2006_11_coneyisla.jpgThe NY Sun looks at the $1.5 billion Coney Island plan Thor Equities is looking to bring to Brooklyn. Thor, which has bought 10 acres of Coney Island and has already told some tenants to go and others that they'll be able to stay another summer, is looking to remake the stretch into a "into a year-round destination, and [give] it the feel of Las Vegas, Orlando, or Atlantic City.":

New designs drawn up by the architectural firm Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn depict Thor's futuristic vision. A new roller coaster would dart in and out of new buildings along Stillwell Avenue, the first roller coaster in New York City since the Cyclone opened in 1927, according to the developer. Opposite the subway station, Thor is planning a vertical ride to the top of a 150-foot-high water tower that would be decorated with flickering holograms of whales and mermaids.

Where Stillwell Avenue meets the boardwalk, the developer wants to build a giant indoor water park and a three-story, glass-enclosed carousel. All the rides would be winterized. They would also be integrated with a movie theater, arcades, retail stores, and with existing attractions, like the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel, and the Parachute Drop. Thor Equities would lease out the rides or find an operating partner to run the amusements.

BUT: Thor would rather concentrate on residential development because the amusements are more seasonal. Which means that the city would have to rezone Coney Island for residential use - and that could be another big Brooklyn development debate.

The most amusing part of the article is a quote from Coney Island USA founder Richard Zigun, who doesn't want condos but would be okay with hotels but ultimately wants Coney Island to shine again: "I'm not one of the people who says no-go on Vegas. You can build Brooklyn's Times Square at the beach. Before you know it, you will be able to have a Starbucks latte at the beach, and hopefully a giant roller coaster you can throw up on."