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September 19th, 2008
The New York Post reports from Wednesday’s MAS panel discussion “Coney Island at the Crossroads,” that the City attempted to cut an eleventh hour deal with Thor Properties over the extension of a lease for Astroland – the Coney Island amusement park that closed its doors two Sundays ago. Recognizing that Astroland is an existing amenity for millions of New Yorkers, MAS had urged the City to find a way to help Astroland continue, including relocating the park to City-owned land.
In other news, the City’s Economic Development Corporation has reached another agreement with a business owner in Willets Point, Queens. Continue Reading>>
September 18th, 2008
The New York Observer interviewed Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Lieber this week on the future of major development projects occupying the Bloomberg administration during its last year – notably Moynihan Station, Willets Point, and Coney Island. Lieber suggested that while the City is trying to acquire more land at Coney Island, the major landowner Thor Equities is still vacillating on selling – in which case the City would proceed with rezoning. MAS testified that the City’s revised plan – which already reduced the size of the open-air amusement park to accommodate Thor – is too small for the needs of New Yorkers and would deprive Coney of living up to its potential at New York’s premier waterfront amusement and entertainment area.
In other news, Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins convened a hearing yesterday on reforming eminent domain laws Continue Reading>>
September 2nd, 2008
The owner of Astroland in Coney Island is seeking a longer lease from the major landowner, Thor Equities, as their negotiations with the City to rezone the area drag on (AP). MAS testified at the most recent public hearing on the rezoning, stating that the area set aside in the plan as of now for open-air amusements might be too small to sustain a truly great amusement district.
Admiral’s Row, a series of mid-nineteenth century naval officers’ quarters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is under threat of demolition to make way for an industrial building, a supermarket, and parking. MAS presented six alternative plans for the site that would allow for these new structures while preserving all or some of the historic buildings. Watch a video and interview with MAS on NY1.
In other news, the vacant Mart 125 on 125th Street will be reconstructed as a cultural venue for local arts and performance groups in Harlem Continue Reading>>
August 27th, 2008
In yesterday’s Gotham Gazette, writer Courtney Gross examines in detail the ongoing conflict between the Bloomberg administration’s rampant rezoning of the city and community advocates’ call for more public participation in the planning process. From the Jamaica Plan to Williamsburg to Willets Point, she points out the flaws in the process that allow plans to proceed despite community opposition. She also tackles the issue of the lack of teeth given to 197-a planning under the current system.
Eve Baron of the Municipal Art Society Planning Center and our the Campaign for Community-Based Planning Task Force says, “When we’re talking about public participation, sitting down and being willing to talk before rezoning happens is one thing,” said Baron. “There is another thing that is working with the community beforehand to create proactive plans.” For more news, Continue Reading>>
August 25th, 2008
In today’s Gotham Gazette, MAS weighs in on how communities can and should have more influence on land-use planning in New York City, echoing its testimony given to the City Planning Commission last week.
In related news, Crain’s New York Business reports that an outspoken landowner and critic of the proposed Willets Point rezoning has settled with the City.
Elsewhere, many landowners on East 125th Street are still awaiting negotiations with the City as the rezoning review of that area continues Continue Reading>>
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