Coney Island is slated to begin a revival that could lead to a bond transaction later this year for affordable housing.
New York City announced last week that it chose Central Amusement International to develop and operate rides at Brooklyn’s historic waterfront site.
After years of acrimony with developer Joseph Sitt, the city last year bought 6.9 acres of property for $95.6 million from Sitt’s company Thor Equities. Most of that land will be leased to CAI for 10 years for $100,000 annually. It plans to invest about $30 million to build rides on the site. The city will get a cut of the revenue from the rides.
Large swaths of Coney Island real estate have lain fallow for years amid uncertainty about its future and a clash in vision between Sitt and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The “announcement represents a significant step forward in the transformation of Coney Island — offering a substantial down payment on the promise of the administration’s plans for the redevelopment of this important Brooklyn neighborhood,” New York City Economic Development Corp. president Seth Pinsky said in a press release.
The city also announced that construction will begin this year on Coney Island Commons, an affordable housing development on the site.
It’s expected the development will involve $31 million of tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York City Housing Development Corp. and $15 million to $20 million of subsidies from the city and the issuer, according to HDC executive vice president for capital markets and general counsel Richard Froehlich.
The project, which had been announced in 2007, is expected to include 180 units of affordable housing and a 40,000-square-foot YMCA.
The city said in a press release that more than 5,000 apartments, including 900 units of affordable housing, will be built in the neighborhood following a rezoning last year.
“As part of the rezoning they will have an affordable component,” Froehlich said. “We’re expecting we will be participating in those as they come through.”