The Real Deal New York

City plans eminent domain takeover at Coney Island sites

De Blasio Administration wants to seize three beachfront properties at the People's Playground

September 28, 2015 10:40AM

Coney Island de Blasio

Coney Island (inset: Bill de Blasio)

Unlike some of its visitors, city officials have no nostalgia for Coney Island. Now, City Hall wants to bring on the bulldozers.

The de Blasio administration plans to seize several Boardwalk sites through eminent domain and redevelop them, the New York Post reported.

The city hopes to grab three beachfront properties and two smaller tracts, on West 12th and West 23rd street, totaling 75,000 square feet, after failing to come to a “fair-market” deal with the owners. The land includes the site of the former Thunderbolt roller coaster featured in the film “Annie Hall,” a plot owned by Peter Sheffer.

Officials have said they hope to create new amusements and other amenities on the sites, but specifics haven’t been revealed.

Residents and community representatives were surprised by the rumored eminent domain grab, and were far from pleased with the plan.

“It’s not nice to take peoples’ property. We live in America. We’re not communists here,” one Boardwalk business owner said.

Butch Moran, chair Community Board 13 said he hadn’t heard a thing about it.

A public hearing is planned at Coney Island Hospital at Oct. 19 at Coney Island Hospital to discuss the plan.

The city moved forward with Luna Park after buying a seven-acre tract from Joe Sitt for $95.6 million in 2009. [NYP]Ariel Stulberg