New York, NY —
Calling it "the last piece of the puzzle" in his quest to redevelop Coney Island, Mayor Bloomberg announced the purchase of nearly seven acres of land, primarily along the boardwalk. The property belongs to developer Joe Sitt, who had been locked in bitter negotiations with the city for a year.
At the announcement at City Hall, Sitt said the city's chief negotiator, Deputy Mayor Bob Lieber, played hard ball. "Bob Lieber says I was tough, I'll tell you, Mayor Bloomberg, I gotta admit now being on the other side because I've always said not as nice a things, your team here, by hiring investment bankers, they're tough," Sitt says.
The city is paying almost $96 million for the land. This is far less than the $140 million Sitt had wanted, but more than the Bloomberg Administration had originally wanted to spend. Mayor Bloomberg says it was a good negotiation, in that no one got everything they wanted. The mayor says temporary amusement rides will be available along the boardwalk by next summer, while the city works on developing a permanent amusement park.