New Developer Takes Coney Island Boardwalk Biz for Unwelcome Ride, Owners Claim

"Where's the loyalty, where's the appreciation?" asks one

By John Noel
|  Saturday, Aug 14, 2010  |  Updated 10:00 AM EDT
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New Developer Takes Coney Island Boardwalk Biz for Unwelcome Ride, Owners Claim

Barry Yanowitz/Flickr Creative Commons 2.0

The new sign at Luna Park

The ride might be coming to an end for some businesses on Coney Island's boardwalk in Brooklyn.

Popular attractions like Shoot the Freak now face an uncertain future because of a new developer out at the amusement park.

The city brought in Central Amusement International to revitalize Coney Island.

The company's first move was to convert Astroland in the new Luna Park.

It's the developer's next move that has some nearby businesses on the boardwalk concerned.

Central Amusement now hold leases on 11 properties.

The company sent notices out to Shoot the Freak, Ruby's Bar, Lola Staar Boutique and others last month to let them know they would have to submit business proposals if the want their leases renewed.

Anthony Berlingieri, owner of Shoot the Freak, calls that request an insult to the people who have maintained businesses on the boardwalk for decades.  "Where's the loyalty, where's the appreciation," he says.

A spokesperson for Central Amusement says the company is looking for ways to improve Coney Island and admits the possibility that could mean bringing in new businesses.

The developer has set an August 31 deadline for the business proposals.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce plans to make a couple of its staff members available to help the owners with the paperwork.

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