Redevelopment Rolling Along for Coney Island

As the summer season nears an end in Coney Island, some residents and preservationists are upset that it may be the last summer for some of the oldest buildings there.

Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA, says next season the amusement park will be twice the size it is now, but several structures, including the Bank of Coney Island and the Shore Hotel along Surf Avenue, will disappear.

"Some of the buildings you're used to seeing they're gonna be gone," Zigun says. "And there's going to be two empty holes until somebody's ready to build hotels."

A spokesman for Thor Equities, which owns the buildings, says they have no significant historical value and are in disrepair, and that they're being torn down to upgrade the infrastructure and make Coney Island a "viable and economically healthy destination."

Two other historic structures, the Shore Theatre and the Child's Restaurant building, are expected to be landmarked by the city sometime in the coming months.