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  #321  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 1:17 PM
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Speaking of Ruby's...

http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-ne...ld-time-spots/
Businesses in Coney Island Mobilize in Attempt to Remain Open

November 04, 2010
By Kathleen Horan

Quote:
Longtime boardwalk businesses in Coney Island are putting up one last fight in an attempt to stay open. Several longtime boardwalk businesses were recently denied lease renewals by Central Amusement International, the company that controls the boardwalk and operates the new Luna Park amusement area.

A rally is scheduled for noon on Saturday, organized for the most part by patrons of the nine businesses and concessions that didn't receive new leases and were told they needed to be out by the middle of November.

Most of the public outcry and online petitioning has centered around saving Ruby's Bar, a 76-year-old spot, that's part time capsule and part boardwalk rec-room.


One of Ruby's owners, Michael Sarrel said whatever happens, they’ll be open tomorrow.

"If, in fact, we're gone we wanted to offer them one last chance to celebrate Ruby's," Sarrel said.

Sarrel believes if local elected officials get involved, like Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, maybe there’s a chance for the bar to be included in CAI's new plans for the boardwalk.

“What we're hoping is that we can get 10,000 people to send emails directly to Marty Markowitz -- we'd like somehow to maintain some of the new with some of the old.”

Markowitz has said that the future of Coney Island should be a mix of established businesses and new ones. But boardwalk leaseholder Central Amusement International is moving forward with plans to modernize the area and bring in tenants they believe will attract customers year round.

A spokesman for CAI said the venues that are closing will be replaced by other seaside attractions that reflect the "unique character and innovative spirit that characterized the golden age of America’s playground."
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  #322  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2010, 1:53 PM
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http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news...tures-to-close

Coney Island fixtures to close



Jim Shannon sits in the 86-year-old Ruby's bar, where he has been a patron for 50 years, during a rally against the proposal to permanently shutter the famed Coney Island establishment on Nov. 6, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. A number of Coney Island boardwalk businesses including the iconic Ruby's bar have lost their leases in recent days as development plans for Coney Island take hold.




Supporters gather in Ruby's bar during a rally against the proposal to permanently shutter the famed Coney Island establishment on Nov. 6.



__________________________________________________


http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...s_bar_con.html
'They're ripping the heart out of the island,' says customer of booted Ruby's Bar & Grill




A tearful Melody Sarrel is consoled by Jimmy Shannon, 74, and his son, Jason, 35. Sarrel is co-owner of Ruby's Bar & Grill, a Coney Island fixture that is being evicted after 76 years.


BY Jake Pearson and James Fanelli
November 7th 2010

Quote:
A wake of sorts was held on the Coney Island Boardwalk Saturday as Ruby's Bar & Grill had its final last call.

The beloved ocean-front dive is being evicted after 76 years and hundreds of loyal beer swillers huddled inside to protest, mourn and swap memories.

"They are ripping the heart out of Coney Island," said a shirtless Frank Colorio, 68, drinking a Budweiser.

"Ruby's is one of the greatest bars alive. This is a tradition, a way of life."

Jason Shannon, 35, and his dad, Jimmy, 74, have been warming the barstools at Ruby's for decades. A picture of them is among the thousands that fill the walls.

"I see all the memories on the wall," the younger Shannon said said. "What the heck are we gonna do now?

"It's like when Brooklyn lost Ebbets Field," he said, referring to the Dodgers' old stadium. "We ain't never gonna forgive them for this."

Amusement giant Zamperla, which leases the Boardwalk property from the city, gave the boot to Ruby's and seven other businesses last week to make way for new shops.

Only three stores are coming back: Nathan's, Lola Staar boutique and the Beach Shop souvenir shop.

Bummed-out barflies called the new landlord greedy, noting all the unused Boardwalk space for new businesses.

"I can see renovating [Ruby's], but getting rid of it? Come on," said Coney Island native Steven Evens, 61.

"Tell Bloomberg - don't touch the mom-and-pop stuff. They have empty lots that haven't been leased. Build on that."

Ruby's current owners said yesterday they may take Zamperla to landlord-tenant court in a bid to fight the eviction.

