Friday, December 28, 2007

Coney Counterpoint in The Brooklyn Paper

The Brooklyn Paper has run a feature on the redevelopment of Coney Island which includes opinion pieces by both Coney Island 'Mayor' Dick Zigun, and Thor Equities' community development director, Digna Rodriguez. The tone of the two pieces is very different. Rodriguez's is classic public relations gloss, featuring phrases such as, "eye popping, jaw dropping year-round amusements and experiences, a place to make memories." Zigun's piece, on the otherhand, is casual, conversational, and at times funny. Furthermore, since Zigun is speaking as an individual, he is able to offer an opinion that doesn't follow an official line.

The Brooklyn Paper did the right thing, fulfilling its journalistic obligation to objectivity by providing equal space to both points of view. As a blog, however, we have no such obligation, and are free to share some of Dick's piece, without giving any space to Thor:

Thor's plan is a disaster for the amusement park and the mayor's plan, while flawed, is fascinating. […]

The mayor boldly confronts Thor's ownership of the core by creating a permanent ride zone — in perpetuity — by designating the area as parkland. Mayor Bloomberg's plan imagines a forever-protected, Tivoli Gardens–like Coney Island for the 21st century. […]

Amusement park advocates should stand and applaud this a bold and innovative city plan. Hell, man, this is Brooklyn; bring your 300 loudest friends in matching tie-dye hats to our next public meeting on Jan. 7.

Coney Island's Wild Ride [The Brooklyn Paper]

- post by Ben Nadler


Anonymous said...

Who will build the amusement area and how much will it cost? How much taxpayer money will it take to buy Thor's land? How long will it take to build?

Maybe 300 Mil of taxpayer money? and 20 years to build with no developer yet and no city owned amusement land yet?

The city's plan basically isn't a plan, its a pipedream. Thor will take this all to the next administration. No doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

What Digna failed to mention in her piece is that Thor's proposal faces many of the same obstacles as the city's proposal. Thor's proposal was waiting for the city's zoning recommendations and Thor's proposal would require a zoning change, and as such, an environmental impact statement; as a result the Thor proposal also would have taken years to clear hurdles, rather than the "months" she talks about.

There's also no guarantee that Thor's proposal is funded beyond site acquisition. And at the last go-round, Thor also said that they would need $100 million in city funding to complete their project.

With Thor's background as a property manager and seller, but not as a developer, the proposals being floated are equally (if not more) fantastical than the city's proposal. The city's proposal, at least, preserves open space for amusments, which Thor's does not.

Anonymous said...

David - You can come up with any opinion you would like about Thor. It makes no difference in the end.

Because......Thor owns the land, the city doesn't and in order to buy the land, it will probably cost the city over $300 million in taxpayer dollars. Has Thor gone for the land swap since June? None of this is happening.

Thor's just going to take this to the next administration. Its as plain as day.

Anonymous said...

"Thor's proposal would require a zoning change, and as such, an environmental impact statement"

Looks like the city's parkland pipedream needs an environmental impact study as well according to Kruger's conference today. You honestly think this is going through in this administration?

Get real.

Anonymous said...

As usual Bruce, you just love to exagerate, 300 million? why dont you just say 300 trillion? and 100 years to build??

And you keep forgetting Thor is a specualator, not a builder, they dont have the money, nor will they spend a dime of their own money to build. The process the city has to go through is to safe guard the cities assets, not destroy them. Thor destroys, City builds. Thor lies, city builds.

Anonymous said...

Nemo - You honestly believe this is going through in this administration? Come on now. Get Real. In the Post today Kruger even implies there would be a possible lawsuit if there isn't an environmental review first

And the NY Times article here

Anonymous said...

Bruce/muscle, you forget one thing, Thor may own the land, but Coney belongs to the people, and Thor cant do a damn thing with the land, unless the people allow him to do so. Your from another era when land owners can do what they want. Thinking like that has Penn Station sitting in a land fill in New jersey. I am sure you would enjoy seeing Coney Island resting near it also.


Anonymous said...

Kruger is a joke, all he is doing is grand standing to get Sitt money for his next campaign, he may have you fooled, but he isnt fooling anyone else.

Remember, Kruger is already in trouble for his last stunt, and if he really cared, where the heck has he been for the last couple of years?

Anonymous said...

Actually I am surprised we haven't already seen lawsuits against the city plan like there was in Atlantic Yards. Although Kruger already talked about possible litigation in the Post. I know Brian Gotlieb ( former CB13 chairman) said in the Bay News if he was Joe Sitt he would sue. I wonder why the landowners haven't sued........yet?

Anonymous said...

because anyone with intelligence, that operate rides in the amusement park zone, realize when the cities plans to make the amusement park zone, parkland, nothing changes for them, they still own it, and will still operate their businesses in it. Only destroyers like Thor and their wrong plans for Coney Island, will be stopped dead in their tracks. Atlantic Yards and Thors wrong plans, are not the same, so dont bother to link them together.

The only person Joe Bull Sitt should sue is himself, for only he was foolish enough to sell us something so stupid, only a person of low intelligence would buy.

He bought amusement park land, gambling he could get it rezoned,well guess what, he isnt going to get that to happen, so he gambled and he lost, so if he was smart, he would cut his losses and move on.

Anonymous said...

"well guess what, he isnt going to get that to happen, so he gambled and he lost, so if he was smart, he would cut his losses and move on."

Oh how wrong you are Nemo. The game has just now begun. I have seen this type of scenerio a thousand times in big business. This will be no different. Its going to be a great ride! Great talkin with you man!

Anonymous said...

Joe Bull Sitt bet 100 million dollars that he will be able to build ocean front condos on land not zoned for residential. Its as simple as that. You keep mistakingly think that just because he owns the land, he can do what he wants with it. If that was true, Grand Central Terminal would have kept Penn Station company in the New Jersey Land fill.

Anonymous said...

How much interest is being lost on $100 million?? $100 million of non liquid assests?? How long before his investors start screaming about all that lost interest? Your an accountant, how much interest is lost on a $100 million a year? Add to that, that land is not producing any income to help offset the taxes on it. The more someone screams he can wait, its the opposite, he cant afford to wait. It called bluffing.


Anonymous said...

according to a news article.... Thor seems to be having cash flow issues. Like i said, the more they scream they can wait, the longer they cant :)