Is Coney Island the next Times Square?

New York /
Jul.July 09, 2012 01:30 PM

In a cleanup similar to that of Times Square two decades ago, Coney Island is shedding its seedy amusements for new tourist-attracting retail brands, G-rated entertainment and dreams of huge residential and commercial developments. According to Crain’s, Coney Island’s Luna Park saw 640,000 visitors last year, a number that hadn’t been reached since the Steeplechase Park closed in 1964. The annual Mermaid Parade attracted 750,000 people last month.

Larger crowds are paving the way for new developments, and in turn, new developments are attracting bigger crowds every year. “The momentum is real,” Dick Zigun, the organizer of the Mermaid Parade, said. “Coney’s hit a critical mass.” Restaurants are on their way too: the Dumbo pizzeria Grimaldi’s opened a Coney Island location last month and the Prospect Heights diner Tom’s Restaurant recently signed an eight-year lease on the boardwalk.

In 2009 the Bloomberg administration rezoned Coney Island to allow more shops and residential buildings to open, and promised approximately $150 million in infrastructure upgrades in the area. The city also bought seven acres of prime Coney Island real estate from developer Joseph Sitt for nearly $100 million that it wants to use to revive the graying park.

Sitt wants to bring Las Vegas-style casinos to the area if the state legalizes gambling in the near future, but he is also considering massive residential towers and hotels, according to Crain’s. New York City Economic Development president Seth Pinsky has promised that the city would begin upgrades to the neighborhood to help accommodate new developments by the end of this year. [Crain’s]

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Wonder Wheel in Coney Island (Getty)
Coney Island Wonder Wheel reopens
Coney Island Wonder Wheel reopens
John Catsimatidis (Getty)
John Catsimatidis wants to add three more rental towers in Coney Island
John Catsimatidis wants to add three more rental towers in Coney Island
Lot in Coney Island on W 12th Street (iStock, Google Maps)
16-acre lot in Coney Island rolls onto the market
16-acre lot in Coney Island rolls onto the market
The Scribner Building at at 597 Fifth Avenue and Joe Sitt of Thor Equities (Wikipedia Commons)
Thor delinquent on $105M loan at 597 Fifth
Thor delinquent on $105M loan at 597 Fifth
After a lost summer, Coney Island businesses are struggling to imagine how to survive the winter. (Getty)
Lost summer, failed plan haunt Coney Island
Lost summer, failed plan haunt Coney Island
Beneath wall to wall carpeting, brokers find herringbone flooring, behind a coat of paint may be a marble mantle, or hidden away could be antique mirror doors. (iStock)
Hidden treasures: Old homes offer up surprises when readied for sale
Hidden treasures: Old homes offer up surprises when readied for sale
Stefano Ricci, Joe Sitt and 118-120 Northeast 39th Street (Getty, Thor, Google Maps)
Thor Equities sues to evict Stefano Ricci from Miami Design District
Thor Equities sues to evict Stefano Ricci from Miami Design District
Loew’s Theater at 54 Journal Square Plaza in Jersey City and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (Google Maps, Getty)
Jersey City moves forward with $40M renovation of Loew’s Theater
Jersey City moves forward with $40M renovation of Loew’s Theater
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...