In an exclusive interview with NY1, Joe Sitt, the developer who owns much of the land in Coney Island, shared plans for his undeveloped property this season. Brooklyn borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
The flea markets are out and carnival rides are in on these Stillwell Avenue lots owned by developer Joe Sitt.
"We've got a great operator who's coming now on this section so that both sides of Stillwell Avenue from Bowery to the ocean will be fully fueled with entertainment, rides and food and fun," Sitt said.
That operator is BK Festival, the same group that brought the flea markets here last year and over to Aqueduct before that. Rides are now being set up and are expected to be up and running this Sunday.
"I think there'll be enough new activities, new excitement, new rides, new entertainment, that I think everybody's going to be very excited," said Sitt.
But Sitt emphasized this is only a temporary plan for his property. He hopes to line Coney Island with hotels and restaurants once the the city puts the infrastructure in place.
The building Sitt erected on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues is also a temporary space. Sitt's company, Thor Equities, just started to show the lease property for retail and indoor entertainment uses but there's still more work to be done. The building will not be ready until next season.
Along Surf Avenue, there are more "For Lease" signs.
As NY1 first reported, Grimaldi's Pizza is opening up on Surf Avenue across from the amusement district. It will have seating for about 60 people, include two party rooms and should be open by Memorial Day weekend.
"We were actually the ones to bring Grimaldi's here for the first time. We really see ourselves as the ambassadors for Coney Island," said Sitt.
The developer also sees a movie theater on his Stillwell lot behind Nathan's. Sources say renderings have already been submitted to the city.
"That's one of the other things we hope to get permission to get to do over here is to put a stadium seating theater here," said Sitt.
Sources say one of the holdups is the theater must have an amusement element to it.
In the meantime, the new operators of the lots say along with the rides, they will have live entertainment.