In the meantime, its iconic tchotchkes - like a motorcycle set in a table - will remain in place behind a shuttered gate.

If they don't win the court battle, the co-owners plan to auction off the memorabilia.


Cindy Jacobs, a co-owner and the daughter of the bar's founder, Ruby Jacobs, said the closing would have devastated her father.

"My father was just a poor boy in Coney Island, and he said, 'Once you get the sand between your toes, you never get it out,'" she said.

"He would have been sad today, but he would have been proud that the tradition of Coney Island lived on."


___________________________________________


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...1ExSgfsWU88gGP
It's a sad last 'bawl' at Coney Island bar

By JENNIFER BAIN and CYNTHIA R. FAGEN
November 7, 2010

Quote:
They were crying in their beer at Ruby's Bar on the Coney Island boardwalk yesterday as some 200 regulars protested the demise of their beloved 76-year-old watering hole.

The seaside fixture, along with nine other tenants, including Shoot the Freak and Cha Cha's bar, were ordered shut last week to make way for gentrification.

Protesters signed a petition that will be sent to the new operators Zamperla USA, Mayor Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
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  #323  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2010, 2:13 PM
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  #324  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2010, 4:47 PM
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Not sure how I feel about the other establishments, but Ruby's should continue to operate. If not, be brought back and integrated into the new development as suggested in the renders.
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  #325  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2010, 3:01 AM
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Originally Posted by NYC4Life View Post
Not sure how I feel about the other establishments, but Ruby's should continue to operate. If not, be brought back and integrated into the new development as suggested in the renders.
I wonder if any of the businesses would be able to open up on the northern side of Surf Avenue in the meantime.
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  #326  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2010, 3:30 PM
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http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/11...t.html#photo=1

See Coney Island’s Freaks and Geeks As They Protest Evictions

11/8/10

Quote:
Normally you head to Coney for fun in the sun. But Saturday was a dark day for a couple hundred regulars who turned out to protest the ouster of Ruby’s — which along with Shoot the Freak and other venerable establishments is losing its lease — and literally drank the beloved boardwalk dive out of business.

As noted earlier on Grub Street, Cindy Jacobs-Allman recalled that her father, Ruby Jacobs, liked to celebrate Coney Island’s “tapestry of humanity”— here, now, is a look at some of the Coney types who banded together on Saturday, including 81-year-old Paul Georgoulakos (whose business of almost 50 years, Paul’s Daughter, is also going the way of Topsy the Elephant) and Cindy’s sister Melody, who spent a good deal of the day in tears.

We aren’t pouring one out just yet — an online petition is still circulating and the business owners are talking to lawyers.
slide
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/11...t.html#photo=1


____________________________________________


http://www.yournabe.com/articles/201...0_11_11_bk.txt
Coney Island doesn’t have to be a Sitt-ing duck
A Britisher's View


By Shavana Abruzzo
November 8, 2010

Quote:
Britain’s Stonehenge was just a lonely grouping of crooked, rotting, prehistoric earthen works — and its City of Bath just a place where the Romans took a dunk and a dump — before some egghead figured out that if they were preserved people would actually flock to them in droves for the chance to hobnob with history.

The love affair with the “H” word is still going strong in parts of the world smart enough to recognize history’s grip on our past, our present and our future. Not in Coney Island though, where human wrecking ball Joe Sitt and his entity, Thor Equities, have taken a jackhammer to the world’s former playground which — one can safely assume — only attracted the demolition-happy developer in the first place because of its fabled glory days. From the 1890s to the early 1900s, the jet-setters of the day frolicked in Luna Park, Dreamland and Steeplechase Park until the Great Depression diminished Coney Island into a “Nickel Empire” of cheap-thrills and five-cent attractions. But, not before putting such Brooklyn staples as Nathan’s Famous hotdogs on the world map. Ditto for a billboard worth of Hollywood legends, including Cary Grant and the Marx Brothers, who began their careers there. The former as boardwalk stilt walker Archibald Alexander Leach. The latter as “Ned Weyburn’s Nightingales” at Henderson’s Music Hall on Surf Avenue near Stillwell Avenue where the likes of Sophie Tucker and Al Jolson fine-tuned their vaudeville acts.

