On Wednesday afternoon, several owners of mom-and-pop businesses on Coney Island’s Boardwalk met to discuss taking legal action against eviction by Central Amusement International/Luna Park. ATZ obtained a copy of the two-page vacate the premises notice sent to the business owners. We’re told all nine of the booted businesses received the same form letter, down to the generic salutation “Dear Sir or Madam…”
When the business owners received the Fedex envelopes containing the long-awaited letter on Monday morning, they expected to read CAI’s specific response to the business plans which they had prepared and submitted. But the letter doesn’t contain so much as a “We regret to inform you that your business plan was not selected.”
According to the letter’s second graf, the City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) licensed the Boardwalk properties to CAI. The deal was done in February. “As part of our arrangement with the EDC, we licensed those Boardwalk properties (including your site) to EDC, which made it possible for EDC to grant you the License Agreement for the 2010 summer season.”
New kid on the block Luna Park plans to replace the gritty authenticity of the Boardwalk’s oldest bar and sausage and clam joints with a huge sports bar, an upscale year-round restaurant, another Nathan’s satellite and a beer garden. The new businesses would flank the Luna-esque entrance to CAI’s Scream Zone, which will be where Shoot the Freak is now.
The cruellest part of the letter calls for the business owners, some of whom have occupied the same spot for decades, to formally acknowledge the surrender of the licensed premises and vacate within 15 days or face penalties. Coney Island history, including the Boardwalk’s vernacular signage, will be swept away to make way for the new Luna Park-inspired fronts shown in CAI’s renderings. “They didn’t have the vision that we have for the Boardwalk,” Valerio Ferrari, president of CAI/ZAmperla USA told ATZ on Monday. “It’s a business decision.” The letter says….
We want you to understand that while our company is affording you fifteen additional days in which to leave the licensed premises, the timing is critical in order for the Boardwalk properties to be ready for operations next season. For this reason, please be aware that Central Amusement International will enforce the penalties provisions in your License Agreement as well as seek all available legal and equitable remedies in the event that you should fail to leave by November 15, 2010.
ATZ learned from one of the business owners that the penalty is $2,500 per day for each day after November 15th.
Related posts on ATZ…
November 3, 2010: Friends of Ruby’s Bar Launch Petition, Plan Nov 6 Rally
April 23, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk Businesses Open for 2010
January 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010