View Single Post
Old Posted Mar 7, 2007, 9:06 PM
NYguy's Avatar
NYguy NYguy is offline
New Yorker for life
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Borough of Jersey
Posts: 45,641
Originally Posted by NYguy View Post

Sitt Buckles Into Coney Rollercoaster
‘We’re stuck in the bureaucracy,’ says the man who plans to develop Coney Island. He wants Planning Director Amanda Burden to get out of his way.

Amanda Burden, the city’s Planning Director, has said she isn’t a fan of condos next to any future Coney Island amusement hub.

Luxury condominiums, Ms. Burden said at a Feb. 14 Crain’s New York Business breakfast, should not be “adjacent” to amusements.

On a total square-foot basis, according to figures from Thor Equities, Mr. Sitt’s development firm, the apartments would constitute 34 percent of the square footage of the complex, while amusements would constitute only 14 percent. (Hotels, retail and parking would make up the rest.) The actual land area covered by the footprints of the residential towers would be much smaller, however—in part because one of the towers would rise 50 stories.

“Thor is not necessarily the enemy. A lot of what they are proposing is exactly what we want,” said Dick Zigun, the founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow and a member of the Coney Island Development Corporation. “We want affluent people from around the world to come and spend a week here and spend a lot of money. But people who come here for a week want the noise and excitement; people raising families complain. People renting apartments across the street complain on a regular basis as it is.”

But the area where Mr. Sitt is focusing would be reserved for “active and historic amusements” and “extended seasonal entertainment.” (Current zoning only permits things like amusement parks, sports facilities, miniature golf and boating facilities—even sit-down restaurants are prohibited.) That said, city planning officials are stressing that residential development wouldn’t be appropriate right next to amusements, but they leave open the question of how the two uses would co-exist if they were a block away from each other.

“There is an inherent land-use conflict when you put a use that we hope would be a 24-hour use, where there would be bright lights and noise and crowds, right next to residential,” said Purnima Kapur, director of the Brooklyn office of the Department of City Planning. “You don’t want somebody’s windows opening up right onto that.”
I can see both sides of the story here. While I agree that it may not be completely appropriate for luxury towers in the middle of the amusement zone, is it really gonna make much difference even being just a block away? Wouldn't anyone who moved there be aware in advance that it was the heart of CONEY ISLAND?

It's like someone moving into a building accross the street from the Empire State, then suddenly complaining because they don't like tall buildings.


More from

Coney Island #2: Thor Boss Says Haters Just Don't Get It

After the city—and planning director Amanda Burden specifically—took some wind out of Thor Equities' sails by saying high-priced condos may not be such a good thing for a redeveloped Coney Island, Thor chief Joseph Sitt tried various approaches. First, he threatened to pull the whole $2 billion plan off the shelf. That made us seriously consider seppuku, so he scaled back the threats and instead tried to show the community how awesome Thor's plan is, while kinda-sorta hiding the housing thing. Now Sitt is on to Phase 3, granting a one-on-one interview with the Observer so he can attack the "bureaucracy" and criticize those who cannot comprehend his vision:

“It is not the uniform office tower or residential tower that a lot of these folks at the junior-most levels of government are used to dealing with,” Mr. Sitt said. “This is Coney Island. This is zany. This is different. When somebody says to me, ‘You want to be careful what you want to do with Coney Island; make sure you don’t do anything too freaky here,’ I say, ‘Are you aware of the fact that this was the place where there were people like the Fat Lady and the Skinny Man and the Bearded Lady? What do you mean, you don’t want any restaurants in Coney Island?’”

Did you ever think Shoot the Freak would be equated with luxury high-rises? Of course you did.
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
Reply With Quote