Now, Henderson’s is draped in black bunting. As are three other history-steeped Coney structures: The Grashorn Building at Jones Walk and Surf Avenue, the amusement area’s oldest building dating back to the late 1880s, and boasting a neoclassical Second Empire-style mansard roof and dormers; the 87-year-old Bank of Coney Island on West 12th St. between Bowery Street and Surf Avenue, founded by William J. Ward ([1867-1937] whose family were early Coney pioneers; and the Shore Hotel at Surf Avenue and Henderson’s Walk, completed in 1903 and the borough’s last surviving small hotel.

For sure, the fate of Coney Island is not safe with Joe Sitt. He bought a large swathe of it four years ago and promised to build a billion-dollar, year-round, Vegas-style amusement resort only to flip-back nearly seven acres of it to the city for $95 million while keeping a sizeable parcel of land for himself to build on later. If Sitt had vision he would restore the above buildings, regenerate interest in them and watch his bank account — and his stature in the community — skyrocket.

According to the U.K.’s Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, more than 800,000 people go through the turnstiles at Stonehenge each year, another 200,000 peer at it from the roadside, and millions more glimpse the stones as they drive by on highway. All of it due to the systematic rebuilding of the 4,000 year old stone circle throughout the last century.

The City of Bath — including its Roman Baths, Georgian terraces, a 15th century abbey, plus cultural activities and festivals — continues to be such a magnet for people wanting to “meet the Romans” that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has designated it a World Heritage Site. Visionaries there have poured millions of pounds to renew the old relic which dates back to 863 B.C., using a novel approach to revitalize it by revealing stories about people who lived there in Roman times. All of it to quench the world’s ongoing thirst for the “H” word.

Coney’s future could be as world-famous as its past — if big minds, not big bank account, were hard at work.
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  #327  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2010, 3:59 AM
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http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/1...ney_island.php

Banking Hours Over Forever in Coney Island



Tuesday, November 9, 2010, by Joey Arak

Quote:
While the boardwalk faithful mourn the loss of some old Coney Island businesses, developer/landlord Thor Equities is making good on its promise to demolish the historic Bank of Coney Island building despite preservationists' appeals to spare the structure.

The Surf Avenue building is now missing parts of its back well and ceiling, as seen in a (dramatic!) photo set published by Curbed Photo Pool contributor Lindsay Wengler. Whatever happened to respecting elders? Old Coney is fading fast.



More photos...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindsay...th/5160025337/
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  #328  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2010, 3:07 PM
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Coney Island is only getting better

By Valerio Ferrari
Valerio Ferrari is president of Central Amusement International.
November 9, 2010

Quote:
Last February, the city took a major step toward the revitalization of Coney Island when they designated Central Amusement International to develop and operate a number of properties in the historic amusement district, with an eye toward transforming the neighborhood into a thriving, year-round seaside destination. The first phase of this transformation was realized in May with the opening of the new Luna Park on the vacant former site of Astroland.

When Astroland shut its gates for the last time in September, 2008, people were understandably upset. But Central Amusement International stepped in, investing more than $15 million to build a new park, with 19 brand new rides by Zamperla, and a range of games, entertainment and food options. Named after a piece of Coney Island’s history, Luna Park is New York’s first new amusement park in decades, and helped Coney Island achieve its most successful summer in more than 40 years. In fact, in its inaugural season, Luna Park attracted more than 450,000 visitors who took more than 2-1/2 million rides.

But Luna Park was just the beginning of a process intended to fully restore Coney Island to the glory it enjoyed during its Golden Age. In 2011, Central Amusement International will unveil two additional components: a second amusement park called Scream Zone and a world-class Boardwalk. As I mentioned, the goal is ultimately a Coney Island capable of attracting visitors 365 days a year. It will be challenging, to be sure — but we believe it is possible. And a resurgent Boardwalk is essential to accomplishing this goal.

The multi-million dollar program will bring back the world-class mix of entertainment, dining and nightlife that was once a hallmark of the famed Boardwalk. It will feature some of Coney Island’s current tenants, as well as new tenants like a sit-down restaurant and sports bar — both of which will operate year-round. Like the new Luna Park, the Boardwalk will reflect the unique character and innovative spirit of Coney Island, bringing it into the future so that new generations of visitors can enjoy America’s Playground.

