FROM THE MAYOR’S DESK ...
This winter has been a long and cold one, and like most New Yorkers, I’m looking forward to the warm days of summer. Last week, we announced a new development for Coney Island that’s going to make this summer even more exciting. Nearly 20 new spine-tingling rides will be coming to Brooklyn’s legendary seaside playground. That means more hairpin turns, more stomach-dropping loops, and more summer fun for New Yorkers and visitors of all ages
These new rides will form the core of two amusement parks that will be developed on the nearly-seven acres of land that our Economic Development Corporation purchased last November. Together, these parks will create the largest Coney Island amusement area since Steeplechase Park closed in 1964. The first development, the $15 million “Luna Park at Coney Island,” will feature several new rides that have been customized for Coney Island, including one called “Air Race,” that will be making its world debut at Luna Park.
The rides – along with Luna Park’s games, shops, food & beverage concessions, and live entertainment – will evoke Coney Island’s historic character, while also re-establishing it as a world-class, 21st century amusement park destination. Luna Park’s first season will run from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010, and we hope it will remain open past Labor Day in the seasons after that.
The second amusement park, the $12 million “Scream Zone at Coney Island,” will open in the summer of 2011 and will feature even more shriekinducing rides, thrilling games, and good family fun.
Together these parks will bring a lot more than entertainment to the Boardwalk. They’ll also bring jobs – starting with 247 new jobs at Luna Park during its inaugural season. That will increase to 330 full- and part-time jobs in 2011. These amusements will also generate substantial revenue for the City. Under the lease agreement, we will receive $100,000 a year and earn a percentage of gross receipts at Luna Park and the Scream Zone.
Seaside amusements are a big part of our Administration’s vision for a revitalized Coney Island. But we’re also investing in the neighborhood in many other key ways, including a $100 million public-private partnership to expand and modernize the Aquarium. In addition to that, the City is funding more than $150 million in community improvements, including the new Steeplechase Plaza – an inviting entranceway to Coney Island’s revitalized amusement district. We’ll also break ground this year on Coney Island Commons, a residential and community development. It will have more than 180 units of affordable housing and a new 40,000-square-foot YMCA – an amenity that the community has long wanted.
Coney Island is one of the most fabled seaside destinations anywhere in the world. It will always be a shining part of our city’s our history – and now we’re making sure that it’s an important part of our future, too.