While we didn’t plan on doing another Coney Island story today, with summer on its way and Coney Island still in a transitional period, there’s simply an above average amount of chatter out there. With so many changes on the horizon, we want to give Bensonhurst Bean’s readers a heads up on what to expect at the beach this summer.
Coney Island developer Joe Sitt – who has become very unpopular with preservationists in recent years – says the suburban mall-like building erected by his firm Thor Equities on the Stillwell Avenue site of an historic structure he had demolished is only temporary, and is just one of many changes (shudder) in store for the People’s Playground.
According to a report by NY1, the vacant lots leading up to the beach on either side of Stillwell Avenue will no longer be hosting flea markets, and will instead be home to amusement rides, food vendors, and games.
“We’ve got a great operator who’s coming now on this section so that both sides of Stillwell Avenue from Bowery to the ocean will be fully fueled with entertainment, rides and food and fun,” Sitt said.
That operator is BK Festival, the same group that brought the flea markets here last year and over to Aqueduct before that. Rides are now being set up and are expected to be up and running this Sunday.
“I think there’ll be enough new activities, new excitement, new rides, new entertainment, that I think everybody’s going to be very excited,” said Sitt.
One bone Sitt is apparently throwing the “old Brooklyn” crowd’s way is the arrival of Grimaldi’s Pizza – considered by many a pizza lover to be a Brooklyn institution – which will maintain an eatery on the north side of Surf Avenue, across from the amusement area.
“We were actually the ones to bring Grimaldi’s here for the first time. We really see ourselves as the ambassadors for Coney Island,” said Sitt.
Also on the way according to the “Sitt-uation”? A movie theater with stadium seating, restaurants and hotels.