This continued revitalization of Coney Island is a model of effective partnership between the public and private sectors, resulting in new jobs and economic development for Brooklyn. In conjunction with Luna Park and next season’s thrilling addition, Scream Zone, our multi-million dollar investment in the Boardwalk will create a spectacular experience which will draw many visitors not only from Brooklyn and other parts of New York City, but also from throughout the world.

___________________________________


http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasu...n-coney-island
Why Not Tear Down Coney Island?



Henry Stewart
Nov 10, 2010

Quote:
There are good reasons not to redevelop Coney Island, and chief among them is fighting off the monoculture. That’s become a problem nationwide—the corporatization of every storefront and strip mall, eradicating every population center’s regional character. This is what happened in Times Square, too: it wasn’t that Giuliani robbed the area of its seediness, but of its New Yorkness, what then we associated mostly with porno theaters. His crime was not to replace it with the anodyne but with the homogeneous, with a Disney store that wouldn’t seem out of place as the flagship of any Podunk shopping mall.

No one but those with a buck to make should want to see Coney Island become just another seaside shopping strip. But at the same time, is Coney Island as it stands really worth preserving, in and of itself?

Why should we fight to save a decrepit corner of 20th Century failure?

...too many people believe that Coney Island as it stands is Coney Island, that Coney Island could be no other way. And that point of view ignores the area’s long, illustrious history. George Tilyou—or any of the neighborhood’s visionary amusement operators—would have taken one look at the Boardwalk as it stands and thought bigger, thought more beautiful. They would have dreamed.

So why do we look at Coney Island and celebrate its empty lots? Its makeshift, second-rate amusements?


I am far from a shill for Zamperla, the Italian amusement operator who issued the eviction notices to the Boardwalk businesses; on the contrary, the company strikes me as greedy, unfeeling, unimaginative. I have no doubt that they will ruin Coney Island.

But just because whatever Zamperla replaces Ruby’s with won’t be better than Ruby’s doesn’t mean that Ruby’s is the best we could have. I don’t think that the issue boils down to a simple matter of mall-ification versus the status quo—I don’t think Coney Island hasn’t already been ruined. Just because we’ve never known any other Coney Island than the one that exists now, just because we’ve grown attached to the one last corner of authentic New York-as-it-once-was, doesn’t mean that we should fear any and all change. “We’re living in the past,” one 30-year-old onlooker at the Save Ruby’s Rally told me. “And it’s not even our past.”

Putting an Applebee’s where a family-operated bar and grill operated for 75 years won’t compensate for the lack of imagination (and investment) that has caused Coney to atrophy. But neither will clinging desperately, and blindly, to the ghost of a grand past we never got to see. Granted, there are old timers—many of those in the rally crowd—with a real and valid emotional connection to the neighborhood as it once was, and to its few surviving institutions. But the world does not belong to the dying. And neither should New York—it’s a city that, in a perfect world, would belong neither to the oligarchs nor to the nostalgics.

___________________________________



http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...Xnx3HfyN4Y9nrI
Outcasts want b'walk umpire

By RICH CALDER
November 10, 2010

Quote:
The operators of the longtime Coney Island boardwalk businesses facing eviction next week will not go without a fight.

Eight of the nine booted beachfront mainstays — including Shoot the Freak and Ruby’s Bar and Grill — have retained Brooklyn lawyer Marc Aronson to file legal papers and try voiding notices to vacate by Nov. 15 issued by landlord Zamperla USA, which also operates Luna Park.

Anthony Berlingieri, owner of Shoot the Freak and sandy Beer Island, told The Post he and the other businesses also plan to take Zamperla to court and sue the company for misleading them into thinking they’d be back next summer.


He said the businesses spent thousands of dollars each coming up with business plans at Zamperla’s request to justify lease renewals "even though Zamperla already decided to kick them out."

Zamperla -- which is clearing out nine of the 12 boardwalk attractions they control for a cleaner, more sanitized amusement district -- declined to comment on the potential litigation but issued as statement saying "Coney Island’s future should be worthy of its glorious past.

