The Real Deal New York

Joe Sitt catching flak over state of Coney Island parcels

Business owners irked by garbage in amusement district lots owned by Thor Equities
May 07, 2014 12:45PM

Thor Equities owner Joe Sitt is getting complaints about the state of land under the firm’s ownership in the heart of Coney Island’s amusement district.

In the short term, business owners and politicians are concerned that lots along Stillwell Avenue and Bowery Street will remain littered with garbage as the summer tourist season gets underway, the Brooklyn Daily reports. But neighbors also worry about Thor’s long-term plans for prominent parcel of real estate that sits between Luna Park and the soon-to-open Thunderbolt roller coaster, two pillars of Coney Island’s redevelopment.

“The problem with the lots is that they’re dirty, they have garbage. I really wish they would clean them up, cover them, bring in rides, bring in anything that contributes to the neighborhood,” Dick Zigun, founder of Sideshows by the Seashore, told the Brooklyn Daily.

Thor purchased 13 acres of land near the Coney Island boardwalk in the early 2000s and evicted most of the tenants by 2008. To spur development, the city purchased about seven acres of land from Sitt in 2009 for $95.6 million. Much of the remaining land has sat vacant since 2012, when Thor allowed the final lease to expire on lots previously occupied by McCullough’s Kiddie Park.

Coney Island real estate broker Joe Vitacco told the Brooklyn Daily he suspected Sitt is waiting for another buyout from the city.

Thor did not respond to the paper’s requests for comment. [BD] — TRD