never heard of an amusement park being built from scratch so quickly, but he's confident it will be ready in time for the May 29 opening.

Workers are finishing up the painstaking electric, plumbing and foundation work. The rides have been tested at Zamperla's factory in Vicenza, Italy, and are starting to arrive in pieces at the site, where special crews will soon start putting them together.

"We're going to have ...sword swallowers, fire-eaters, some music," Ferrari said. There will also be games, an outdoor restaurant and five food stands.

Boardwalk favorites like Ruby's and the Lola Staar boutique, which got leases from the city before Central Amusement International took over, will be back this summer, too - even though their long-term fate is unclear.

For Ferrari, 46, who started as a mechanical engineer at Zamperla in Italy 20 years ago, building the Coney Island park is the chance of a lifetime.

"I answered an ad in a newspaper, which I carry with me all the time, believe it or not," he said, showing off the yellowed help-wanted ad he spotted while living in Vicenza.

His girlfriend at the time agreed to accompany him to the United States if he'd marry her.

"I said, 'I'll marry you if I get the job,' and I've been married ever since," he said.

"For us in the amusement industry, everything started in Coney Island. So to be part of the renaissance of Coney Island unique," he said.

"It's like playing soccer in the World Cup."

Some stills and clips from the Daily News video, which reveals both Luna Park and the Scream Zone, set to open next year...

Video clips...

Video Link

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Video Link

NYC4Life Apr 26, 2010 5:44 PM

Looks great, something long needed, but still not impressed with the makeover at the boardwalk.

NYguy Apr 27, 2010 12:46 AM


Originally Posted by NYC4Life (Post 4813036)
Looks great, something long needed, but still not impressed with the makeover at the boardwalk.

I don't think anybody is impressed with that concrete. The good news is that its only planned for a section of the boardwalk. The bad news is that the city may expand that.

NYguy Apr 28, 2010 1:19 AM

A better overall virtual tour of Luna Park, with a preview of Scream Zone at the end...

Video Link

NYguy Apr 29, 2010 2:40 AM

The New Coney Island? Sitt Sees Fast Food in Place of Current Buildings

By Eliot Brown
April 28, 2010


Joe Sitt is doing his best to win over the hearts of Coney Island.

Just in time for summer, the Brooklyn developer announced that he plans to demolish the buildings he still owns in the storied, if gritty, amusement district, and start construction on simple—presumably cheap—(temporary) one-story retail in its place.

In fairness to Mr. Sitt, his goal is to get his new retail open in time for the summer of 2011, and he says he would have to start demolition now to meet that deadline. (The current buildings, mostly along Surf Avenue, host a variety of small food and game vendors.) And these buildings would, in theory, be placeholders, readying the site for more year-round programming in the future.

But the renderings he released, touting his $10 million investment, seem almost designed to inspire distaste. Renderings, by their nature, are fabrications, and developers often put pictures of whatever people want to see (such as gigantic roller coasters that will never be built). Mr. Sitt has gone the other direction, choosing instead to highlight the potential for fast food, slapping a Burger King-like joint on the corner, next to a taco restaurant with signage highly suggestive of Taco Bell.

From a statement put out by Mr. Sitt:

With the work we are commencing today, by Memorial Day, 2011, all of our parcels along Surf Avenue are scheduled to be activated with family-friendly games, food, shopping and other activities that visitors to, and residents of, Coney are clamoring for....

Upgrading and transitioning the local decaying and outdated infrastructure into a modern playground for the world will take time and investment, but with the City's direction and help we know we can get there.

The thinking, presumably, is that these new buildings would fetch decent rents, and can go up and down with relative speed, allowing Mr. Sitt to replace them rather quickly with larger hotels or other development if and when he is able to go forward on larger developments. When the city rezoned the area late last year, it struck a deal with Mr. Sitt to buy his property close to the boardwalk, and leave him development sites along Surf Avenue, further away from the water.

A little more from the Brooklyn Eagle...

Thor Equities Reveals Coney Plans

by Linda Collins


Thor Equities, a large landowner in Coney Island, revealed plans Wednesday for Phase I of its development along Surf Avenue.

...As an initial step, Thor will begin removing structurally questionable and potentially dangerous and dilapidated existing structures on Surf Avenue this year.

“These structures will be replaced with more attractive, retail-friendly and up-to-code shops for the type of retailers Coney is famous for,” Sitt said. The removal of old structures and completion of all new structures is anticipated for Opening Day of the 2011 Summer Season.

“Upgrading and transitioning the local decaying and outdated infrastructure into a modern playground for the world will take time and investment, but with the city’s direction and help we know we can get there,” Sitt said. “Today marks the beginning of what will be an amazing transformation.”

To help this year’s visitors, the company will install signage throughout Coney Island to point people to the new Luna Park and Scream Zone and the world-famous Wonder Wheel and Cyclone.

