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BROOKLYN, NY-The New York City Economic Development Corp. has signed a property acquisition agreement with Ward Realty Corp. to acquire approximately one acre in the amusement core in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, the NYCEDC will acquire the land for $11 million. The current tenant, Wonder Wheel Park maintains a lease to operate on the property for a term of 12 years, through 2020.

The deal is the first of what NYCEDC expects to be a series of land acquisitions in the coming months. The Ward Realty Corp. site is located within the nine-acre area the City has designated to be mapped as parkland. The NYCEDC did not answer GlobeSt.com queries by deadline. Ward Realty Corp. was unable to be reached by deadline.

Under the City’s rezoning plan for the area, the parkland will establish a base for developing new year-round indoor and outdoor amusement uses, “while still maintaining Coney Island’s unique character,” according to a prepared statement. The acquisition the Ward site will bring the total amount of city-owned property within the footprint to about four acres.

According to Seth Pinsky, president of the NYCEDC, in a prepared statement, “the acquisition of the Ward property provides further evidence of the City’s commitment to preserve Coney Island’s unique heritage and protect the amusements in perpetuity. This important deal brings us one step closer to our twin goals of maintaining what is best about Coney Island, while simultaneously building a vibrant, modern mixed-use community.”

In pursuit of its long-term goal, NYCEDC continues to engage in active negotiations with the remaining landowners to consolidate the rest of the nine acre site. According to the release, upon completion of the public approval process, there will be a total of 12 acres of parkland to be devoted to amusement uses in Coney Island, including the city-owned Cyclone roller coaster and Steeplechase Park, which are already mapped as parkland.

The City intends to redevelop the neighborhood surrounding the amusements by bringing in infrastructure improvements, creating affordable housing “and fostering economic activity that will create jobs and opportunities for local residents.” The project is expected to provide more than 20,000 construction jobs and thousands of permanent jobs.

Lynn Kelly, president of the Coney Island Development Corp. says in a prepared statement that the agreement is more than a purchase of a property. Kelly says that it is an opportunity to preserve Coney Island as an amusement destination.

In September 2003, the Mayor, the City Council and the Brooklyn Borough president formed Coney Island Development to spearhead and implement a comprehensive planning process for Coney Island and to create a coordinated economic development strategy for the area. The plan was released in September 2005, outlining a vision for Coney Island with three major goals. The goals include: year-round entertainment destination; enhanced amusements and seaside attractions; and a vibrant neighborhood providing opportunities for everyone.

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