Coney Island amphitheater plan sails through city approval

TRD New York /
Dec.December 05, 2013 05:25 PM

The transformation of the former Childs Restaurant in Coney Island into an amphitheater, a pet project of outgoing Beep Marty Markowitz, has received a key nod from the City Planning Commission.

The 13-member panel endorsed the proposal Wednesday, after which Markowitz pointed again to its potential benefit to the neighborhood in the way of jobs and infrastructure improvements, Brooklyn Paper reported.

Critics of the plan, however, remained unconvinced — arguing that plugging the project with $50 million in taxpayer funds is misdirected in an area that still struggles against heat and power outages, and where a number of stores remain shuttered since Hurricane Sandy flooded the area. There are also concerns about new issues the amphitheater will bring, such as increased traffic and noise.

Coney’s Community Board 13 voted down plans to transform the building in September, saying the project felt rushed and arguing for a Community Benefits Agreement that would guarantee well-paid, full-time, year-round jobs for area residents and regular public access to the building.

Markowitz and City Planning aim to ram the project through before the Bloomberg administration officially ends — and the borough president leaves office — in January, critics said.

“It’s a desperate last attempt to rape and rob Coney Island,” Sheila Smalls, a member of the People’s Coalition of Coney Island, told the Brooklyn Paper.

The property’s owner, iStar Financial, is renovating and would operate the building. [Brooklyn Paper]Julie Strickland

Related Articles

From left: A rendering of 425 Park Avenue, iStar CEO Jay Sugarman, and Nuveen managing director Nadir Settles (Credit: rendering via L&L Holding/Sugarman by Emily Assiran/Settles via Nuveen)

iStar-managed REIT signs $620M contract to buy ground lease at L&L’s 425 Park

New Jersey Cheat Sheet: Hampshire, Pinnacle approved for Montclair redevelopment, iStar seeks to sell $6M Asbury Park condos… & more

Asbury Park is set to receive $6M condos. Is the sleepy beach town ready for them?

New Jersey Cheat Sheet: Jersey City office tower sells for $170M, Mack-Cali buys Metropark building amid big portfolio sale… & more

LeFrak sells Jersey City office building to iStar for $170M

Starrett lands more than $77M in state loans for Coney Island resi project

Glenwood’s return: Luxe developer and political kingmaker breaks into affordable housing

Rybak lands $48M loan for Coney Island project