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Thor Equities releases a rendering for their $10 million dollar plans for the 2011 summer season with a quaint and very non-Coney fast food and retail complex. Last week, ATZ (Amusing the Zillion blog) had us wondering and dreading that we were going to face more of nothing by Thor Equities for the parcels he still owns in Coney Island. Tents from their failed "Flea by the Sea" have been laying their in the winter winds for months. And feared, was the possibility of losing the last remaining historic buildings left in Coney Island. The Henderson, The Grashorn, and the bank building.
Though his land doesn't seem to compete with the former Astroland lot in size, Joe Sitt with Thor Equities is still the largest private land owner in Coney Island. And even though it may not feel like it, Joey Coney Sitt has indeed been very Coney himself. A bizarre real estate spectacle he has played out in Coney by Sitt equipped with fantastical promises, smokes and mirrors, and careless showmanship. Therefore, with a person who wished to be the next Thomas Dundy of Coney Island, there had to be more in store. And now here it is.
Hiring Thinkwell Designs once again, Thor Equities wants to make good buisiness use of his parcels even though it sacrifices a couple of Coney's last remaining historiec structures. These Payless shoe boxes with poster billboards don't even pay homage to the Henderson or the Grashorn building. Instead they are simple Trump-like eye sores. It seems that behind it, this is only something to present while covering the real reason: A need to quickly demolish these two historic two-story buildings so that they won't be in the way for much larger development in the future.
If these buildings are too dilapidated then at least these drawings should represent a modern twist to their original version.
At any rate, this is the quote in the press release sent out by Thor's PR, KnickerbockerSKD:
Further speculation is implied by The New York Observer:"We are beyond pleased to see the City bringing in new rides to Coney for the 2010 season and beyond. It is critical that all stakeholders in the area invest in new talent and attractions, and this is very big step in the right direction. We look forward to announcing our program for the Summer 2010 season and working shoulder to shoulder with the City not only in the next few months, but also during the many years ahead as City Hall begins to put its more permanent plans into place."
The thinking, presumably, is that these new buildings would fetch decent rents, and can go up and down with relative speed, allowing Mr. Sitt to replace them rather quickly with larger hotels or other development if and when he is able to go forward on larger developments. When the city rezoned the area late last year, it struck a deal with Mr. Sitt to buy his property close to the boardwalk, and leave him development sites along Surf Avenue, further away from the water.