NYguy Apr 29, 2010 3:02 PM

Developer Joe Sitt has no plans for tattered Coney Island lots

BY Erin Durkin
April 29th 2010


It won't all be fun and games at Coney Island this summer.

Developer Joe Sitt's prime Stillwell Ave. lots are still filled with tattered tents neighbors call an eyesore - and so far, he's got no plans to put amusement attractions there this summer.

Sitt also said Wednesday he wants to tear down the four century-old buildings he owns along Surf Ave. to make way for new games and shops next year. Sitt said he'd spend $10 million to replace them with "family friendly games, food, shopping and other activities that visitors to, and residents of, Coney are clamoring for."

The sprawling lots along Stillwell Ave., which Sitt kept in his deal last year with the city and which housed a half-filled flea market, could sit empty this summer too.

"It looks like an abandoned place," said Buenos Aires tourist Lucas Bertelotti, 21, who got an eyeful of the torn tents Wednesday on his first visit to Coney Island. "It's not clean. ... It looks like this place had a past. And now, I don't know what happened."

Several amusement companies have been in talks with Sitt's Thor Equities about setting up carnival rides or go-karts on the Stillwell Ave. site, but ended up walking away without making a deal. Sources said the developer is looking for at least $300,000 up front for the summer - and the option to terminate the lease at the end of every year.

"They wanted to be be in control in every form and fashion," said one amusement operator who talked to Thor. "It just didn't make sense for us."

Jeff Brooks, who has negotiated with Thor on behalf of several amusement companies, said he doesn't think the developer has any real interest in finding a tenant.

"They really don't want to rent it, that's the bottom line," he said. "They want to keep it dark and dingy and ugly."

Freak show operator John Strong was set to rent the Grashorn building for his circus performers and many-headed animals this summer before Thor decided to tear it down instead. "It's really a shame. We did so well there last year," Strong said.

Coney Island USA president Dick Zigun ripped Sitt's plans, noting the four buildings - the Grashorn, Henderson, Shore Hotel, and Bank of Coney Island - while not protected by landmark status, are part of a proposed historic district.

"They are buildings of quality, with interesting architecture, with fascinating prior histories, and in a more enlightened environment would be rehabbed for 21st-century use rather than destroyed [so that] everything looks like it's off the highway in New Jersey," he said.

Sitt insisted the buildings are "structurally questionable and potentially dangerous and dilapidated."

An Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman said they were "eager to see the ideas [Sitt has] come up with," and that he would have to "go through the city [permitting] process."

genop Apr 30, 2010 12:55 AM

Three acres of Coney Island up for grabs
Site on which famed Thunderbolt roller coaster once stood hits the market; price not disclosed but NYC paid Joe Sitt $96 million for seven acres nearby last year.

The former site of the famed Thunderbolt roller coaster on Coney Island is up for grabs.

The vacant three-acre site in the Brooklyn amusement district is being sold by Horace Bullard, the owner of the Kansas Fried Chicken chain. Brokerage Massey Knakal Realty Services began marketing the site adjacent to KeySpan Park this week. There is no asking price for the 129,000-square-foot lot.

“The number of people who can purchase the site is limited because of financing constraints, but interest will be strong,” said Brian Hanson, first vice president of Massey Knakal, who along with the brokerage's Chairman, Robert Knakal, is marketing the development site. “It's an area with tremendous potential.”

Mr. Hanson declined to confirm the seller and the reasons for the sale. Mr. Bullard did not return a call for comment.

The property was rezoned last year as part of the city's efforts to revive the dormant amusement district. As a result of the rezoning, the buyer will be limited to developing amusements, small retail and entertainment, although a hotel would be allowed on a portion of the site.

In 1985, Mr. Bullard bought and assembled the five different lots, located at the South side of Surf Avenue between West 15th and 16th streets, for roughly $1 million, according to public records. In the mid-1980s, Mr. Bullard proposed his own ambitious plans to develop an amusement park but they ran afoul of local government officials.

This is the not first time he has sold land in Coney Island. Nine years ago, Mr. Bullard, who is also the owner of the Shore Theater there, sold Coney Island's Washington Bath House to Brooklyn developer Joseph Sitt for $13 million.

While an asking price was not listed for the development site, the city bought 6.9 acres adjacent to the site from Mr. Sitt for $95.6 million last year.

Separately, Mr. Sitt, who still holds about four acres of land in the district, announced Wednesday that he would invest more than $10 million to jumpstart the development of his own amusements, which he hopes will be ready for the summer of next year.

Early this year, the city selected Central Amusement International to install rides and attractions designed and manufactured by Zamperla Group, as part of the city's broader plans to preserve and grow the historic Coney Island site.

