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Posts Tagged ‘Grashorn Building’

HBO VINYL Coney Island

HBO’s Vinyl brought this portable Ferris Wheel to Thor Equities lot on 12th Street. Photo © Charles Denson. August 11, 2015

Nope, it’s not a mirage. A little Ferris wheel has been set up within sight of Coney Island’s mighty Wonder Wheel! For two days and nights, HBO’s new rock ‘n’ roll series Vinyl has transformed Surf Avenue, including Thor Equities’ long vacant properties, into a 1970s carnival. In prep for Tuesday night’s shoot, a portable Ferris wheel was set up on the West 12th Street lot across from Coney Island USA. The lot has been vacant since the Bank of Coney Island was demolished by Thor in 2010. A vintage sideshow bannerline featuring a gorgeous cavalcade banner by the legendary Fred Johnson was hung from the forlorn-looking Grashorn Building, Coney’s oldest, also owned by Thor. Historian Charles Denson shot these surreal-looking photos on Tuesday afternoon before filming got underway.

The HBO series from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter is set to premiere in 2016. Surf Avenue businesses were reportedly paid several thou each to keep the lights blazing while the production company pulls an all nighter. What a bonanza! Too bad it’s only for a day and a night and the amusements can’t return for real to good ol’ Surf Avenue where they belong.

VINYL HBO Coney Island

Vintage sideshow banners emblazon Coney Island’s oldest building, the Grashorn, vacant since 2008. Photo © Charles Denson. August 11, 2015

The only use that the circa 1880’s Grashorn has seen since we started blogging in 2009 was as the Susquehanna Hat Company set for HBO’s Bored to Death (2011) and an office for the production company filming Men in Black 3 (2012).

The Jones Walk side of the Grashorn building has been vacant for several years, as ATZ reported in “The New Coney Island: A Tale of Two Jones Walks.” Why? A business owner who had leased a small stand on the Walk from Thor in 2008 told us in 2009 that the rent had tripled from $8,000 to $24,000. He declined the space and left Coney Island, never to return.

In the summer of 2010, Save Coney Island published renderings showing the potential of the building if restored, but their plan to create a Coney Island Historic District along Surf Avenue was crushed by Thor CEO Joe Sitt’s demolition of all but one of his historic buildings. Only the Grashorn remains. And apparently only HBO and Hollywood can afford the rent.

VINYL HBO Coney Island

Vintage sideshow banners on Coney Island’s oldest building, owned by Thor Equities. Photo © Charles Denson. August 11, 2015

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November 15, 2012: ATZ Review: Coney Island Documentary ‘Zipper’ Debuts at DOC NYC

June 6, 2011: HBO’s Bored to Death Brings Susquehanna Hat Co. to Coney Island

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Surf Avenue

Guys in Hazmat suits doing interior demo work at Thor Equities-owned building at 1106 Surf Ave, December 7, 2013. Photo by Anonymouse via Amusing the Zillion

On Saturday, we were alarmed to receive a call about men in hazmat suits starting interior demolition on Thor Equities-owned Grashorn, Coney Island’s oldest building. Asked by a pedestrian if there was danger, a worker replied they were doing demolition. The work continued through the weekend. A dumpster in front of the building filled up with sheetrock, ductwork insulation, and mattresses. There are no permits posted, nor are there any work permits on the DOB website for the buildings at 1102-1106 Surf Avenue. Anonymous tipsters sent us these photos.

Last month ATZ posted “Rumor Mill Says Coney’s Oldest Building To be Demolished” (ATZ, November 15, 2013). Was the Rumor Mill right? As it turns out, the demo crew was working next door to the Grashorn building where Henry Grashorn’s hardware store was in the 1880s. They are doing interior demo in the neighboring space that was G. Grashorn’s Groceries. The buildings also housed the Grashorn family’s hotel but due to alterations to the facade were not considered eligible for landmarking by the City’s Landmark’s Commission.

Surf Avenue

Thor Equities-owned buildings on Surf Ave, December 7, 2013. Photo by Anonymouse via Amusing the Zillion

We’ll look into the matter of the permits this week. In the past, there’s been a lag on updates to the DOB site. In 2010, Thor’s teardown of the Henderson Music Hall caught people by surprise as the asbestos abatement that preceded the demo got underway. Also without any permits posted, it should be noted.

