Monday, November 05, 2007

Anticipating Bloomberg's Announcement

An article in last week's Brooklyn Eagle, by Sarah Ryley, asked the question, "Have Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his development czar, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, bitten off more than they can chew, at least in the 791 days until Bloomberg leaves office?" Though the article also deals with the issues of the Red Hook and Williamsburg waterfronts, it focuses largely on the negotiations between The Bloomberg administration and Thor Equities regarding the rezoning of Coney Island.

The announcement of another year of Astroland was exciting, but this was merely a temporary respite. Bloomberg's much anticipated announcement on the zoning of Coney Island is the one that really matters. The vague rumblings from the administration have sounded positive (check out the New York Magazine write up on this, but the nature of politicians is that they can make anything sound great in vague terms. All we can do at this point is sit with crossed fingers until Bloomberg makes his announcement, and hope that he's found a way to placate the developers without selling out the character and legacy of Coney Island.

Something that tends to get lost in the discussion of preserving 'Coney Island's character' is that Coney Island is not just famous for being an amusement area, but for being a working class amusement area. While making sure that the amusement area s preserved is important, something else that should be considered is how to keep the current residents of Coney Island from being driven out be rising real estate prices. A Disney run (or even Disney style) amusement area, with a high admission price and surrounded by condos and catering to upper middle class tourists would not be a 'preserved Coney Island' at all.

- post by Ben Nadler

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Something that your blog has never addressed is that Coney Island is first and foremost a Brooklyn neighborhood with no year round economy and a huge unemployment rate. You and the the other blogs talk about the character of Coney Island. The reason the CIDC was created, and its mission statement says it vert clearly -

Mission Statement

The Coney Island Development Corporation works to make Coney Island a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination through business development, job creation, new housing, and unique cultural events.