"That’s why we are moving forward to restore the Boardwalk experience in a way that preserves and captures the excitement and quality of offerings of the past."

Aronson declined to discuss his legal strategy, except to say, "Trust me, there is no way these businesses will be leaving on the 15th."

The only evicted business that is not joining up with the others was a new arrival to the boardwalk this year, the Pio Pio Riko Peruvian food stand, according to Berlingieri.
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  #329  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2010, 2:50 PM
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http://gothamist.com/2010/11/10/cone...k_building.php

Coney Island Loses Historic Bank Building



Quote:
The Coney Island Bank Building, beloved by many, is being destroyed. Amusing the Zillions reports from the frontlines saying, "the roof and part of the back wall of the building were taken out last week. Now you can see right through to the sky and the Wonder Wheel."

The destruction is well-documented, but luckily, so was the building before it was torn to shreds.
















Pre-demolition photos here...
http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=1984
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  #330  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2010, 4:42 PM
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“Vision 2020 is a blueprint for the next 10 years and beyond that will change the way New Yorkers live for generations to come,”
Amanda Burden, the director of the Department of City Planning, said in October at a public hearing on the report’s recommendations.
She said that the goal was for the water to become the “sixth borough.”

“The water should become a part of our everyday lives,” Ms. Burden declared.

And what better place to bring home that point than iconic Coney Island, most famous of all the city shorefronts.

NOVEMBER 13, 2010

It was a nice springlike November day (we don't say that often), so I decided to check out the goings at Coney. The amusements have closed for the season,
but the boardwalk still serves as a draw. Also it was the last opening for a few of the boardwalk businesses, and one last grab at summer.

Some fun in the water...(no single clip)

Video Link



Video Link



Video Link



Video Link



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Video Link



Sounds of the shore...

Video Link



1. Down on the boardwalk...








2.



3.



4. Amusements are closed for the season




5.



6.



7.



8.



9.



10.



11. Though the redevelopment will take at least a decade, next year things will already look a lot different, as some older buildings begin to come down...




12.



13.



14.



15.



16.



17. Meanwhile, Scream Zone assemblage begins. It should be ready for a spring opening.








18.



19.







20.



21. But back to what made the place a draw in the first place...








22.



23.



24.



25.



26.



27.



28.



29.



30.



31.

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“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.

Last edited by NYguy; Nov 14, 2010 at 5:02 PM.
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  #331  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2010, 8:11 PM
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^^^^ Great pictures
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  #332  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2010, 3:40 PM
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Originally Posted by patriotizzy View Post
^^^^ Great pictures
Thank you sir.


Things begin to get messy on the boardwalk...

ny1.com

Video Link



7online.com

Video Link
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  #333  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2010, 2:42 PM
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Now I know why that temporary waterslide park didn't open...



http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...GPjcxnL1LdmHFM
Bun-gee whiz! Look what's next at Coney

By RICH CALDER
November 16, 2010

Quote:
A Long Island firm may soon be operating an inflatable water park and bungee-jumping arena off Coney Island's boardwalk.

The city Parks Department's tapped Party Magic USA, of Island Park, to run its Waterslide Beach plan across from MCU Park and Steeplechase Pier.

The plan, proposed for last summer, had stalled over a permit snafu. Under a five-year contract, Party Magic is to pay $360,746 a year.

But as of yesterday, it had yet to apply for the permits, said Maureen Wren, a state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman.

Party Magic owner Anthony Gach failed to return messages seeking comment.
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  #334  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 3:15 PM
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Video Link




Some basics coming to the Scream Zone next year...

Video Link



Video Link



Video Link




Meanwhile, Taconic is one of the developers of the massive houing the City is planning to build in the area (2/3 of the redevelopment is housing).
http://www.taconicinvestments.com/po...island_nv.html

No final plans, but some generic renderings of the properties they control...





