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BROOKLYN, NY-The Bloomberg administration officially kicks off the rezoning process for Coney Island Tuesday afternoon with a presentation of the long-awaited plan to transform the faded Brooklyn neighborhood famous for its arcades and rides. A draft environmental impact statement was issued last week, and the 20-block rezoning is on the agenda for Tuesday’s scheduled Department of City Planning review session.

In total, the Coney Island rezoning would encompass 47 acres of developable land. According to the DEIS, the plan would establish a 27-acre amusement and entertainment district that would include a 9.39-acre mapped open amusement park as its centerpiece. Outside the mapped parkland, the proposed rezoning aims to create 584,664 square feet of amusement and amusement-enhancing uses including restaurants; 606 hotel rooms; 2,408 residential units, of which 607 would be affordable; 43,236 square feet of accessory retail in the so-called Coney East subdistrict; 277,715 square feet of general retail outside the amusement and entertainment district; and 3,803 parking spaces, including 566 spaces for public use.

In a presentation last week to the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York, Tokumbo Shobowale, COO of the New York City Economic Development Corp., cited the importance of establishing Coney Island as a year-round destination. A statement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued Monday afternoon reiterates that priority.

“The plan to revitalize Coney Island will substantially increase the storied amusement area, creating a year-round attraction that will bring tourists and visitors to Brooklyn,” he says. “And as we enhance that historic asset, we will also pave the way to the north and west for the development of more than 4,500 housing units and the creation of thousands of permanent and construction jobs. This plan protects and preserves the unique character of Coney Island while bringing new housing, shops and recreational facilities to a community that needs more of each.”

Media coverage of the plan has speculated that one of the landmarks of Coney Island, the original Nathan’s Famous restaurant at 1310 Surf Ave., would not survive the rezoning. The restaurant chain, now headquartered in Westbury, NY, insists that this isn’t the case.

“We believe the information relating to Nathan’s Famous is being misinterpreted and that there is no intention to replace or demolish our flagship location,” says Eric Gatoff, Nathan’s Famous CEO, in a statement. “In fact, the Coney Island Development Corp.’s own drawings of its intended redevelopment continue to show Nathan’s Famous in the same location on which it has stood for 93 years, on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues.”

When Bloomberg discussed the rezoning before a Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce audience in 2007, he said the city will work with existing landowners to acquire many of the properties in Coney East. One such landowner is Thor Equities, which owns Astroland and other Coney Island properties and has its own plans for the area. The city and Thor have yet to reach an agreement on selling the properties.

A spokesman for the developer tells GlobeSt.com, “Despite being the largest landowner in the area that the city is proposing to rezone, Thor has yet to see the city’s plan. We will withhold any comment until we carefully review the city’s materials.”

Tuesday’s review session for the rezoning kicks off the Uniform Land Use Review Process, which is expected to take about seven months. The plan will be reviewed in a series of public hearings and will go before the local community boards, the Brooklyn borough president, the CPC and the City Council.

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