The storefronts at 1106 Surf Avenue are newly vacant, having been occupied by Gameworld arcade, a pina colada stand and other concessions for the past four seasons. The neighboring Grashorn building at 1102-1104 Surf Avenue, which also has frontage on Jones Walk, has been vacant since 2008 as ATZ reported in “The New Coney Island: A Tale of Two Jones Walks” (ATZ, Sept. 2, 2013).

The Grashorn no longer has a C of O after having been gutted, though it looked great as the Susquehanna Hat Company in an episode of HBO’s Bored to Death in 2011. Save Coney Island has published renderings showing the potential of the building if restored. Henry Grashorn was a founding director of the Bank of Coney Island, the Mardi Gras Association and the Coney Island Church and Rescue Home. His hardware store catered to Coney Island’s amusement businesses for six decades and the building later housed shooting galleries, arcades, and cotton candy and taffy stands.

Surf Avenue

Dumpster at Thor Equities Building on Surf Ave, Coney Island. December 7, 2013. Photo by Anonymouse via Amusing the Zillion

In addition to the Henderson, Thor CEO Joe Sitt demolished two other historic Surf Avenue properties–the Bank of Coney Island and the Shore Hotel in 2010, after his lots on the south side of Surf were rezoned by the city for 30 story hotels. Only the buildings that once housed the Grashorn hardware and grocery store remain. If Coney Island’s oldest is going down to become another empty lot to add to Joe Sitt’s collection of empty lots in Coney Island, it won’t happen unnoticed. We promise to make a lot of noise.

Thor Equities purchased the Grashorn (1102-1104 Surf Ave.) for $1.4 million in 2005 and the adjacent building at 1106 for $2.2 million in 2006, according to Property Shark.

UPDATE December 9, 2013:

Sources say the FDNY inspected the building last week and the property owner was fined and required to clean the fire hazard caused by squatters. Squatters have been living there since at least 2010. It takes the FDNY to get Thor to maintain their property and keep it safe? The public cannot access the FDNY’s database but has to put in a request for a search which takes 10 days and costs 10 bucks. Betcha 20 we’ll have more info from the Rumor Mill sooner than that!

Surf Avenue

Thor Equities-owned buildings at 1102-1106 Surf Ave, Coney Island. December 7, 2013. Photo by Anonymouse via Amusing the Zillion

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October 17, 2013: The New Coney Island: Thor Equities Vacant Lots, Dummy Arcades

September 2, 2013: The New Coney Island: A Tale of Two Jones Walks

September 9, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Faber’s Fascination Goes Dark After 50 Years

March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

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Grashorn Building

Thor Equities Vacant & Shuttered Grashorn Building. November 10, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

For the past two weeks, the Coney Island Rumor Mill has been abuzz with the rumor that Thor Equities-owned Grashorn Building, Coney Island’s oldest structure, is set to be demolished. Though you’d never guess to look at it today, the building dates back to the 1880s and predates Coney’s first amusement parks, which were built in the 1890s.

We can’t confirm the rumor, there’s no demolition order for 1104 Surf on the DOB’s website. Thankfully. Not yet. But we’d be remiss not to mention it. In the past, there’s been a lag on updates to the DOB site when for example, Thor’s teardown of the Henderson Music Hall at the end of the 2010 season caught people by surprise as the asbestos abatement that preceded the demo got underway.

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

The Grashorn rumor started as Gameworld moved out of their Surf Avenue storefront, where the arcade had relocated the year after losing their spot in the then soon-to-be demolished Henderson Building. Known as Faber’s Fascination because of the vintage bare bulb sign from the earlier Fascination parlor, the Henderson arcade was one of the few businesses open year round in Coney Island’s amusement district. Not only are there no year-round arcades in Coney Island today, there are signs on Thor’s new building touting “ARCADE” where there is nothing but retail space for rent.

After auctioning off some of the Gameworld arcade machines, owner Carl Muraco moved the rest to a newly leased space on the Bowery. Owned by Jeff Persily, the location is next-door to the lot where Coney Island Arcade was before it burned down in 2010. Gameworld is expected to reopen next season.

