Coney Island Amusement District May Be Preserved As Park

<p>Plans call to remap Coney Island's amusement district as parkland, allowing further amusement and recreational development, but blocking proposed high-rise condo towers.</p>
November 9, 2007, 12pm PST | Scott Ewart
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"Bloomberg is moving ahead with plans to revamp the amusement district, but Joe Sitt's condos-by-the-boardwalk plan is off the table-and the city plans on salting the earth to make sure things stay that way."

"The eight-acre, city-owned parking lot west of the Cyclones ballpark, which is currently mapped as city parkland (as is the stadium), would be demapped and readied for developers to turn into housing, parking garages, and stores. To meet the legal requirement that at least as much parkland be created as is eliminated, all 15 acres of land from the ballpark to the Cyclone, and from the Bowery to the boardwalk, would become public parkland."

"'Parkland,' in this case, wouldn't mean trees and grass. Rather, the city envisions finding developers to seed the new park with rides, restaurants, and performance space-in other words, pretty much exactly what's there now."

"Moreover, as Pratt Center director Brad Lander points out, the parkland ploy has a benefit that a mere amusement-only rezoning wouldn't accomplish. Once the new parkland was in place, he says, the only way it could be eliminated would be to get the legislature to demap it again-meaning 'it would be much harder for a future administration to rezone.'"

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Published on Friday, November 9, 2007 in The Village Voice
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