coney girl
Monday, November 17, 2008 2:38:44 AM
This has been the "behind the scenes" news for a few weeks, ever since the city snapped up 1 acre of land adjacent to the Boardwalk. Now it's in the paper. I can't help but wonder if our billionaire Mayor Bloomburg is going to buy the land with his own $200 million? A few years ago, he did use his own $1.5 M to buy the B & B Carousell and will reportedly spend up to $100 million to win a third term!

Also it doesn't say in the article, but although a few of Astroland's rides have already been dismantled (kiddie rides, the Scrambler), the rides have not been sold. Reportedly they headed for storage in hopes of returning to Coney this summer. 


Posted: 4:45 am
November 17, 2008

The Bloomberg administration is in serious negotiations to buy 10.5 acres of real estate in Coney Island that once appeared unobtainable - a move that would save both Astroland Park and the mayor's plans to revive the slumping seaside amusement district, The Post has learned.

Developer Joe Sitt is ready to give up his controversial plan to build a $1.5 billion Vegas-style entertainment complex, which the mayor wants no part of, and instead sell all of the beachfront land he's purchased to the city.

"God willing, we will get this done soon," said Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., who convinced both Sitt's company, Thor Equities, and the city to go to the bargaining table and is helping broker the deal.

While a price is still being negotiated, it is expected that the city would have to shell out $200 million to $250 million for the land, sources close to the negotiations said.

Recchia said the mayor wants the deal done quickly so the city can finally get going on Bloomberg's 47-acre rezoning plan for Coney Island, which includes building a nine-acre amusement park.

By purchasing Sitt's land, the city would become owner of 3.1-acre Astroland Park, which is the process of closing because Sitt failed to renew its lease.

Recchia said the mayor "is committed to bringing back Astroland," at least for next summer.

A Sitt spokesman declined comment, but sources said the developer had a change of heart and is willing to give up his two-year game of chicken with the administration over the future of Coney Island for several reasons:

* The city last month beat Sitt to buying a one-acre property in the middle of the developer's land. Sitt needed it for his complex.

* With the City Council revising term limits, Bloomberg is no longer a lame duck. Sitt had counted on taking his chances with a new mayor.

* Sitt needs city backing for major development projects he's pushing in Red Hook and Bensonhurst, so he's trying to smooth his relationship with the administration by working out a deal in Coney Island.

If a deal can't be reached, Sitt plans to operate a temporary flea market and amusements next year.

Amusing the Zillion
A former carny kid casts an insider’s eye on the amusement business, Coney Island, and fun places in between 
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