Up and Coming Coney Island Retail
The retail market in Coney Island is definitely in its developing stages and looking to expand a great deal in the near future. Last year, Grimaldi’s Pizza expanded to Coney Island, and soon a Johnny Rockets and an Applebee’s will be joining Grimaldi’s on Surf Avenue. Joe Sitt of Thor Equities said, “You’ll have both coming on Surf Avenue and so you’ll have a little bit of cool restaurant row over there.” Thor Equities played a large role in bringing these national chains to the area.
On the side of the street with Grimaldi’s, Sitt plans on bringing in local retailers. He wants it to have a local flavor, just like Brooklyn. According to Sitt, “We want to help the local merchants. People that stuck with us before. People that got hurt by Hurricane Sandy.” Included in those local retailers will be a gourmet candy shop, as well as a mix of food, merchandise, and entertainment. It took eight years of real estate speculation and rezoning, and now things are finally starting to pick up. Thor put up a sign reading “Coney Island – The Retail Ride of a Lifetime” in 2011 on the former of Surf and Stillwell Avenues.
Additionally, Sitt is looking to bring a temporary carnival to the area. “In terms of these lots what we always try to do is we always try to get somebody that will operate a combination of food carts and amusements,” explained Sitt. Other plans include building a movie theater with stadium seating and parking.
The problems that arose from Hurricane Sandy revealed that the infrastructure in the area need to be built a little more elevated, and a stadium seating movie theater would be much more elevated, according to Sitt.