The process began on Tuesday, January 20, when the Department of City Planning (DCP) met to review - for the first time - the New York City Economic Development Corporation's (EDC) proposed $2.5 billion rezoning plan for Coney Island.
The complex, costly plan, according to EDC, would do much to transform the area's aging amusement park infrastructure into a state-of-the-art play land, while also retaining its historic character.
"The plan to revitalize Coney Island will substantially increase the storied amusement area, creating a year-round attraction that will bring tourists and visitors to Brooklyn," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement on the newly unveiled proposal. "This plan protects and preserves the unique character of Coney Island while bringing new housing, shops, and recreational facilities to a community that needs more of each."
The report highlighting the plan made no mention of the lingering property tug-of-war between EDC and Thor Equities, a private development company that owns several prime acres in the heart of Coney Island's amusement park area.
Under the EDC proposal, a 19-block area of Coney Island would be rezoned to allow for large-scale development. The plan calls for a 27-story height limit on new buildings - the height of the area's landmark amusement attraction, the Parachute Jump. City officials have said most buildings would be significantly lower.
The city plans to develop 4,500 new apartments, of which 900 would be affordable housing, and 800 hotel rooms. Other proposed developments include new stores on Surf Avenue, possibly a movie theater, a new 27-acre amusement area with indoor and outdoor rides, and a 12-acre park.
The EDC has dubbed its envisioned amusement ride district "Wonder Wheel Way," because the new district would connect the area's three historic rides: the Ferris Wheel, Parachute Jump, and the Cyclone roller coaster.
The planning department will hold a series of hearings on the proposal before sending it the local community board and the borough president's office for approval. After that, the City Planning Commission and City Council must vote to approve the project.