After years of discussion, the City Council voted 44-2-1 in favor of rezoning Coney Island per the Bloomberg administration's plan for the 27-acre area, which includes hotels, retail shops, and a new roller coaster. And it looks like the city is working out a deal with Thor Equites' Joe Sitt, the developer who bought much of the land at Coney Island in hopes of his own ambitious hotel-amusement park plans.

Mayor Bloomberg hailed the approval, "Every year, Coney Island has sunk further and further away from its previous glory. That sinking has stopped." And his official statement laid out his plans and hopes:

"Now we move forward with a plan that will return Coney Island to its former glory, ensure its future as a year-round destination for visitors and create a more livable, vibrant community for its residents. For one, Coney Island will grow to include a 27-acre amusement and entertainment district, paving the way for a revitalized seaside destination that will attract New Yorkers and millions of visitors each year. Outside the amusement district, it will create 4,500 new units of housing - 35 percent of which will be affordable to low- and moderate-income families. In all, the plan will create 6,000 new, permanent jobs and 25,000 construction jobs, and generate an economic impact of $14 billion over 30 years."


However, there were critics—City Council members Tony Avella (who accused the mayor of putting corporate interests first) and Charles Barron voted against the plan while Rosie Mendez abstained. And Save Coney Island's Juan Rivero issued a statement, "This rezoning plan will irreparably damage Coney Island. Now it’s up to the Bloomberg administration to mitigate that damage by working to increase the size of the outdoor amusement area and by preventing the construction of high-rises in the middle of the amusement district. It is our hope and expectation that it will do so."

Crain's reports other additions to the revised plan include "the replacement of the Abe Stark ice rink and a new community gymnasium at PS 188...land for a new school and $30 million for a new emergency room and renovations at Coney Island Hospital. It also forbids the development of big-box retailers." (Plus a new deluxe shark tank at the NY Aquarium, per The Brooklyn Paper.) The Observer says while there could be room for four hotels, City Councilman Dominic Recchia believes there will only be two.

As for Sitt's land, it looks like the city may buy six of the 10.5 acres Sitt controls. The Daily News' sources say "Sitt would hang on to property on Stillwell and Surf Aves. It wasn't clear how much the city would pay for the land. Sitt previously rejected an offer of $105 million." Sitt's spokesman said Thor is "hopeful that these negotiations will result in a timely resolution and a brighter day for Coney."