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Posts Tagged ‘Stillwell Terminal’

Dunkin Donuts

Rebuilding After Sandy: Mario Tuna, owner of Dunkin Donuts in Stillwell Terminal, Coney Island. February 22, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

On an average weekday in February, nearly 12,000 people swipe their MetroCards at Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal, the terminus for the D, F, N and Q lines, but there’s no place to stop and get a cup of coffee since Sandy. Unless you count the food truck at the Stillwell Avenue entrance. Four months after flooding and sewage ravaged the terminal during SuperStorm Sandy, the 24-hour Dunkin’ Donuts at Surf and Stillwell remains closed. On Friday we talked with Mario Tuna, the location’s franchisee, who happened to be painting the orange trim when we passed by. “We’re having a grand re-opening around March 15,” he told ATZ. The rehab of the store has been underway since January.

Painting

Painting in Progress. February 22, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins first opened in the reconstructed subway terminal in 2009. Due to extensive storm damage, the restaurant had to be completely renovated from the floor up and will get all new equipment. The cost of repairs is the responsibility of the franchisee, Tuna said. After Sandy, the stores that have managed to reopen in Stillwell Terminal are Subway, which is open 24 hours, and the newsstand. Neither of them sell coffee. The Bank of America’s ATMs have also been replaced.

Seasonal shops such as Lola Star Boutique, Brooklyn Beach Shop and two other gift shops in Stillwell Terminal also suffered damage and remain closed. Coney Island Gourmet Shop/Magic Gyro has not been been touched and essentially looks like it did in the days after the storm. McDonald’s on Stillwell and Mermaid Avenues, which was also open 24 hours, remains boarded up and closed but the majority of stores on Mermaid have reopened.

Dunkin Donuts Renovation

Dunkin Donuts Renovation: New floors, walls. January 30, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Magic Gyro

Magic Gyro at Coney Island Gourmet Food. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Since Coney Island Gourmet Food opened in Stillwell Terminal in November, its Turkish-American owners have kept it stocked with a variety of imported chocolate bars, cookies and bulk nuts, as well as freshly baked bread, teas and grocery items. It struck us as a convenient place to stop by on the way home from work rather than on the way to the beach. A “Magic Gyro” sign on the Stillwell Avenue facade and a corner kitchen were a promise of home-made take-out food to come. The kitchen finally opened for business a few weeks ago and ATZ was delighted to find some vegetarian options, which are scarce in Coney Island’s amusement area.

Magic Gyro

Magic Gyro at Coney Island Gourmet Food. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In addition to chicken and veal sandwiches and entrees served with rice and salad, the menu offers falafel, hummus, babganoush, haydari (yogurt flavored with garlic, herbs and olive oil) and stuffed vine leaves. The food is very reasonably priced. A salad with pita bread is $2.99-$4.99, red lentil balls are 2 for $1.00, and spinach pie is $2.99. Last season, Coney Cones on the Boardwalk had panini but has taken it off their menu to focus on sweets and we miss it. We were happy to find the item available here for $3.49.

Magic Gyro

Magic Gyro at Coney Island Gourmet Food. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Did we mention that Coney Island Gourmet has the coldest air-conditioning in all of Coney Island? When we stopped by on one of those killer days in August, the cashier was wearing a polar fleece jacket. The cold drinks in the cooler are dazzling to look at and ice cold.

Magic Gyro

Cold drinks at Coney Island Gourmet Food. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

For dessert, try something different: Zefir, a traditional Russian marshmallow-like treat. Manager Umut Ozalp tells ATZ that the shop also has outposts at Brighton Beach, Kings Highway and 86th Street.

Coney Island Gourmet Foods, 2943 Stillwell Avenue (inside Stillwell Terminal), Brooklyn. 718-373-8400.

UPDATE April 5, 2013

Magic Gyro is closed. They have yet to rebuild and re-open after flood damage from Superstorm Sandy in October.