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Old Posted Nov 20, 2010, 2:47 PM
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 2:45 AM
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Kruger trying to save boardwalk businesses from being booted

November 22, 2010
By RICH CALDER

Quote:
State Sen. Carl Kruger – a longtime critic of the Bloomberg administration’s plans to revive Coney Island – was back on the fabled boardwalk today, this time saying he hopes to work with the mayor to help keep eight longtime boardwalk businesses from having to shut down The businesses – which include longtime favorites like Ruby’s Bar and Grill and Shoot the Freak – were served eviction notices by landlord Zamperla USA, which operates Luna Park.

Zamperla wants to clear out much of old-school Coney Island for its vision of a cleaner, more sanitized amusement district.

Kruger (D-Brooklyn), who met the business owners and members of the press, said he wanted to try and broker a deal with Zamperla and the city to save the businesses.

“I think what we are talking about is David taking on Goliath,” said Kruger (D-Brooklyn), on why he wanted to help the underdog merchants.

“Thank you for being the first politician to come down here and try to help,” said Anthony Berlingieri, owner of the Shoot the Freak attraction and sandy Beer Island, told Kruger.

The business owners want to remain on the boardwalk and plan to fight the evictions in court.

Whether the mayor and Zamperla will listen to Kruger is another story.

Kruger and the mayor have historically been at odds over a variety of issues – especially Coney Island.


In 2007, he paid to have 500 people bussed to a Coney Island meeting to oppose the mayor’s area rezoning plan. The meeting had to be cancelled because there was not enough room.

He also threatened to holdup the rezoning by blocking a necessary transfer of state parkland before a deal was cut last year in which developer Joe Sitt, a generous Kruger campaign donor, agreed to sell the city the land it needed to move forward with the mayor’s plan to revive the seaside area.

“I don’t consider my relationship with the mayor tense,” said Kruger, adding that he believes he could still get a deal done if all sides are willing to come and negotiate.

He said he’d like to keep all the businesses on the boardwalk, although some might have to make some adjustments to their operations.

The city last year bought the old Astroland site, the boardwalk business space and an adjacent Stillwell Avenue lot from Sitt – who regularly flirted with shutting the businesses down — after Sitt lost a power struggle with the city over his failed bid to build a Vegas-glitz entertainment center there.

The Bloomberg administration then handed Zamperla subsidiary Central Amusement International a 10-year lease to the 6.2 acres of prime land, and CAI used half of it to open the 19-ride Luna Park in May. It was a huge success drawing more crowds to the boardwalk than it has seen in nearly five decades, according to the city.

Zamperla next summer also plans to open a "Scream Zone" at the Stillwell Avenue lot that includes two roller coasters and two other rides geared for teens.

The city has repeatedly said it is leaving the decision of how to use the boardwalk space to Zamperla.

A Zamperla spokesman declined comment.
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  #337  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 6:41 AM
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ny1.com

Video Link




Some basics coming to the Scream Zone next year...

Video Link



Video Link



Video Link




Meanwhile, Taconic is one of the developers of the massive houing the City is planning to build in the area (2/3 of the redevelopment is housing).
http://www.taconicinvestments.com/po...island_nv.html

No final plans, but some generic renderings of the properties they control...







Very Nice. What are the chances of all that actually happening?
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 2:45 PM
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Very Nice. What are the chances of all that actually happening?
That's only a partial rendering of development that could take place there, part of the rezoning of the area a few years ago by the City. The open spaces in that rendering are also zoned for residential development. However, any development in that section is at least a couple of years off. The City will begin the infrastructure work to support the residential and amusement development next year.




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  #339  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 3:01 PM
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I wonder if any of the businesses would be able to open up on the northern side of Surf Avenue in the meantime.
Seems it just might be possible...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...HuGLmFrbA7i59N
City eyes shuffling Coney 8

By RICH CALDER
November 23, 2010

Quote:
Eight popular Coney Island businesses getting booted from the Boardwalk might not have to go too far.

The city is looking into whether four longtime Surf Avenue stores selling cheap furniture — just a block off the Boardwalk — should be taking up such prime space within the seaside area’s new 27-acre amusement/entertainment district.

City spokesman Andrew Brent told The Post the matter would be reviewed after Coney Island activist Dick Zigun criticized the new zoning as being flawed if the four businesses are allowed to stay.

