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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Development Corporation’

B&B Carousell

The B&B Carousell’s first restored horse returns to Coney Island! Photo © Coney Island History Project via flickr

This sweet pony, the first restored horse from the B&B Carousell, looks happy to be back in Coney Island! What’s his or her name? That will be up to the popular vote on Facebook. At the moment “Cotton Candy” and “Ravishing Ruby” are the front runners. “Home Sweet Home,” “Thunderbolt,” “Tornado,” and “In Memory of Mike Saltzstein,” who operated the carousel for decades, are some of the other suggested names.

There’s also “William,” for the carousel’s builder William F Mangels, and “Marcus,” for Marcus Illions, the carver of the lead horse. This horse, as well as the others, was carved by Charles Carmel.

The name “Ravishing Ruby” is being championed by Brooklyn-born actress Annabella Sciorra, who writes on her Facebook page: “They’re looking to name the first restored carousel horse in Coney Island. If you like my page please vote for the name ‘Ravishing Ruby’ after one of my best friends who grew up on the beaches of Coney Island!!” Ravishing Ruby is also the title of a country song from the ’70s! Our guess is that some who are voting for the name are associating it with Coney’s beloved Ruby’s Bar and Grill.

“Cotton Candy” is a cute choice, but please be advised if it wins that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to bring actual cotton candy on the ride.

Inspired by the creative names of the horses at the Kentucky Derby, which was run yesterday, ATZ’s choice is “Home Sweet Home.” We think it’s the perfect name since this B&B horse is the first to come home to Coney from Ohio, where the carousel has been undergoing restoration, after an absence of seven years. Go, Go, Go, Home Sweet Home!

As for “Mikey” or “In Memory of Mike Saltzstein,” we agree with a commenter on the voting page who writes: “May the last horse in be named ‘In Memory of Mike Saltzstein.’ Mike kept those horses going … God rest his soul.”

Today is the second and final day of the B&B Carousell Open House presented by the City’s Economic Development Corporation at the Coney Island History Project, where you can get your picture taken with the horse and cast your vote in person. If you live too far away to visit, you can still vote on Facebook to name the horse.

The B&B Carousell is also in a very competitive online horse race with 40 historic properties for a share of $3 million from Partners in Preservation. New Yorkers as well as anyone who loves New York may cast one vote daily on the Partners in Preservation New York City website or via Facebook, smartphone or tablet.

UPDATE May 7, 2012:

Congratulations to Dano Panariello, who suggested the name “Ravishing Ruby” in honor of his mother! The Open House and the naming contest are over, but everybody please remember to vote for the B&B Carousell every day thru May 21 at Partners in Preservation, where it is in a horse race to win a grant.

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ATZ obtained a copy of the cruel kiss-off letter sent by the City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to the Coney Island Boardwalk businesses on October 25th. The City’s lease with the businesses was set to expire just a few days later on the 31st. “Please be advised that effective as of the date of this letter, the NYCEDC (“Licensor”) has assigned its interest as Licensor under your license for the premises to Central Amusement International.”

It appears to be a slick legal maneuver by the City to abdicate responsibility for the November 1st eviction of these Mom and Pops from City-owned property by CAI, which the City certainly must have known about in advance. CAI’s Luna Park is a public-private partnership and everything of importance is done in consultation with the City. The letter is signed by John Cicerello, Executive Vice President of EDC’s Assets Management, which “manages, maintains and leases over 20 million square feet of City property assets with the goal of maximizing return on assets.”

The kiss-off letter begins “Dear Sir or Madam”– the same salutation as CAI’s October 29th surrender the premises letter— which ATZ previously posted. We have to wonder if both letters were drafted by the NYCEDC attorneys or is this type of letter always so generic and coldly impersonal?

The letter states that as of the date of this letter “any and all matters regarding your License and the Premises should be addressed with Central Amusement International.” Any license fees and charges. Any notices, inquiries, requests. Any anything. In other words, the City’s done with you, Sir or Madam. Don’t call us, blame us, bother us, ask us for support.

After the Boardwalk businesses received the eviction letters on November 1st, City officials–both elected and appointed–tried to distance themselves by referring all questions to the amusement operator. Officials told the business owners it was Zamperla’s decision and there was nothing they could do. The businesses, which had been expecting responses to their business plans, were shocked and dismayed to receive eviction notices instead.

In advance of an eviction hearing scheduled for January 10, both sides are expected to get together for talks today. Will there be an out of court settlement? At a previous hearing on December 10, NYCEDC attorneys and a representative of the asset management department were present along with Valerio Ferrari, CEO of Zamperla USA and Central Amusement International.

Paul's Daughter

Last Day at Paul's Daughter. Coney Island Boardwalk. November 13, 2010. © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The Coney Island Eight’s new website asks “Who is behind the eviction of the Coney Island 8”? Their answer is that the City made the decision as to who was going to be on the boardwalk long before any proposals were submitted.

It has been reported that Central Amusements was responsible for the ousting of the Coney Island Boardwalk Businesses. This is not true. The City of New York under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg are the primary developers of Coney Island. This became evident in meetings with Central Amusements when their top Management explained to the Boardwalk vendors that Mayor Bloomberg met with them and told them that he wanted the Boardwalk to have a fresh look. It was two days before the renewal of leases the owners of the land turned all the leases over to Central Amusements to give the impression that Central Amusements made this decision.