Zefir

Zefir at Coney Island Gourmet Food. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Lot at 1223 Surf Avenue next to Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

The second new commercial building to be constructed in Coney Island since the rezoning broke ground on the north side of Surf Avenue next door to Stillwell Terminal. “This is a spectacular location for a restaurant or nightclub, broker Joe Vitacco tells ATZ. “We are looking for quality tenants that will add to the growth of Coney Island.” The new building will be across the street from Thor Equities’ new retail-only building on the southeast corner of Surf and Stillwell, on the site of the demolished Henderson Music Hall.

The lot at 1223 Surf Avenue was in the news in December 2010, when we reported that Popeye’s Chicken was offered a lease in the new building for which plans had been filed. Construction was delayed and Popeye’s ended up relocating earlier this year to the Popper Building on the south side of Surf. Says Vitacco, “Finally, after two years of submitting and resubmitting and resubmitting again to the MTA and the Buildings Department, ground was broken for a two story, 15,000 square foot building at 1223 Surf Avenue in Coney Island. The first floor will be 10,000 square feet and the second floor will be 5,000 sq feet with a 2,500 square foot terrace. The second floor will be 22 feet above Surf Avenue with a view of the Atlantic Ocean and Luna Park.”

Plan for Two Story Commercial Building

First Floor: Plan for Two Story Commercial Building 1223 Surf Avenue in Coney Island

The owner of 1223 Surf Avenue, Fox 18 Realty, LLC, purchased the lot from Horace Bullard for $1,344,000 in 2010. The property has been vacant since 2001, when the Giuliani administration repeatedly ticketed and finally got rid of the flea market that had operated on the lot since the 1980s. The headline in the Daily News read “CONEY SMALL BIZ BLITZ STORM OF TICKETS TIED TO DEBUT OF CYCLONES.”

Prior to the flea market, independent rides have come and gone from the lot for as far back as anyone can recall. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Pinto Brothers, who also manufactured kiddie rides on 8th Street in Coney Island, operated a Whip here and a Crazy Ghost ride nearby. In the 1960s this location was home to McCullough’s Illions carousel, which was moved from Surf and 15th Street, until it was dismantled in 1968. A Sky Rapids water slide, a Jumbo coaster that resembled a Jumbo Jet, and go karts took turns operating there in the 1970s.

Once home to a variety of rides including Bumper cars and the B & B Carousell, the north side of Surf Avenue is now attracting bars, clubs and restaurants. Coney Island Bar & Grill, Tattoo Shot Lounge and the popular Grimaldi’s Pizzeria are the new face of the north side of Surf. At long last, the furniture stores named after amusement parks appear to be on their way out.

Sky Rapids Ride

Sky Rapids Ride at 1223 Surf Avenue, Coney Island January 1, 1979. Photo by Abe Feinstein via Coney Island History Project

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June 23, 2012: Opening Today: Coney Island Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

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Stillwell Terminal Store

Last Store for Rent in Stillwell Terminal. November 14, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal, which was reconstructed from 2001 to 2005, is about to be fully leased. The last chance to rent the last vacant store in one of the world’s largest above-ground subway terminals is coming up on Friday. Proposals should be submitted to the MTA by 3pm on December 2nd. For a copy of the RFP, contact the MTA Real Estate Department.

The suggested use for the approximately 625 square foot space is retail or food. The suggested annual rent is $45,000 with a 3% – 5% annual increase over the term of the ten-year lease. That works out to be $72 per square foot, but the potential tenant may offer more or less. The tenant is responsible for building the entire interior, installing utilities and other improvements according to strict specifications set by the MTA.

Not permitted: “Video games and arcades are not allowed. Stores selling t-shirts, beach-related accessories or Asian-themed dry goods are not allowed. Any selling of ice cream, donuts, submarine sandwiches, or grocery-type items is not allowed. ATMs or typical newsstand- type items are not allowed. Store is required to be open year-round (not just in summer months).”