Grashorn Rendering Save Coney Island

In June 2010, Save Coney Island’s rendering imagined what the Grashorn could become if it was preserved, restored and reused. Via SaveConeyIsland.net

The Jones Walk side of the Grashorn building has been vacant since 2008, as ATZ reported in “The New Coney Island: A Tale of Two Jones Walks.” In the summer of 2010, Save Coney Island published renderings showing the potential of the building if restored, but their plan to create a Coney Island Historic District along Surf Avenue was crushed by Sitt’s demolition of all but one of his historic buildings. Only the Grashorn remains.

Originally Henry Grashorn’s hardware store, the Grashorn building later housed shooting galleries, arcades, and cotton candy and taffy stands. Considered too “altered” to win landmark protection by the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the vacant, deteriorating building has been a victim of the continuing decimation of the amusement area by Thor CEO Joe Sitt. It may not survive in the New Coney Island. Demolition by neglect?

UPDATE December 9, 2013:

On Saturday, we were alarmed to receive a call about men in hazmat suits starting interior demolition on Thor Equities-owned Grashorn. Asked by a pedestrian if there was danger, a worker replied they were doing demolition. As it turns out, the demo crew was working next door to the Grashorn building where Henry Grashorn’s hardware store was in the 1880s. They are doing interior demo in the neighboring space that was G. Grashorn’s Groceries. The work continued through the weekend. There are no permits posted, nor are there any work permits on the DOB website for the buildings at 1102-1106 Surf Avenue. Anonymous tipsters sent us these photos:
“Thor’s Coney Island: Weekend Work for Hazmat Men,” ATZ, December 8, 2013

Grashorn Building

Grashorn Building, Surf Avenue, Coney Island. July 12, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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October 17, 2013: The New Coney Island: Thor Equities Vacant Lots, Dummy Arcades

September 2, 2013: The New Coney Island: A Tale of Two Jones Walks

April 10, 2011: Men in Black 3 Rescues Coney Island’s Oldest Building

September 9, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Faber’s Fascination Goes Dark After 50 Years

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Jones Walk

Long-shuttered storefronts on Thor Equities side of Jones Walk. Luna Park games on City-owned land on the Walk’s east side. June 21, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

With Mayor Bloomberg, Councilman Domenic Recchia and other electeds responsible for the rezoning of Coney Island leaving office in 120 days, and their would-be successors campaigning for the September 10th Primary, it’s time to look at the City’s accomplishments in Coney Island and what has yet to be done. The New Coney Island. We’ll also take a look at some of the casualties as well as some of the survivors of the July 2009 rezoning. ATZ hopes to cover these topics in a series of posts over the next couple of months.

Let’s start with the Surf Avenue side of Jones Walk, the last of Coney Island’s historic walks. Before Thor, it used to be a vibrant and authentic place, a midway of midways. Now “the Walk” looks like a victim of a split personality disorder. The City-owned east side of Jones Walk, re-activated by Luna Park with cute carnival games and a few food stands, and Thor Equities-owned west side, vacant since 2009, offers a stark contrast between Coney’s largest property owners. While the City has brought in replacement amusements, Thor–whose slogan for a time was “Coney Island, Retail Ride of a Lifetime”— has gotten rid of amusements.

Stinky Feet Water Race Game

Luna Park’s Stinky Feet Water Race Game, Jones Walk. Coney Island. May 27, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

You’d never know from looking at it, but the building on the west corner of the Walk is Coney Island’s oldest, the circa 1880s Grashorn Building. Originally Henry Grashorn’s hardware store, the building later housed shooting galleries, arcades, and cotton candy and taffy stands. Now it’s a victim of the continuing decimation of the amusement area by Thor CEO Joe Sitt. The Grashorn building fronts Surf Avenue and extends along the west side of the walk, yet this location has remained vacant and devoid of activity for five seasons. WHY? A business owner who had leased a small stand on the Walk from Thor in 2008 told us in 2009 that the rent had tripled from $8,000 to $24,000. He declined the space and left Coney Island, never to return.

