City clears way for seaside park, amphitheater at historic Coney Island boardwalk site
By Reuven Blau / Published by NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
July 9, 2013
A historic Coney Island restaurant site will be converted into a public park that includes an amphitheater with a removable mesh roof.
The city Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously in support of the $53 million plan to transform the landmarked Childs Restaurant building at W. 21st St. into a sprawling Seaside Park and Community Arts Center.
“The (Commission) has taken a major step towards ensuring that rain or shine, the show will go on in Coney Island,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who has long dreamed of adding a theater to the beloved boardwalk playground.
Markowitz says he is providing the bulk of the money for the project through his taxpayer-funded capital budget.
The plans call for the city to buy the building by the boardwalk, along with an adjoining lot between W. 21st and W. 22nd Sts., from iStar Financial, the real estate investment company that acquired the historic structure from a developer after the economy tanked in 2008.
The amphitheater will seat 5,000 people with room for another 2,000 on the lawn behind it, according to the plans. The performance space will play host to as many as 40 concerts between May and October.
Space will also be leased year-round to a yet-to-be-selected proprietor to operate a restaurant inside the building.