Arcade games are apparently banned by the MTA and the restricted items are already sold by current tenants.Stillwell Terminal shops are occupied by Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, Subway, Bank of America and a newsstand. Lola Star Boutique, Coney Island Beach Shop and Coney Island Gift Shop have the T-shirt and beach gear market covered. Gourmet Food, which sells imported chocolate, cookies and nuts, as well grocery items, opened this month.

The RFP also contains an interesting statistic: The annual average weekday station customer count –paid entry at station only, not exiting– is 12,240. Summer passenger count increases significantly. For Saturdays in June, July and August in 2009, average paid entry was 22,411.

Gourmet Shop

Newly Opened Gourmet Food Shop, Stillwell Terminal. November 14, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

October 17, 2011: Popeyes Chicken Returning to Coney Island’s Surf Avenue

March 17, 2010: Photo of the Day: The “E” is Relit in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell

June 17, 2009: Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal: New, Stay Tuned & Still Under Construction

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Surf Ave. Lot for Lease next to Stillwell Terminal

Surf Ave. Lot for Lease next to Stillwell Terminal. December 23, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Last week leases went out to two fast food restaurants for space in a two-story commercial building to be built on the long vacant lot next to Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal. Built to suit/subdivide, the new building will have 10,000 square feet on the first floor and 5,000 square feet on the second floor.

Although the broker could not disclose the names of the restaurants until the leases are signed, the Coney Island Rumor Mill has been saying for weeks that Popeye’s Chicken would reopen at this location. Popeye’s owner began looking at space on the north side of Surf after getting booted out of the Henderson Building by Thor Equities. Popeye’s had been at the Henderson location for 27 years.

ATZ obtained the plans for the 1223 Surf Avenue building from broker Joe Vitacco of Jacob Gold Realty. “We sent out leases for two spaces, both on the left side of the property. They will be fast food,” said Vitacco. But there’s still room for more. “The remaining space, which is about 4,500 square feet, could be a restaurant by itself or in conjunction with the 5,000 square foot second floor that will have a 4,500 square foot terrace overlooking Surf. There will be an elevator connecting the first and second floors. The second floor will be 22 feet above grade and will have a panoramic view of the ocean.” The plans for the second story show a terrace that is approximately 27 feet deep by 65 feet wide. Takers?

Plan for Surf Ave Building

Second Floor: Plan for Two Story Commercial Building at 1223 Surf Avenue in Coney Island

When ATZ asked what’s the other fast food restaurant? Vitacco said, “You’ll be surprised.” If you’d like to hazard a guess, go right ahead and post a comment. Keep in mind that Stillwell Terminal already has Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins and Subway franchises. There’s a McDonald’s Cafe at Stillwell and Mermaid Avenues.

According to Vitacco, the price of the lease depends upon how much work the tenant requires of the landlord beyond a shell. “We are leaving that on a case by case decision,” he says. “The plans have been filed we need approval then permits then we will have an idea as when it will be ready.” The 1223 Surf Avenue property was previously owned by Horace Bullard, who also owns the nearby Shore Theater, which is for sale for $12 million. Vitacco represented Bullard in the sale of this property to Fox 18 Realty LLC and now has the exclusive to represent the owner in the leasing of the property.

Plan for Two Story Commercial Building

First Floor: Plan for Two Story Commercial Building 1223 Surf Avenue in Coney Island

The lot has been vacant since 2001, when the Giuliani administration repeatedly ticketed and finally got rid of the flea market that had operated on the lot since the 1980s. The headline in the Daily News read “CONEY SMALL BIZ BLITZ STORM OF TICKETS TIED TO DEBUT OF CYCLONES.”