Zigun –who runs Coney Island USA and Circus Sideshow – called on Mayor Bloomberg and other officials to clear out the four rickety shops on the north side of Surf Avenue between W. 10 and W. 12 streets.

He said the space could be used to relocate the longtime Boardwalk businesses – including Shoot the Freak and Ruby’s Bar and Grill – which are being evicted by Zamperla USA, operators of Luna Park, in an attempt clean out old-school Coney Island for a more sanitized amusement district.

Neither the amusement district’s new zoning enacted last year or a larger zoning plan enacted in 1961 ever allowed for furniture shops in the district.

"These furniture stores have been here illegally for years, and Coney Island would be better served by bars, arcades and other entertainment," Zigun said.

Workers at the four furniture stores either declined comment or said they weren’t worried about being forced out.

The four stores are Astroland Furniture, Lago Furniture, Home Décor on the Surf and Coney Island Furniture.

Although some of the Boardwalk merchants surveyed didn’t shoot down the idea of relocating to Surf Avenue, they said they are fully committed to legally challenging the evictions in court to remain on the boardwalk.

“Why should we have to leave? We were here when no one came to Coney Island, and now we are being forced out so that Zamperla can bring in the same types of businesses we run,” said Anthony Berlingieri, owner of the Shoot the Freak attraction and sandy Beer Island.

The Boardwalk merchants met yesterday with Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn), who said he wants to try and broker a deal with the city and Zamperla to keep the eight businesses in Coney Island – preferably on the boardwalk.

A Zamperla spokesman declined comment.
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Old Posted Nov 24, 2010, 4:02 PM
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http://www.nydailynews.com/real_esta...lanned_fo.html

Coney Island's rollercoaster of changes continues: A sit-down restaurant planned for Luna Park



BY Nicole Carter
November 24th 2010


Quote:
In the saga that has become the future of Coney Island, a local blog reveals yet another change coming to the revamped neighborhood: a sit-down restaurant.

Sodexo, the new food and facility management company of Luna Park, is reportedly building a year-round, sit-down restaurant in the old Gregory & Paul's location at Surf Avenue and 10th Street, reports Coney Island blog Amusing the Zillion.

Luna Park CEO Valerio Ferrari told the blog that a whopping $1.4 million will be invested in the restaurant.

Sodexo, which reportedly began their partnership with Luna Park in May, represents one of the many changes happening in the area.

New landlords Central Amusements International booted a slew of iconic businesses, such as Rudy's and Shoot the Freak, in an effort to eventually bring in businesses that would attract customers year round, reports the blog.

But Gothamist reported that a potential compromise is being floated with booted businesses: rather than be evicted all together, they would be relocated further up the boardwalk.

The city has also been mulling whether to replace the famous wood-planked boardwalk with concrete to cut costs.

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http://www.metro.us/newyork/local/ar...k-strikes-back
Boardwalk strikes back


Ruby’s owner Michael Sarrel has kept the bar open.

EMILY ANNE EPSTEIN
November 22, 2010

Quote:
“Nobody’s out, and no one plans on getting out until they force us out,” Ruby’s bar owner Michael Sarrell declared as he served a customer a cold Corona last Friday.

About two weeks ago, the shops and restaurants were given notice by landlord Zamperla that their leases would not be renewed. Sarrell and several other businesses were supposed to vacate the boardwalk by Nov. 19.

Sarrell decided to keep the 76-year-old bar open and face the fine of $2,000 a day from the city.

But he isn’t alone. “We’re getting thrown out like animals!” said Anthony Berlingieri, owner of Shoot the Freak, a boardwalk game where patrons shoot paintballs at a human target, and Beer Island, a sandy beer garden. “No one ever messed with what Coney Island is about.”

Eight of the nine business owners ousted by Zamperla have banded together to form The Coney Island Eight and fight their impending eviction,
meeting with lawyer Marc Aronson and New York state Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn).

“We’ve sent letters out to Zamperla,” said Aronson. “I expect to be in court by December.”

Kruger hopes to broker a compromise between Zamperla, the city and The Coney Island Eight. “These mom-and-pop businesses are the fabric of the boardwalk,” said Kruger. “Some out of state operation can’t just cash out on Coney Island.”
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