Coney Island Amphitheater Approved by City Council

Rendering of entrance to Seaside Park & Community Arts Center theater. Image courtesy of: GKV Architects.

Rendering of entrance to Seaside Park & Community Arts Center theater. Image courtesy of: GKV Architects.

Former Childs Restaurant to be transformed into outdoor amphitheater, park, and restaurant. On December 19, 2013, the City Council approved the Seaside Park and Community Arts Center project in a vote of 50-1 with modifications, and referred the proposal back to the City Planning Commission for final action.  The New York City Economic Development Corporation and iStar Financial subsidiary Coney Island Holdings LLC will execute a $58 million plan to build an outdoor amphitheater and park along the boardwalk near West 21st Street and restore and reopen the landmarked Childs Restaurant as an eatery and catering facility (See past CityLand  coverage here).

The Land Use Committee voted to approve the application on December 18, 2013 in a vote of 12 in the affirmative, one in the negative, and two abstentions. The Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises voted 7-0 to approve the application the same day. Council Members Jumaane D. Williams and Rosie Mendez abstained from the Land Use vote. Council Member Charles Barron voted in the negative in all three votes, raising concerns about local community gardens, as well as infrastructure, sewage, and toxic residues.

In his press release, former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz stated that the vote of approval was “a landmark achievement for the future of Coney Island and the entirety of Brooklyn” that will “add even more energy and excitement to one of our nation’s top destinations for family amusement and entertainment…, increase local tourism and stimulate our economy.” Former Borough President Markowitz stated that this project will “create hundreds of quality jobs,” “catalyze residential and commercial development,” and “keep our City’s attention focused intently on the needed infrastructure improvements that residents of Coney Island’s West End have been seeking for years.” Noting that Childs restaurant had been closed to the public since the 1940s, former Borough President Markowitz stated that the reuse would “breathe new life into this under-utilized section of the Riegelmann Boardwalk.”

 City Council: Seaside Park and Community Arts Center (C140065ZMK – Zoning Map Amendment); (C140063ZSK – Zoning Special Permits); (N140064ZRK – Zoning Text Amendment); (C140066PPK – Disposition of Non-Residential City-Owned Property); (C140067PQK – Acquisition of Property by the City); (M090107(B)MMK – Change in the City Map)(December 19, 2013).

By: Jennifer Baek (Jennifer is a City Law Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2013).



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