Prior to the flea market, independent rides have come and gone for as far back as anyone can recall. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Pinto Brothers, who also manufactured kiddie rides on 8th Street in Coney Island, operated a Whip here and a Crazy Ghost ride nearby. In the 1960s this location was home to McCullough’s Illions carousel, which was moved from Surf and 15th Street, until it was dismantled in 1968. A Sky Rapids water slide a Jumbo coaster that resembled a Jumbo Jet, and go karts took turns operating there in the 1970s.

UPDATE August 2, 2012

New Building Breaks Ground Next to Coney Island’s Stillwell Terminal

Sky Rapids Ride

Sky Rapids Ride on Surf Avenue, Coney Island January 1, 1979. Photo by Abe Feinstein via Coney Island History Project

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Lighted Sign at Coney Island's Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

The E Is Fixed: Lighted Sign at Coney Island's Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Yesterday we received a message that the “E” in CONEY had finally been fixed and was two-third’s lit! And the crooked “L” in ISLAND had been straightened out, too! Yay and hooray! We’re almost tempted to say the repair of the Stillwell Terminal’s signature sign after months of neglect presages the rebirth of Coney Island.

One thing for sure, somebody at the MTA must read blogs. Last week ATZ posted “Will MTA Ever Fix Burned out “E” in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell?” The light had been out for several months and complaints to the MTA that the darkened E ruined an iconic photo op at the showplace station went nowhere. Thanks to curbed for reblogging our plea that the light be fixed in time for the opening day of Coney’s comeback season.

This morning on the way to work photographer and Coney Island resident Bruce Handy took these historic first photos of the relit E. “The people waiting for the bus must have thought I was crazy taking photos at 5:30 in the morning. But you never know, later today the E could be fully lit. I wanted to capture the 2/3 look.” Actually he found “BIG E is 4/5 Lit.”

We’re looking forward to taking a picture perfect shot of the front of the station sometime soon. Burned out bulbs on building have yet to be replaced. Maybe tomorrow?

BIG E is 4/5 Lit. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Iconic Photo Op: BIG E is 4/5 Lit. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

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March 12, 2010:Will MTA Ever Fix Burned out “E” in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell?

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CONEY ISLAND is CON_Y ISLAND! Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

CONEY ISLAND is CON_Y ISLAND! March 11, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

How many MTA employees does it take to change a light bulb? How many months or years does it take them to get the job done? Or did alphabet lights get slashed from the MTA’s budget?

Last night we took this photo of the entrance to the MTA’s Stillwell Terminal, the largest above-ground subway station in the world and the gateway to Coney Island. It would be a postcard perfect shot except for the fact that the “E” in CONEY ISLAND is burned out and has been burned out since last summer. We con you not: the photo below of CON_Y ISLAND was taken in July 2009.

When we phoned the MTA’s customer service line in June, the rep dutifully took down the info. But he just didn’t get it: “You can still read it,” he said of the burned out “E.” Personally we think it ruins an iconic photo op. We called up a friend who has a job at the MTA and asked him to pass the word along to the correct department. He wouldn’t and couldn’t. Told us it was against protocol.

Dear MTA Chairman Jay Walder, please send a crew over to fix the “E” and replace the other burned out bulbs asap before Coney Island’s opening day! That will be March 28th, just 16 days away. And while they’re here, get them to straighten out the “L” in ISLAND, which looks like somebody gave it a whack. Millions of visitors will arrive and depart via Stillwell Station this year. We want the new Coney Island to put her best face forward. Burned out lights say who the hell cares.

UPDATE March 17, 2010:

Yesterday we received a message that the “E” in CONEY had finally been fixed and was two-third’s lit! And the crooked “L” in ISLAND had been straightened out, too! Yay and hooray! We’re almost tempted to say the repair of the Stillwell Terminal’s signature sign after months of neglect presages the rebirth of Coney Island. See “Photo of the Day: The “E” is Relit in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell”

Welcome to Con-y island! All Aboard! Coney Island, NY. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Welcome to Con-y island! All Aboard! Coney Island, NY. July 25, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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March 17, 2010: Photo of the Day: The “E” is Relit in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell

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