CORRECTION: Central Amusement International was selected by the city to install rides and attractions at Coney Island. Zamperla is the deisgner and manufacturer of those rides. That fact was misstated in an earlier version of the story.

NYguy May 3, 2010 3:14 PM

Some day in the relatively, not-to-distant future, the current Coney Island will become the "old" Coney Island. After decades of a downward spiral,
things are now beginning to work back the other way. It didn't fall from it's glory overnight, and it won't return to full glory overnight. Some people are
concerned that Coney Island will lose it's "character", the way some say Times Square lost it's character when it was "cleaned up". It's always possible
that some of that character will be lost, but it depends on what you mean when you say that.

Anway, one thing that has remained all these years is the shore...

MAY 1, 2010

1. Steeplechase Pier















16. The icon of Coney Island, the old Parachute Drop...

17. The Parachute Drop will be the centerpiece of the new Steeplechase Plaza, scheduled for groundbreaking later this year on this site...

18. Weeds grow and blow, waiting for the winds of change to bring new development to an area that once brought joy to millions...

19. Boardwalk restoration continues...


21. More Coney Island classics...









30. Indoor amusements will claim a wide swath of the amusement area, virtually cut in half by the planned "Wonder Wheel Way"...



33. People seemed to be skeptical that the Luna Park site will be ready by the end of the month...I think it will be though.


35. Future entrance to Luna Park...

36. Multiple subway lines help to keep Coney Island one of the city's favorite playgrounds...



Sounds of the Cyclone...

Video Link

Sounds of the Boardwalk...

Video Link

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Video Link

NYguy May 4, 2010 11:49 AM

More on the boardwalk changes...

Video Link

The redevelopment plan...

Video Link


And more news on the development front...
Demolition man! Sitt to tear down the spot where Harpo Marx made his debut
This is how Thor Equities envisions the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues next summer.

By Joe Maniscalco
May 3, 2010


Coney Island is gearing up for a summer of new rides and circus attractions, but the neighborhood’s main private landowner is instead tearing down historic buildings — including the place where Harpo Marx made his comic debut — and replacing them with a temporary fast-food stand.

The turn-of-the-last-century buildings facing the wrecking ball include the Grashorn Building, the Henderson Music Hall and the Surf Hotel located between Stillwell Avenue and Henderson Walk.

Current occupants include a Popeye’s fried chicken outlet and Faber’s Fascination, an arcade. Shopkeepers said that they are aware of the looming demolition work, but aren’t concerned that they will be forced out before the summer seasons.

That confidence seems to be misguided. “This summer is going to be about the demolition,” said Thor Equities spokesperson Loren Riegelhaupt, claiming that the ramshackle structures are filled with asbestos. Riegelhaupt said that Thor Equities must clear the land now in order to have new retail shops open for the 2011 summer season.

It is unclear what shops Thor is proposing. A rendering put out by the company last week shows a burger outlet and a taco stand.

The demolition work is what Thor Equities calls “phase one” of its longstanding Coney Island ambitions.

Though the rendering shows only a one-story structure, the land was rezoned last year for high-rise hotels — which Thor CEO Joe Sitt has promised to build once the city fixes the ancient infrastructure in the area, part of tens of millions of dollars in improvements that the city promised as part of a rezoning that envisions a new golden age for Coney Island.

“Once the infrastructure is in place, we will be doing different and bigger kind of things,” Riegelhaupt said.

But critics say that Coney Island is losing part of its historic heritage to the wrecking ball of a company that has a history of buying land, getting lucrative rezonings, clearing away older structures and then re-selling the land for a handsome profit.

Thor Equities did just that in 2007, selling the Albee Square Mall in Downtown for $125 million after paying just $25 million for it six years earlier.

And Sitt spent much of the decade — and about $100 million — assembling parcels all over the amusement area of Coney Island. He sold a little more than half of that land to the city last year for $95.6 million, retaining several key acres surrounding the city’s planned amusement park.

That land includes the Grashorn Building, as well as the Henderson Music Hall building and the Surf Hotel — both built around 1900.

In its heyday, the Henderson building was home to popular vaudeville shows and was the venue for comedian Harpo Marx’s debut.

That alone makes it worthy of saving, perhaps as a night club, said Dick Zigun, executive director of Coney Island USA, which producers the annual Mermaid Parade.

“You could call it ‘Harpo’s Place,’ ” the unofficial mayor of Coney Island said. “It would be a shame to lose the building, it has incredible history.”

Preservationists had hoped to include the sites in a newly created “historic corridor” along Surf Avenue, but the city denied any historical significance to the buildings.

“These buildings were thoroughly reviewed by the city [before] last year’s rezoning and determined to have no significant historic value whatsoever,” said Stefan Friedman, another Thor spokesman. “Some of these buildings are asbestos-infested ramshackle buildings that pose a very real risk to the local community.”

But some say Sitt is the greater risk, given his history.

