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City and Developer Spar over Coney Island Visions - Case Study Example

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Bloomberg is a businessman himself and believes in achieving profits through growth and development. He believes in advantages of empowering the private sector and his administration has expedited permits and sanctioned building designs with minimum interference. The administration has been encouraging companies to start business in Coney by providing incentives in the form of tax breaks and freeing up unutilized areas along the beachfront.
The general public was divided in their opinion about the proposed development of the amusement park. While some agreed that a sophisticated and expensive amusement park was required in Coney to attract tourists, especially from neighboring areas, others were wondering about the costs to be incurred and whether the place would get enough tourists. Some were of the opinion that since people would visit Disneyland and other specialized places for amusement and vacations, there would not be enough money coming into the city through the new plans.
As Charles Bagli wrote in The New York Times, "The proposed rezoning, which covers 19 blocks and 47 acres from the New York Aquarium west along the oceanfront to Highland View Park, would transform an area pockmarked with empty lots and seedy buildings that still manages to attract millions of visitors every summer to the beaches, a ballpark and assorted attractions from roller coasters to sword swallowers.[nov,2007]."
There have been criticisms of the city's plan, from various fronts. The groups Save Coney Island and the Municipal Art Society, argue that the amusement district is too small and would be weighed down by development. They argue that to be really successful, the administration must have at least three times more land dedicated to the new amusement park and also introduce whacky rides. The group has also suggested the installation of an "eye popping" Ferris Wheel at a height of 443 feet, similar to the London Eye.
The most vocal criticism has been that of Joseph Sitt, the owner of Thor equities. Sitt had bought property worth $100 million in Coney in 2005.He has visions of putting up an amusement park like Disney World in place of the existing amusement park. He put forth his plans before the public arguing that to be economically feasible, there should be time-share hotels/condominiums and large retail shops. The administration however, doesn't permit the building of time-share holidays is under the city's zoning proposal. To further pressurize the government into action in his favour, he had promised to buy more land around central Coney area and even evicted some tenants like Astroland amusement park, adding to the vacant plots on the waterfront. In partnership with private builders, the Bloomberg administration has offered the city the most affordable homes in a long time.

The question here is, can Coney afford such extravagance at this point in time The common man is not concerned about the success of either Bloomberg's plan or Sitt's plan for the upcoming amusement park. He is already burdened by problems of recession, which in turn is going to affect the profits at the amusement parks. Retail sales too have been declining over the past two years and arranging finance for the project would be a bigger problem. Whether Bloomberg's proposal is ...Show more
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Summary

Coney island, once a centre for seaside amusement activities for the working and middle-class had become a quiet and neglected place till a few years ago. Almost forty years back, it was the centre of attraction for weekend revelers, but after World War II had lost its former glory…
City and Developer Spar over Coney Island Visions
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