Thursday, September 15, 2005

Coney Island, Gussied Up

As promised, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a “strategic plan” for spurring development at Coney Island in hopes of transforming it into a year-round attraction. I stated my misgivings about this at length (below), but here are a few things the city plans do to with $83.2 million ($50 million more than what was previously pledged):
  • The transformation of Stillwell Avenue into Stillwell Midway, a public open space connecting existing amusements with new development.
  • A redesigned Steeplechase Plaza incorporating new open space around the iconic Parachute Jump between KeySpan Park and the boardwalk. It will feature the winning design of the Parachute Pavilion Design Competition by the London team of Kevin Carmody, Andrew Groarke, Chris Hardie and Lewis Kinneir (see below).
  • Addition of hotels, possibly a spa and probably a mall on Surf Ave.
  • 3000 housing units (mostly condos, and some affordable, but few details about this are in the press release)
  • Restoration of the Shore Theater (now closed) and the retention and restoration of the historic B&B Carousel (announced last month)

The boardwalk improvements will get underway immediately, according to the press release, with the rest unfolding by 2009. As Curbed recently noted regarding yet another announcement about the long-awaited Brooklyn Bridge Park (not to mention all the other recent building announcements), 2009 should prove to be a banner year for NYC. (Photo Credit: Edward Reed)