The Real Deal New York

Top this amenity: Coney Island project will have its own street car, Catsimatidis says

Billionaire plans to build a trolley from his Surf Ave. site to the Stillwell Avenue subway station
September 09, 2017 03:47PM

Red Apple Group’s Ocean Dreams project in Coney Island (Dattner Architects)

Don’t accuse John Catsimatidis of lacking vision. The billionaire real estate/grocery mogul plans to build a street car that flanks his upcoming “Ocean Dreams” development in Coney Island.

The plan, still in the early stages, would see a trolley car roll from Red Apple Group’s multiuse project at 3514 Surf Avenue to the Stillwell Avenue subway station in Coney Island, Catsimatidis told the Coney Island News.

Catsimatidis said the service would be available for the public, not just residents of the development, which is expected to hold 440 market-rate apartments. He scrapped earlier plans for a bus service to the Stillwell Avenue station in favor of a more ambitious transit service.

According to Coney Island News, area residents have questioned if the trolley plan would interfere with the B36 bus, which is currently used to get to the subway station.

Red Apple filed plans for the three-building project between West 35th and West 37th streets last summer. He told Coney Island News he also plans a supermarket and drug store on Surf Avenue and a restaurant on the boardwalk. It’s expected to open in fall of 2019.

Catsimatidis is hardly the only real estate developer interested in beefing up local infrastructure and capitalizing on increased property values. Friends of the BQX, largely run by real estate figures, have pushed hard for a $2.5 billion streetcar network between Brooklyn and Queens. In August, Mayor Bill de Blasio conceded that the project has essentially stalled without a clear funding mechanism in place. [Coney Island News]James Kleimann