Save ruby's

Save Ruby's 'Axis of Evil' Protest Sign. January 1, 2011. Photo © Rubyshost via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 9, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk

October 20, 2011: Reversal of Fortune on the Coney Island Boardwalk

November 10, 2010: This Week in Coney Island: Party at Paul’s Daughter, Hypocrisy at NYCEDC

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

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Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Shore Hotel, Coney Island. December 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Demolition of Thor Equities-Owned Shore Hotel, Coney Island. December 5, 2010. Photo © Eric Kowalsky

Tis the season to be jolly, but there won’t be any fa-la-la-ing in good ol’ Coney Island this week. Last Wednesday, notices from attorneys for Luna Park operator Central Amusement International (CAI) were posted on the gates of the evicted Boardwalk businesses summoning them to court on December 10. CAI has retained the law firm of Davidoff, Malito & Hutcher, who filed a lawsuit to force the Coney Island 8 to “surrender the subject premises.” The eight businesses are Ruby’s, Cha Cha’s, Paul’s Daughter, Grill House, Gyro Corner, Shoot the Freak, Beer Island and Coney Island Souvenir Shop.

On Friday, Thor Equities demolition crew gutted the first floors of the Shore Hotel and the Bowery side of the Henderson Building. The dirty work will continue this week. Along with the demolished Bank of Coney Island, these historic buildings were doomed by the City’s rezoning of the parcels for high-rise hotels in 2009. A demolition permit was issued to Thor Equities in August and the Henderson’s remaining tenants were evicted, though a hotel is not expected to be built anytime soon. If you come to Coney Island for the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim, when you exit Stillwell Terminal and look across Surf, it’s likely the buildings will be demolished by then. What you’ll see is another empty lot to add to real estate speculator Joe Sitt’s collection of empty lots in Coney Island.

View of Thor Equities-owned Shore Hotel and Henderson Building in Coney Island. July 12, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Before the Demolition: View of Thor Equities-owned Shore Hotel and Henderson Building in Coney Island. July 12, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Will Ruby’s Bar be open on New Year’s Day? The Sarrels hope so, we hope so, but nobody knows. The future of the eight Boardwalk businesses will be the subject of legal wrangling this week, both behind the scenes and in court on Friday. According to the notice from CAI’s attorneys, copies of which were also sent by certified mail, “a hearing at which you must appear will be held at the Civil Court of the City of New York, 141 Livingston Street, Part 52, Room 94(C) on December 10 at 10 am.” (Update: The room number has been changed. We were requested not to post the new room number since the court date may not be open to the public.)

The notice also stated that “the license premises are an integral part of redevelopment” and that “time is of the essence.” Respondents were told to “surrender the subject premises” or face penalties of $2,000 per day. The previous notice to quit by November 19th, which ATZ posted last month, is referenced in the document. Central Amusement International states that the sublease with the businesses commenced on January 25, 2010 and ended on October 31, 2010.

Ruby's Rally, Party & Last Call. November 6, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Ruby's Rally, Party & Last Call. November 6, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

We hope some kind of agreement can be reached to allow indigenous Mom & Pops such as Ruby’s and Paul’s Daughter to be part of the new Coney Island. The sudden notice to “vacate the premises” sent to the Boardwalk veterans on the day after the season ended calls to mind Thor Equities’ Christmas Eve lockout of 2008, when Joe Sitt was dubbed “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” by the NY Post. In that infamous incident, Sitt’s henchmen cut locks on Boardwalk businesses and hung up banners advertising Stores for Lease. Lynn Kelly, then president of the Coney Island Development Corporation, told the Post, ‘Sitt’s behavior shows why the mayor’s planned rezoning is needed, “so that the boardwalk businesses and all of Coney Island have a chance to thrive.'”

Just days before CAI’s “vacate the premises” notice was delivered to the Coney Island 8 on November 1st, Kelly left her longtime position with the CIDC and NYCEDC (Economic Development Corporation) for a new job as CEO of Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Too bad we’ll never get to hear Kelly’s explanation for the eviction of the Boardwalk businesses by Luna Park, which is a public private partnership with the EDC and Kelly was fond of calling “her park.” Neither the EDC nor the Mayor’s Office will comment to the press about the Mom & Pop businesses booted off City-owned property in Coney Island. The NYCEDC leased the Boardwalk property to CAI, the New Jersey-based operator of Coney Island’s new Luna Park. City officials–both appointed and elected–continue to distance themselves from responsibility for the evictions by remaining silent and referring all requests for comment to CAI.

UPDATE… December 9, 2010

Friday morning’s 10 a.m. court date for the eviction of the “Coney Island Eight” reportedly got postponed at the request of their attorney. ATZ was told that a postponement is a basic move at the beginning of a case. We’re not reading anything into it. Not yet. Stay tuned for new date.

UPDATE… December 10, 2010

The judge adjourned the hearing till January 10, 2011.

Boardwalk 8. November 27, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Sign on Grill House: Save Coney Island 8. What About Us? November 27, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Related posts on ATZ…

November 21, 2010: Goodbye (Or Maybe Not?) to My Coney Island Equivalent of Proust’s Madeleine

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

April 21, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings

January 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010

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