The Real Deal New York

City Council to weigh $53M Coney Island ampitheater project

December 04, 2013 12:15PM


Marty Markowitz and rendering of 1208 Surf Avenue in Coney Island

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s $53 million plan to transform the empty Childs Restaurant building in Coney Island into a 5,000-seat amphitheater is heading to City Council for review.

The local community board rejected the proposal in September, in favor of allocating $35 million in public funds for Hurricane Sandy repairs instead, though the vote is non-binding. The City Council is slated to discuss it Dec. 16.

“Coney Island cannot become a year-round destination, with jobs and economic opportunity for its residents, without infrastructure and transportation improvements,” incoming Council member Mark Treyger told the New York Daily News.

Markowitz, the main proponent, is on his way out as borough president, so any postponement of a Council decision into next year could scrap the project altogether.

Under the plan, the city would buy the building at 1208 Surf Avenue and an adjacent lot from real estate investment firm iStar Financial. The amphitheater would hold an extra 2,000 people on a lawn, and host up to 40 concerts between May and October. [NYDN]Mark Maurer

  • RaphaelStJames

    Opening an ampitheatre may prove more beneficial for the vitality of Coney Island than investing that money directly into rebuilding efforts. Year over year ROI from tax revenues may prove substantial with further development of the area.

    With 40 concerts a year at 7000 person capacity, the theatre could generate $35+ million per year if each concert goer spent an average of $125 ea . While that sounds like a lofty statement, total revenue derived from ticket sales, merchandise, and food, could hit that mark, or higher, depending on the draw of the event.

    Furthermore, maximizing the theatre usage by creating family venues by day,and adult venues by night could further increase revenue.

    I say acquire the ampitheatre, and offer some incentives that will benefit the locals of Coney Island.