That New Yorker (eurithmic8464) wrote in amusement,
That New Yorker
eurithmic8464
amusement

Maybe we were all too hasty...

Astroland gets shot at second life as officials push to keep park open

BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Tuesday, September 9th 2008, 4:00 AM
Patrons flocked to Astroland Sunday for it's last day of existence. But, it may be alive again soon. Wenig/AP

Patrons flocked to Astroland Sunday for it's last day of existence. But, it may be alive again soon.

One day after Coney Island's famous Astroland closed for good, city officials Monday floated a plan to resuscitate the historic amusement park.

Despite little interest from Astroland owners and landlord Thor Equities, city officials are pushing the two sides to agree on an interim deal to keep the park open.

Sources said the city then hopes to find a different spot for the beloved park as part of an ambitious plan to redevelop Coney Island.

"If Astroland's current landlord was willing to extend its lease just until our plan passes, the city will then be in a position to keep Astroland - and all the other amusements - alive, using what would then be city-owned property," said an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The last-minute proposal would allow the 3.1-acre park to lease land from the city once the larger plan for the area is approved.

The dramatic makeover of Coney Island has met with one obstacle after another.

The proposal stalled last fall after private landowners and other amusement owners, including Deno's Wonder Wheel amusement park, balked at the city's intention to buy them out and build a single park.

If the city is able to move ahead, sources said, Astroland would be relocated or would buy its current home from Thor, which bought the land in 2006 for a reported $30 million.

Thor spokesman Stefan Friedman said Monday the city had not contacted developer Joseph Sitt about the plans and declined to comment on whether Sitt was willing to reopen negotiations with Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert.

An Astroland spokesman Monday said Albert still had no intention of reopening the park after Sunday's shuttering.

"Talk is cheap," said spokesman Joe Carella, who added that city officials have yet to contact Albert about their plans. "It's just too much of an upstream swim at this point."

Even if the two sides won't come to the table, city officials promised there would still be Astroland-like rides at Coney Island next summer.
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