Beep Markowitz Argues Childs Building Amphitheater Will Bring Jobs and Public and Private Investment to Coney Island

Amphitheater will force city to fund neighborhood projects, Markowitz says

The Brooklyn Paper
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Borough President Markowitz is now pitching his controversial Coney amphitheater plan as an economic development project for the neighborhood’s impoverished residential area — where locals have attacked the project and complained of being neglected in favor of amusements.

“All of this for them,” said Markowitz in a presentation to the City Planning Commission about the project he hopes will permanent home for his seaside summer concert series.

The Beep argued at the Oct. 23 hearing that sinking $50 million in city funds into transforming the empty, landmarked Childs Building on the Boardwalk into an upscale eatery and concert venue would benefit residents by ensuring continued public investment in the area.

“This will continue to focus the city’s attention on the dire needs of Coney Island,” Markowitz told the commission, the oversight agency which will vote on whether to approve the project in December.

Markowitz claimed that the new restaurant and concert space would spark investment in new housing and local businesses by bringing even bigger crowds into Coney Island. The pol said this would mean more tax revenue, and would force the city to repair and maintain the People’s Playground’s long-suffering public infrastructure.

Coney residents have complained for years that the local sewer system backs up and floods the streets during rainstorms — and to especially devastating effect during Hurricane Sandy.

“As more development comes, as more retail comes in, that means the city will continue to invest money, because they’re getting money in return,” Markowitz argued. “They’ll have to fix the infrastructure because businesses and residents will need it.”

The Beep also said the new venue would provide 150 construction jobs and 275 permanent positions for the residents of Coney Island, many of whom live in public housing still struggling with mold and power outages almost a year after superstorm Sandy.

“It’s unfortunate for the people who live there, but New York City’s public housing is very troubled,” said Markowitz, who grew up in a housing project in Crown Heights.

But members of the People’s Coalition of Coney Island — an alliance of community groups claiming that post-Sandy relief efforts have unfairly focused on the amusement area at the expense of residents — argued that the $50 million would be better spent repairing still-defunct youth centers and other neighborhood resources put out of commission by Sandy.

“Coney Island has not recovered, and this is not the way to bring a recovery,” said neighborhood native Ann Valdez.

Other members of the Coalition complain that the city has not informed and engaged the community about the project, and raised fears that the only long-term jobs it creates will be low-paying service positions.

“People are not aware that this is going on. Let us know first, let us put our input in. Don’t just spoon-feed us whatever you want to give us,” said activist Sheila Smalls.

Community Board 13 voted against the amphitheater in September under pressure from residents.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

David Brown from LES says:
The amphitheater plan should not be "controversial" it should be a layup. The Child's Restaurant Building is doing nothing for Coney Island, this will help the Community. The merits, of other projects like Greenpoint Redevelopment and Bushwick Rezoning (both of which I support), can at least be debated. This Community Board opposition is NIMBYISM at its worst, and as such, will in the end be approved.
Oct. 28, 2013, 8:25 am
Les Brown from His Band of Renown says:
Oh, yeah, sure ... cause the ballpark was such a success at stimulating economic development.
Oct. 28, 2013, 9:17 am
Marsha Rimler from Brooklyn says:
This is a project to feed the Boro Presidents ego -it does nothing. Give the money to the libraries for long needed capital improvements.
Oct. 28, 2013, 9:43 am
johnny boy from Da Hood says:
Leave the guy alone , he's just trying to get his last kick back before leaving office.

The red hook ship project was a big money maker, LOL, it actually created 13 jobs and their probably no shows
Oct. 28, 2013, 9:58 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
I looked up the reviews of Childs Restaurant on Yelp...why are we saving this place again?
Oct. 28, 2013, 10:40 am
David Brown from LES says:
It amazes me how people like Marsha fail to comprehend things. This is a Coney Island specific project. Almost every single community in Brooklyn would like their Library improved, but that is not happening. South Brooklyn was lucky to have Marty Markowitz, and they will miss him. Why? With the new incoming Borough President ( Eric Adams), the dollars will be shifting away from Coney Island and South Brooklyn to areas like a East Flatbush, Crown Heights and Bed Sty. If you don't believe me, check out the Adams/Cuomo plan to build a $1b New Hospital in you guessed it.... East Flatbush.
Oct. 28, 2013, Noon
Will from Park Slope says:
So, David Brown from the did you get to be such an expert on all things Brooklyn? But you're not, are you, or you would know that Marty hasn't done squat for Coney Island, South Brooklyn, or really anywhere else in Brooklyn unless you count his self-promoting concert series (or unless you're a billionaire real estate development company and you want to say an elected official backs your plan for gentrifying the current residents out of their homes.)

