22 July 2009

The Only Reason I've Ever Liked Developer Joe Sitt

That reason? Because he's the only person in the city powerfully positioned enough to screw up the Bloomberg administration's ruinous rethinking of Coney Island.

Despite widespread, and unrelenting criticism (including protests from documentary filmmaker Ric Burns and Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace (“Gotham”)) of it's awful rezoning scheme for the treasured Brooklyn neighborhood (More towers! Less amusement!), the City has steamrolled forward in typically arrogant, Bush-style, the-public-be-damned style with its plan. Yesterday, the City Council's land-use committee approved the city's controversial rezoning, meaning it is likely on track for full Council approval on July 29 (because when lately has the Council stood up to Bloomberg?).

According to City Room, "City officials and Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Jr. also hinted that the city may expand the amount of land dedicated to amusements between Surf Avenue and the boardwalk, as many critics have sought. But that will only happen if the Bloomberg administration comes to terms with the developer Joe Sitt before the full council votes on the redevelopment plan on July 29."

That's a big "but." Sitt, long a thorn in the side of both the public and Bloomberg, say thanks, but no thanks, to the City’s offer to buy his property for $105 million. He wants more dough than that.

Sitt's bad for New York. But Bloomberg's worse. And, unbelievably, in this dog fight, I'm rooting for Sitt. No one, not even that prevaricating skunk, shouldn't be threatened with having his land taken away via Eminent Domain, as the Bloomberg goons have done. Perhaps if he stands his ground long enough (and it's hard to make a mega-developer budge when it comes to money), he's scuttle the City's Coney plan, or at least force them to revise it. I mean, who the hell proposed erecting a high-rise hotel in front of the historic Wonder Wheel and thinks it's a good idea? The kind of person that should be stopped, that's who.

(Nice picture, above, via Amusing the Zillion.)


people's playground said...

sorry. I have to disagree - two wrongs don't make a right. the city's plan is seriously flawed and needs to be fixed - or scrapped entirely, but sitt has only created unnecessary blight in coney... the only thing he's "developed" is his bank account. a skunk is a skunk and I can't vote for his success any more than I can vote for a third term.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Works for me. I'm fine with no Sitt and no Bloomberg.

Carol Gardens said...

Who FIRST proposed a hotel? Joe Sitt, that's who. Before that, luxury housing. Right in the middle of the amusement district. Not to mention his entire slick Vegas/mall aesthetic leaves me cold. The city plan is an improvement on what he wanted to build. There is no way I would root for Sitt.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Apparently, the tongue-in-cheek aspect of this post didn't come through.