New York’s Historic Coney Island to get Big Makeover

November 11, 2009

(ChattahBox)—After years of neglect, the historic Coney Island amusement park on the Atlantic Ocean in Brooklyn, New York, long a haven for inner city residents to escape the scorching summer heat, is about to get a major face lift. After a long standoff with property owner, developer Thor Equities LLC, officials said on Wednesday that a deal had been reached to purchase seven acres to expand the park.

New York City officials are expected to announce the ambitious revitalization plan on Thursday, with the purchase of three waterfront properties to spruce up and modernize the amusement park attractions, as well as add housing units, shops and hotels.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg expects the new construction to add about 5,000 new homes to city housing stock, create 6,000 permanent jobs and energize the area’s economy, by $14 billion over the next thirty years.

Critics of the plan are concerned that the revitalization project would destroy the beloved quirky nature of Coney Island, which has been a popular destination, since shortly after the Civil War. The area heralded the creation of the famous Coney Island hot dog and the Cyclone roller coaster, built in 1927, which is still in operation and is a protected landmark.

City officials say they are committed to preserving the quaint and unique character of Coney Island, while also adding new retail shops, as part of a “vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.”

The City of New York will spend about $96 million for the Coney Island property.

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