Joe Sitt, the local boy made good, has Coney Island's best interests at heart but can't get the public, or public officials, to believe him. That's the gist of a profile in yesterday's Crain's:
"It's my passion to make Coney Island better,” says the suddenly teary-eyed chief executive of Thor Equities. “It is the place where I played hooky and grew up. I want to give back to the neighborhood and to New York City.”
Trouble is, many people simply don't believe him.
To some, he's the man who wants to turn Coney Island into a soulless mall; to others, he just a savvy negotiator trying to milk the most he can out of the city for his land. To some others though, his heart really is in the right place. “He has gotten a bad rap,” says Chris Havens, head of Brooklyn-based brokerage Creative Real Estate Group. “He wants to build.” At this point, though, none of that may matter. With the City Planning Commission having approved the city's redevelopment plan for Coney Island, it's all going to come down to the City Council vote. According to Crain's, Sitt's childhood buddy, Council Member Recchia, likely has the power to produce a "no" vote from his fellow council members.
Coney Island Keeper [Crain's]