Parkland zoning for New York neighbourhood
According to Business Week, the New York City Planning Department and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) have unveiled a proposed zoning plan for Coney Island that could require developer Thor Equities to scale back its plans for a massive hotel and entertainment complex in the Brooklyn neighbourhood.
The new framework might also spare the Astroland amusement park, which faced possible demolition, and provide for the construction of affordable housing. In a move to preserve the amusement district in Coney East, a 15-acre area that is home to institutions such as the 1962-vintage Astroland and the landmark 1939 New York World’s Fair Parachute Jump (pictured), the area will be designated as parkland in perpetuity.
The plan would allow for improvements to the existing amusements, and the construction of new ones on abandoned sites, but it would set height limits to preserve views to Coney Island’s iconic structures. New buildings may not exceed the 250ft-tall Parachute Jump.
Thor Equities has spent $100 million during the last few years to purchase 12 acres, roughly two-thirds of the amusement district, and was planning to spend $2 billion constructing a 2-million-square-foot hotel and entertainment complex. But many local businesses and residents opposed this scheme because they were concerned it would overpower Coney Island’s historical character.