Coney Island flush with funds for rides, not residential areas


When crowds throng Coney Island for the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest Wednesday, they’ll find the new – the “Scream Zone” roller coaster – and the old, like Denny’s ice cream.

It’s all part of the remaking of the Brooklyn beachfront that began in 2003, when the city launched a rezoning process to transform the area.

But it’s easy to forget that the amusement district was never the main target of the rezoning. The focus was to the west of the rides, where the city promised to bring mixed-use housing and retail towers to vacant lots.

Three years later, though, there is little sign of the condo messiah arriving anytime soon.

Construction on a single apartment building on the boardwalk at West 32nd Street began two winters ago, but remains unfinished. Nearby, Coney Island Commons, a mixed-income coop complex, has blown past its original summer 2009 target completion date and is now slated for an opening in 2013.
In lots rezoned for new development, meanwhile, a plywood-bedecked single-story building is the only sign of new construction.

Some of this, no doubt, can be blamed on the collapse of the housing bubble. Yet even if demand for beachfront condos rebounded tomorrow, residents warn that it would still take years, if not decades, of sewer and electrical upgrades before Bloomberg’s residential dreams could become reality.

An EDC spokesperson defended the city’s plans as practical and  said that three years into the 30-year plan, “Significant progress has already been made.”

Estimating a decades-long wait in Coney

The city’s Economic Development Corporation, in charge of the rezoning, has a 30-year plan for redevelopment. The first phase of infrastructure upgrades — a set of new storm sewers and ungraded sanitary pipes along West 15th Street and a short stretch of Surf Avenue — is currently in the design phase, with a target completion date of 2015. In surrounding blocks, the city estimates the design phase will last until 2022. But the peninsula’s infrastructure needs, according to locals, go far beyond those few square blocks. Says community board 13’s district manager Chuck Reichenthal, “You can’t put up highrise hotels, buildings or anything else, when what exists now has flooding problems.”


'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.


New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…


NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.


Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…


Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.


M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"


Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.


Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.


Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.


Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.


Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.


New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.


From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.


Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.


MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.