Grashorn

Thor Equities Vacant & Shuttered Grashorn Building. August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Since then, the Grashorn has fallen victim to squatters, blight and burst water pipes. A parade of sideshow operators and arcade owners tried but failed to lease the Jones Walk space from Thor. The only use that it has seen since we started blogging in 2009 was as a set for HBO’s Bored to Death (2011) and an office for the production company filming Men in Black 3 (2012).

Meanwhile, on the east side of the walk are carnival games, including the comical “Stinky Feet” water race, newly installed this year by Luna Park on property leased by the City to Zamperla in 2012. The city displaced independent operators with an RFP for a single operator to renovate and re-activate the property. The result was a few unsavory operators got the boot while the good guys relocated to City-owned or private property elsewhere in Coney.

We’re lucky the Grashorn Building is still standing. Unlike the Bank of Coney Island, the Surf Hotel and the Henderson Building, which Sitt demolished, the Grashorn parcel at Surf Ave and Jones Walk was not rezoned by the City for a 30-story high rise hotel. There’s also the fact that the building is just a few doors away from Luna Park’s entrance. And there’s also the fact the City owns the east side of Jones Walk. The demolition of the Grashorn would have created a desolate empty lot right next to the City’s showcase amusement park and completely killed business on the Walk.

 New Games on Jones Walk

Luna Park’s New Games on Jones Walk. Coney Island. May 27, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In Coney Island: Lost and Found, historian Charles Denson writes that the building at 1104 Surf dates back to the 1880’s and the Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years: “The clapboard façade, dormers, cast iron resting, chimneys and fish-scale shingles were removed when the building was renovated in the 1980s but the mansard roof retains its shape.”

What will be the fate of Coney Island’s historic Jones Walk and its oldest building under the next administration? Will Thor Equities’ property remain vacant? Will it be sold? Will Joe Sitt seek a zoning variance from the next administration for this property or for any of his vacant lots? To be continued…

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

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June 18, 2013: Thor’s Coney Island: Shoe Store Invades Amusement Area

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Grashorn

Thor Equities Vacant & Shuttered Grashorn Building. August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

We’re singing “Hooray for Hollywood, that phony super Coney Hollywood”! Not only is Men in Black 3 filming in Coney from May 2 through 6, they’ve leased Coney Island’s oldest building, the Grashorn, from Thor Equities and rescued it from oblivion. A construction crew is already fixing up the gutted interior of the building located at Surf and Jones Walk to use as their location headquarters.

Men In Black 3 stars Will Smith as Agent J traveling back in time to 1969 to stop a villain from killing a young Agent K played by Josh Brolin. According to the storyline, if the killing were carried out in the past, it would result in the destruction of Earth in the present. The production company is giving some of the buildings on Surf Avenue, Jones Walk and the Bowery a 1960’s look, including retro signage. At least one concessionaire on the Walk has plans to keep the look through the summer. Filming will also take place on the Boardwalk and in Wonder Wheel Park.

Target the Cat and Jimmy

On the Bowery: Target the Cat and Jimmy Waiting for Their Close-ups. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Jimmy, the Balloon Dart operator on the Bowery, is among the Coney Islanders who have been cast as extras. No word yet on whether Target the World-Famous Coney Arcade Cat has been hired for a walk-on. There was a casting call last week for “1969 New Yorkers (hippies, beatnik poets, ’60s celebrity look-a-likes, bikers, models, etc…), people who are less than 4′10 or more than 6′5, plus-sized people, and men and women with character faces.” Last year, the website joblo reported that ’60s era celebrities like Yoko Ono, Jimi Hendrix and Andy Warhol would appear in the film as aliens. The script has gone through a lot of changes. Filmed in 3-D, Men in Black 3 is set to be released on May 25, 2012.

As for the Grashorn, the fact that it’s getting rehabbed by the movie company has the Coney Island Rumor Mill saying it will be rented out afterward to game concessionaires. In Coney Island: Lost and Found, historian Charles Denson writes that the building at 1104 Surf dates back to the 1880’s and the Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years: “The clapboard façade, dormers, cast iron resting, chimneys and fish-scale shingles were removed when the building was renovated in the 1980s but the mansard roof retains its shape.” Here’s a photo of the way the building looked in 1969. Will it look like this again when Men in Black 3 travels back in time next month?

