After decades of neglect and failed development plans, the 1920s restaurant in Coney Island is once again gleaming and open for business thanks to a major restoration effort.
The City Planning Commission voted unanimously in support of outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz’s plan to revamp the former Childs Restaurant in Coney Island and turn it into an amphitheater and upscale eatery, Brooklyn Paper reported.
However, local residents are less than thrilled about the plan, which will require $53,000,000 in city funds to transform the landmarked but dilapidated 89-year-old building. Neighborhood activists told the newspaper that the money would be better spent repairing Coney’s hurricane-shattered infrastructure, which still suffers from occasional heat and power outages, in addition to sewers that flood when it rains.
And others worried about the traffic and noise from the planned venue, which Markowitz hopes will host 40 concerts a year. The community board voted down Markowitz’s plan two months ago, and Landmarks approved it over the summer.
Community Board 13 voted down Borough President Marty Markowitz’s plan to convert the landmarked Childs Restaurant on Surf Avenue, the Daily News reports. The board voted 14 to seven against the plan to build a community arts center with a 5,000-seat amphitheater, a lawn behind it that can fit 2,000, and a restaurant. Board members said they were worried about traffic, noise from the concerts, and the projected $53,000,000 price tag. Markowitz said he was “disappointed” by the vote, especially after the Community Board 13 land-use committee approved the redevelopment 10 to one. As the Daily News points out, the board’s ruling is “merely advisory,” and City Planning will most likely vote to approve the plan next month. The LPC unanimously supported the plan back in July to transform the theater, which was built in 1923 and has been neglected since the restaurant closed in 1947.
Community Board Knocks Down Concert Plan for Historic Childs Restaurant [NY Daily News]
Building of the Day: 2102 Boardwalk [Brownstoner]
Rendering by GKV Architects