Posts Tagged ‘Mayor Bloomberg’

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


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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Shoot The Freak.  Dec. 22, 2010.  Photo ©  Rubys Host via flickr

Shoot The Freak. Dec. 22, 2010. Photo © Rubys Host via flickr

If you were hoping to take one last souvenir photo in front of Shoot the Freak on New Year’s Day, fuhgeddaboutit. This afternoon, construction workers boarded up the front of the vacant lot where the famed Coney Island paintball game has been played since 2002. Central Amusement International/Zamperla has a DOB permit for “the installation of temporary fencing and site preparation.” Workers told the photographer: “It’s the new entrance to one of the roller coasters coming into Scream Zone for 2011.”

“The back wall/fences are now gone and the stuff inside removed, but that’s it,” said Rubyshost in an email. “They were bringing in new material for fencing, poles etc – part of the wall was open so I could see the entire back.”

Shoot the Freak is one of the eight Boardwalk businesses being evicted by CAI, which has leased the property from the City. The Coney Island 8’s court date was postponed till January 10, 2011

When news of the Boardwalk evictions broke in November, New York Magazine chimed in with “Let Us Now Mourn the Loss of Coney Island’s ‘Shoot the Freak’” to remind us that city planning commissioner Amanda Burden once assured New York that she “loved” and “would vote for” Shoot the Freak. That was back in 2007. No love now! Here’s the vid of the Mayor, Burden and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff answering a reporter’s question about the future of Shoot the Freak and other Coney Island attractions. The videographer is the late Bob Guskind of Gowanus Lounge. Bob would have appreciated the irony of this video showing up three years later in a post about the demise of Shoot the Freak.

UPDATE… December 23, 2010…11:00 pm

This afternoon, “The Coney Island 8” issued a press statement on the shuttering of Shoot the Freak. It says in part: “We are angered and saddened that, just a few days before Christmas, one of our businesses, ‘Shoot the Freak,’ has had its entrances illegally boarded up and all of its property removed. This was done without the knowledge of the owner Anthony Berlingieri.” The businesses, which are fighting their eviction in court, also launched a new website to tell their story and ask New Yorkers to call the Mayor’s office in support of the Coney Island 8. The url is www.coneyisland8.com.


Related posts on ATZ…

December 5, 2010: Bitter Week Ahead: Coney Island 8 Summoned to Court, Shore & Henderson Demo

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

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

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