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Over the past two years, the Grashorn Building has fallen victim to squatters, blight and burst water pipes. Sideshow operator John Strong as well as two different arcade owners tried but failed to lease the space from Thor. The building remained shuttered and vacant during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In January, one of Thor Equities’ omnipresent “Stores for Lease” banners went up on the Grashorn Building.

UPDATE April 25, 2011:

Photo op! Booths and signs for the Men in Black 3 set started going up today on the beach side of Coney Island’s Boardwalk. Madame Zava Phrenology and a Balloon Dart have already been set up. Jones Walk and the Bowery are also expected to get some retro signage. Since the film shoot isn’t scheduled till May 2nd, you’ll be able to travel back to 1969 if you come to Coney Island next weekend!

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May 2, 2011: Men in Black 3 Set Transforms Coney Island Boardwalk

January 21, 2011: Thor’s Coney Island: Coney’s Oldest Building for Lease

January 1, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010

February 5, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Burst Water Pipes & Onerous Deal at Grashorn for Freak Museum

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Grashorn

Stores for Lease: The Grashorn, Coney's Oldest Building. January 20, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

One of Thor Equities’ omnipresent “Stores for Lease” banners went up yesterday on the Grashorn Building. Thanks to Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy for stopping by and taking these photos last evening. The banner caused excitement as peeps realized it meant that Coney Island’s oldest was not going to be demolished after all! Not this season anyway. But will it be leased? We’d really like to hope so, though potential tenants’ efforts to lease the building last year fell through. ATZ knows a couple of people who have already expressed interest. Get your bid in now!

Grashorn

Stores for Lease: The Grashorn, Coney's Oldest Building. January 20, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

For the record, Thor Equities never got a demolition permit for the Grashorn. ATZ first noticed this in August when the demo permits for the now demolished Bank of Coney Island, the Shore Hotel and the Henderson Music Hall were first issued. We never mentioned it because by then not calling attention to the Grashorn seemed the best way to protect the building.

Why was Coney Island’s oldest building granted a reprieve? Unlike the Bank of Coney and the Henderson, the Grashorn parcel at Surf Ave and Jones Walk was not rezoned for a 30-story high rise hotel. There’s also the fact that the building is just a few doors away from Luna Park’s entrance. And there’s also the fact the City owns the east side of Jones Walk and leases it to game concessions. The demolition of the Grashorn would have created a desolate empty lot near the City’s showcase amusement park and killed business on the Walk. Hey maybe the Mayor said to Joe, no demo?

In Coney Island: Lost and Found, historian Charles Denson writes that the building at 1104 Surf dates back to the 1880’s and the Grashorn hardware store served Coney Island’s amusement businesses for more than 60 years: “The clapboard façade, dormers, cast iron resting, chimneys and fish-scale shingles were removed when the building was renovated in the 1980s but the mansard roof retains its shape.”

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project

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Museum of Cryptozoology Banner on the front of John Strong's Freak Museum, Coney Island, July 12, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Museum of Cryptozoology Banner on the front of John Strong's Freak Museum, Coney Island, July 12, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The five-legged Yorkie puppy and dozens of other live and preserved freaks in John Strong’s Oddity Museum will soon take up residence at 1104 Surf Avenue, Coney Island’s oldest building. The Texas based sideshow operator plans to arrive in Coney Island by Easter weekend. “The lease is for three years,” Strong tells ATZ. “I can’t discuss the price. Thor specified that one thing. The price is simply just agreeable for all parties involved.”

As first reported by ATZ in January, Strong flew to New York and made a pitch to lease the Grashorn Building at Surf Ave and Jones Walk. Strong says the on-again, off-again deal has finally been approved by Thor CEO Joe Sitt.

A multi-year lease for seasonal tenants in Thor Equities’ Coney Island properties would be a first. One year leases and doubling of the rent have been the norm. It’s a clear sign that real estate speculator Joe Sitt is indeed going to “sitt” on his Coney property until the City’s infrastructure work is done and Coney Island is on the road to revitalization before he sells.