And equating a boondoggle restaurant/amphitheater with a proposal to close 3 outdated hospitals and consolidate services in one new structure...that's just mind bogglingly out of touch with reality.
Oct. 28, 2013, 1:40 pm
David Brown from LES says:
Will, the Kings Theatre coming in next year, Barclays Center and this project are not nothing ( so are the upgrades in Coney Island). I guess you will be happy with Marty's replacement "Cop Hater" Eric Adams as your BP?As for the Hospitals, Cuomo should have given De Blasio the opportunity to implement his plan to keep the Hospitals open instead of a plan that benefits Real Estate Developers and Eric Adams. I happen to be a Conservative far to the right of him ( or even Lhota), and I think trying something new is not a bad idea.
Oct. 28, 2013, 4:05 pm
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
I love Marty, & want this project to happened. It brings people together. Most of all the concerts are usually for people 50 .

Other than broadway & local bars, there are many in this group that loves this concerts series.

This is a slam dunk, but Marty, I personally detest seeing "the poor", being used as a "prop", when ones fails to properly moviate others to their goal.

U r the man "w/ the mouth", yap ur way to convince others why this project is good.

It's no different from the NYPD arresting Black Males because we are supposed to be perpetually broke & criminal minded.
Oct. 28, 2013, 5:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I can't believe that keep drinking the kool-aid on this can't seem to understand that this is nothing more than a boondoggle. My guess is that you guys have close connections, which is why you can never see what it really is. Don't even bring up the Barclays Center either especially when the Atlantic Yards Report tells the real story. Just hearing the claim that this amphitheater will help the area is just the sheep being lead into the slaughterhouse. However, many of you blind supporters won't realize that until it's too late, so don't say I didn't warn you.
Oct. 28, 2013, 7:57 pm
Will from Park Slope says:
I don't identify myself as conservative or liberal because I find those who do have chained their minds to anything that seems to wear their label. I'm all for new things, but there is nothing new about backroom deals that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor, and giving our tax dollars to developers who don't fulfill their promises, and that's what the Barclay's Center and the rest of the unbuilt Atlantic Yards is all about. And it is all of Markowitz' legacy.

And how dare you call Eric Adams a "cop hater?" Are you so uninformed you don't know his career on the force, and that he retired as a Captain? With that kind of ignorance, which has to be willful and chosen, you show exactly what I mean by people who declare themselves "Conservative" or "Liberal"; for you clearly use it as an excuse to not think for yourself.

Gosh, the LES must be a great place with civic leaders like you there! But you don't really get involved, do you? Just sit at your keyboard and opine. You must have heard that these boards are full of empty self-important bags of wind like yourself. Can't you just find a local where you live? Or are you a paid shill? We've got plenty of those here, too!
Oct. 29, 2013, 7:12 am
David Brown from LES says:
If you look at Adams record and comments down through the years, you will see "Cop Hater" and worse written all over it. Like his "terrorizing young people" remark. Check out these classics on "Race Relations: 1:"Every person of color in this city, particularly those who have any level of prominence, better understand they're coming for my brother today, [but] they're coming for you tomorrow, 2: "It's insulting to the Hispanic community that he can go to the Hispanic community for support, but he can't go to the Hispanic community when he's picking a wife," Eric Adams, head of the Grand Council of the Guardians, said later of comments first broadcast on Channel 5's "The McCreary Report." "I stand by my quote."
Basically this guy is a RACIST through and through, and he views the NYPD and others he does not like as the Gestapo. Enjoy your New BP (glad he is NOT mine).
Oct. 29, 2013, 8:11 am
Will from Park Slope says:
Which brings us back to the central question: exactly WHAT are you doing on this board? You don't live in Brooklyn, so what's with your focus? Is it just that you like to read your own comments, as ill-informed and second hand as they are?

Or are you paid to be a lurker?
Oct. 29, 2013, 3:37 pm
David Brown from LES says:
I work in Brooklyn, but I see you have no rebuttal to my quotes on Adams, because they are accurate. When crime starts to go up, and it will with that stupid Judge micromanaging the NYPD, egged on by the likes of Adams, Letitia James and Di Blasio (Brooklyn's answer to Moe, Larry & Curly), and New York returns to the days of the 1970's then people will really feel very sorry.
Oct. 29, 2013, 5:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just saying that the amphitheater is some magic bullet is nothing more than another broken promise that has been done before. How many times do we need to hear this before realizing the truth that it won't happen? Of course, it doesn't take a special insider to see through this boondoggle.
Oct. 29, 2013, 8:47 pm
jerry from brighton beach says:
"Party Hearty Marty" says that this Amphitheater will bring & force neighborhood projects to Coney West?


This Vanity Project will only put $$$$ into Marty's pockets. I'm sure eventually he will be an Executive Director of the Amphitheater. Marty & Zigun happy together.

If Marty wanted to see that Coney West residents get neighborhood projects , there should be a Community Bargaining Agreement with Istar where they give 1% of the gross sales of tickets from the concerts, etc. to a ecsrow fund for the community & let the communtiy decide which projects the money should go to.
That's being a good neighbor !
Oct. 31, 2013, 9:52 am
Jo Jo from Bay Ridge says:
Oh, for heaven's sake! Forget all this and just bring Steeplechase back.
April 5, 2016, 1:30 pm

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