NYCEDC in Your Neighborhood: Brooklyn
NYCEDC is strongly focused on revitalization efforts in Coney Island’s historic entertainment district and this summer will see a big payoff for city residents seeking summer fun. Beginning this past Memorial Day, Coney Island now boasts expanded attractions and extended hours with seven day a week amusement operations and two new thrill rides. The two new rides, Boardwalk Flight and Coney Island Raceway, are part of the second phase of development of the Scream Zone amusement park, which, along with Luna Park, has helped draw a record number of visitors back to Coney Island since 2010.Mayor Bloomberg announced the new summer attractions and emphasized Coney Island’s important place in the City’s history, “This revitalization has brought jobs and economic activity back to Coney Island, which is helping to fuel New York City’s booming tourism industry and diversify our economy.”
The Coney Island economy is rapidly expanding, with the new amusement parks attracting over 200,000 more visitors in 2011 than the previous year and over 600 new jobs in the local community. The positions were filled in part using the Department of Small Business Services’ Workforce 1 Centers and New York City Economic Development Corporation’s HireNYC program—a free program that connects the City's workforce development services to economic development projects—which held four job screenings, attracting over 1,600 job seekers, this past March and April.
The early success of summer 2012 is the latest step in the City’s investment in the Coney Island community. In 2009, the City purchased three parcels of land, totaling 6.9 acres, within the amusement district, and signed a 10-year lease with Central Amusement International to operate and build the new amusement parks on the property. The City has invested more than $6.6 million to support the opening of Luna Park and Scream Zone. In addition, CAI has invested nearly $30 million toward the construction of the two parks. Revitalization of the boardwalk represents a public and private effort to invest in the future of Coney Island, with Coney Island businesses investing $2.3 million for upgrades and renovations to their spaces in time for the summer season.
The City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan was written to preserve and grow the historic amusement area. The plan will create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood with new retail options and nearly 5,000 new units of housing, including 900 income-targeted units; and generate more than 25,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs. In total, the plan is expected to generate more than $14 billion in economic activity for New York City over 30 years.