Death of Astroland: Iconic Rocket Part 2
This past month we all learned the Iconic Astroland Rocket may be sold for scrap if a new home had not been found before Thor Equities took over the land. That day has come and gone. The rocket was down to the last count. It had to be moved. On a rainy Wednesday afternoon in the adjacent NYC Aquarium's parking lot Carol Hill Alberts donated the rocket to NYC. President Marty Markowitz, NYC Planning Commissioner Amanda Berdon, Deputy Mayor for Economics Robert Lieber and City Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. accepted the rocket for the "Future Coney Island Amusement Park". The rocket will be held in storage at Stapleton Homeport in Staten Island, NY. Will the beloved rocket remain in storage for 10, 20 years before it is returned to Coney Island?
The question's remain with the rezoning of Coney Island from a C7 status to "Parks Land". The amusement district will be taken down to only 9 acres. That is about the space needed just for the Cyclone & Wonder Wheel if next two each other. The city has had 6+ years to stop Thor Equities from acquiring the land. Instead President Marty Markowitz was to involved with a new outdoor Amphitheater in Brighton Beach (1/2 mile away)that most of the community does not want. The new design has been affectionalty named the "Plastic Potato Chip" and cost roughly $64 mil. It appears Marty would rather use his efforts to have $64 mil for a potato chip than protect the main center section of Coney Island. (W 15th - Stillwell Ave).
The next meeting regarding Coney Island: MAS - NYC Tuesday Feb 3rd at 6:30 - Free to public check out MAS.org web site
REZONING MTGS: Feb. Feb 25th - Brighton Beach Rezoning - Meeting at CI Hospital Auditorium
March 3rd - Coney Rezoning Hearing - Meeting at Lincoln High School Auditorium.
There are supposed to be 2 Board Hearings for Coney. The Community Board deadline for their recommendation is March 30th. The March 3rd hearing is a tentative date thus far, but I expect there will be 2 hearings in March. Then it goes through Marty, City Planning, and City Council, with a bunch more public meetings.
Interesting Developments on Friday Jan 30th from Mayor Bloomberg Office.
The city has now unveiled their plans for the rezoning of Coney Island. The city's approval process will take about a year and a half. The process began on Tuesday, January 20, when the Department of City Planning (DCP) met to review - for the first time - the New York City Economic Development Corporation's (EDC) proposed $2.5 billion rezoning plan for Coney Island.
Under the EDC plans for Coney a 19 block area would be rezoned to allow for large scale (hotels, malls etc) development while limiting their height to only 27 stories. About the height of the Parachute Drop. This woud also inlcude a "New" 27 acre amusement area with indoor and outdoor rides with 12 acres for a park area. "Wonder Wheel Way" would connect from the Cyclone to the Parachute Drop mainly thru the Bowery and Surf Ave. Behind the boardwalk .
Why has the city waitited so long to unveil their proposal for Coney Island. Coney Island currently has 27+ arcres designated thru the C7 zoning for rides. The current acres could be indoor or outdoor.
The planning department will hold a series of hearings on the proposal before sending it the local community board and the borough president's office (Marty Markowitz) for approval. After that, the City Planning Commission and City Council must vote to approve the project.
Meanwhile Thor Equities is continuing to buy more property in Coney Island. The city has not mentioned "their coninuted negotiations to buy back part of the land from Thor for their vision of Coney".
THE IRONIC FRIDAY CONSLUSION happened about 3 pm on when Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference regarding the City's economics and budget cuts. The Mayor wants to cut the city's Capital Plan for 5 years or more than $ 6 billion by 30%.
The Capital Plan consist of projects such as roads, police stations and the city's economic development. The revitalization of Coney Island and the development of the Atlantic Yards just happen to be on top of that list that equals to 20% reduction enacted last year that is suppose to be spread out over a 4 year period.