Most of Coney Island's redevelopment has been focused on the amusement district, but now, the city is turning its attention to the residential neighborhood. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez has an exclusive look at the city's plans.
Out with the old, in with the new. Coney Island streets are being dug up to lay down $180 million worth of infrastructure improvements.
"What we're trying to do, in terms of the larger plan, to bring the type of private investment to this neighborhood, to this area that really hasn't been seen in generations," said Maria Torres-Springer, president of the city's Economic Development Corporation.
The city's goal is to develop nearly 20 blocks stretching from the Aquarium to West 24th Street. NY1 has learned that most of the planned development is housing on vacant lots west of the amusement area.
"This development would give way to affordable units," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "We have the potential of over 5,000 units of housing. That's so needed in Coney Island."
Of the 5,000 units, 1,500 would be for low- and middle-income residents.
The city also plans to build a park on a lot between the new Thunderbolt and MCU Ballpark. The city expects to take control of this site and two other parcels through the controversial process of eminent domain.
"What's important about those acquisitions is, it will allow us to complete the amusement district but it will also unlock sites that need to be used for streets and other parkland."
City renderings show a new street called Ocean Way linking the amusement area and residents to the west.
"This is a long time coming," said City Councilman Mark Treyger of Brooklyn. "There's an enormous need here to invest a lot of resources here in the Coney Island community. Because we cannot be defined by vacant lots anymore."
Officials say the old water and sewer mains can't accomodate the planned growth. Some of the removed pipes date to 1898.
"This particular infrastructure was in dire need of replacement," said Feniosky Peña-Mora, commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction.
Residents say the streets flood every time it rains and they welcome the improvements.
"These lots have been here for many years, many years, and they've been needing to be changed for a long time," said Sam Francois, a Coney Island resident.
The city will present its Coney Island plans to the community at a public hearing Monday afternoon.