“Joe Sitt’s record has been one of demolition and leaving a hole in the ground, and not building what he says he’s going to build,” said Juan Rivero, spokesman for Save Coney Island, which favors a larger amusement area than the city proposes to build.

Indeed, in its several years as a Coney landlord, Thor has done little except boot Astroland. Thor’s previous attempts to maintain foot traffic in Coney Island include last year’s “Festival by the Sea,” a failed flea market on Stillwell Avenue, shuttering Boardwalk businesses, a five-day circus, and a collection of rides that didn’t even last the full summer.

Coney Island's new Luna Park will turn you inside-out this summer
Most of the new rides will be spinning, whirling craziness

By Joe Maniscalco
May 2, 2010


Get ready to lose your lunch.

Central Amusement International, operators of the new Luna Park in Coney Island, say that at least 12 of the 19 rides headed for Surf Avenue in just a few short weeks will twist, twirl, rotate, or revolve in some sort of chaotic fashion.

One of the rides called the Beach Shack may sound innocuous enough — but it simulates being on top of a whirling tornado.

In some respects, another ride called the Brooklyn Flyer resembles the familiar Parachute Jump — except that this tower actually turns and whips riders around at gut-wrenching speeds.

The Electro Spin sort of recalls Astroland’s old Pirate Ship, but in addition to rocking riders at the bottom of a sweeping arc, it also spins them on a rotating disk.

Park operators promise that medical aid will be available to anyone who is unable to keep down their cheese fries.

The company is the process of hiring about 230 people to staff Luna Park — seven of those positions are for first aid specialists.

Doctors say anyone can suffer from motion sickness, but children up to age 12 are especially susceptible.

Kids will have to be at least 48 inches tall to take a solo ride on the Beach Shack, Electro Spin, Brooklyn Flyer — or another new ride called The Tickler that’s modeled after a Coney Island original. Kids standing 42 inches tall can ride with an adult.

All of the new rides are being made by Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla, an industry leader.

“They don’t specialize in spinning rides per se, but they are certainly good at making them,” said spokesperson Tom Corcillo.

Indeed, not all of Luna Park’s new rides will throw you for a loop — some will drop out of the sky.

“It’s not just spins,” Corcillo said. “There will be drops, flips and splashes, too.”

Crews are working hard to get the three-acre site at W. 10th Street — formerly the home of Astroland — ready for Luna Park’s Memorial Day Weekend debut.

Rides are expected to begin arriving shortly. Some, according to park operators, can be assembled in one day.

NYguy May 6, 2010 4:44 PM

Luna Park construction photos from jimvid at the message board.

NYguy May 7, 2010 6:41 AM


Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 4823280)
30. Indoor amusements will claim a wide swath of the amusement area, virtually cut in half by the planned "Wonder Wheel Way"...

Fire Sweeps Through Old-Time Coney Arcade on W. 12th Street
May Have To Be Demolished; Beloved Cat Dies in the Blaze

by Raanan Geberer


CONEY ISLAND – A part of the “old” Coney Island known as the Coney Island Arcade, with booths offering games like Skee-Ball and Pokerino as well as more modern electronic games, was heavily damaged by fire on Wednesday night.

According to the Fire Department, the two-alarm blaze at 3021 12th Street, although some reports have the address at 3019 W. 12th St., was first called in around 8:06 p.m. After 25 units responded, the fire was declared under control at 10:41 p.m. The fire reportedly started in the roof area of the one-story building.

“I wouldn’t say the building was destroyed, except maybe the roof, but it may have to come down -- the damage was pretty heavy,” said a man who answered the phone and identified himself as a friend of the owner. “I’m just going through the rubble here.”

The man added that the arcade had been opened on weekends since Easter, and called it “the oldest arcade in Coney Island.”

Three firefighters sustained minor injuries as a result of the blaze, according to an FDNY spokesman. Although the spokesman also said the department is still investigating the fire, some eyewitnesses were quoted on the web as saying that they heard police radio broadcasts that night describe the fire as “suspicious.”

The Gothamist blog reported that two cats who lived in the Arcade, Target and Targette, were favorites of neighborhood residents. While Target escaped the fire, Targette was found dead of smoke inhalation in one of the offices.

The man who answered the phone added that the owner and the operator of the building were two different people, but declined to give names, although he did say that the arcade was “owned by one of the old families in Coney Island.” The city Buildings Department lists the owner of the arcade, which is at West 12th Street and the Bowery, as “Shore Leave LLC,” but there was no indication about who “Shore Leave” is.

Chuck Reichenthal, district manager of Community Board 12, added that meetings were taking place yesterday between representatives of the city, the owner and the roofing contractor.

The building is next to the old Coney Island Bank Building, which is owned by controversial Coney Island property owner Joseph Sitt.

Other Coney news...(ny1)

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