The Freak Museum’s tenancy is great news for the long vacant Grashorn. Last month, Coney Island’s oldest building was flooded by a spiteful squatter and had to be put on 24-hour security watch. The building fronts Surf Avenue and extends along the west side of Jones Walk. Yet this prime location remained vacant and devoid of activity in 2009 due to Thor CEO Joe Sitt’s soaring rents. Last summer, a business owner who had leased a small stand on the Walk from Thor in 2008 told us the 2009 rent had tripled from $8,000 to $24,000. He declined the space and left Coney Island.

ATZ will be happy to see the building fixed up and open for business again. We’ve worked a game on the east side of Jones Walk and can’t tell you how depressing it is to face the shuttered gates of Thor day after day! Vacant and shuttered buildings are bad for business on Surf Ave and the Walk. It makes the Walk look uninviting. This part of Thorland hasn’t gotten as much attention as Stillwell, but it’s another example of deliberate blight.

John Strong's Freak Museum 2010 Location: Thor Equities Shuttered Grashorn Bldg, Surf Ave & Jones Walk, Coney Island, August 15,  2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

John Strong's Freak Museum 2010 Location: Thor Equities Shuttered Grashorn Bldg, Surf Ave & Jones Walk, Coney Island, August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

John Strong’s Freak Museum will certainly improve the view from our stand…

“You’re going to see 13 feet of brand new banners and 250 attractions in circus wagons,” says Strong “The 130′ will wrap around to Surf Ave. This is going to be the biggest, the finest, the greatest attraction in Coney Island during the 2010 Season. We’ve got four other shows going up on other Thor parcels. We haven’t secured Stillwell yet.”

Last week, the Coney Island Rumor Mill was saying that Sitt was asking $500,000 for both sides of Stillwell and he wanted all of the money up front! Amusement park operators from the Jersey Shore were set to bring in go karts but the deal fell apart due to onerous lease clauses and the $250K rent for the east side of Thor’s Stillwell parcel. Various carnival operators have come and gone from talks with Thor Equities. If Strong manages to secure Stillwell, it won’t be all circus sideshows. He plans to bring in go karts and carnival rides. Essentially he’d be putting together a midway made up of rides and attractions from various amusement operators.

“I’ve got to pull rabbits out of a hat to get spectacular rides and other attractions to fill Stillwell at this late date,” Strong tells ATZ. “I’m good at doing that. I know everyone in the amusement business. Because there are so many shows and so many parcels, I’m not sure which parcel will have which show. Also, with Stillwell not being nailed down or not nailed down as yet, I may or may not have additional parcels to play with.”

Rumor has it that Strong will put his Strange Girls Show, a live show which was on the former Astroland site last summer, on the lot across from Coney Island USA. The last time anything like this happened was in 1996 when Strong’s stepfather Bobby Reynolds had his oddity museum in the former Bank of Coney Island building. Will 2010 be the summer of duelling sideshows on West 12th Street?

Security guarding the Thor-owned Grashorn Building, Coney Island's oldest, on the west corner of Jones Walk. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Security guarding the Thor-owned Grashorn Building, Coney Island's oldest, on the west corner of Jones Walk. February 16, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

UPDATE April 29, 2010:

John Strong’s deal to rent the Grashorn is off! We’re sorry that rumors of Joe Sitt’s plans to demolish historic buildings which we reported in last week’s post “Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings” (ATZ, April 21, 2010) have turned out to be true. This is one time we would have preferred for the rumors to have remained just rumors.

Today, in response to a flurry of queries from reporters about Sitt’s still unleased empty lots and vacant properties, Thor Equities pr flack Knickerbocker SKD issued a press release announcing Sitt’s intention to begin demolishing the buildings and to replace them with other structures by May 2011. According to the release, “These structures will be replaced with more attractive, retail-friendly and up-to-code shops for the type of retailers Coney is famous for.” See “Thor’s Coney Island: Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt Is Baaack Playing Games!” (ATZ. April 29, 2010)

Translation: More Bull-Sitt from Thor Equities. More deliberately created empty lots.

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April 29, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt Is Baaack Playing Games!

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

February 5, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Burst Water Pipes & Onerous Deal at Grashorn for Freak Museum

January 13, 2010: John Strong Sideshow Aims for Coney Island Comeback

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