New York beach town poised for comeback with major mixed-use development
- Coney Island, New York, a beach community that's been experiencing a slow dissipation of its heyday as the model of American family fun and entertainment on the East Coast, could be in store for a development boom, courtesy of rezoning, new transportation options and affordable land, according to Bisnow.
- Big area developers are building commercial mixed-use projects, including a 1,000-unit Taconic Investment Partners project that will span three blocks and include 80,000 square feet of office space and 150,000 square feet of retail, and a 400-unit residential development called Ocean Dreams.
- Alternative transportation options like ride-share companies Uber and Lyft have made travel easier for residents who work in nearby Manhattan, and a major subway line can have commuters in Midtown in an hour, about the same time or less than it takes for a trip to or from other New York City suburbs. Given the available space, some developers also believe Coney Island is the perfect spot for a South Brooklyn office hub.
With new residents and visitors set to descend on Coney Island, the subway and ride-share alternatives still might not be enough transportation options. Many Coney Island residents already are livid that a $300 million expansion of ferry service announced by New York City earlier this month did not include their neighborhood. The Economic Development Corp., which oversees ferry service, said it will consider future expansions later this year and beyond.
Developers of one project in Queens have tried to overcome potential transportation hang-ups by locating it just off a commuter rail stop. The $407 million Crossing at Jamaica Station, which will include 700 housing units and 35,000 square feet of retail, is next to the Long Island Railroad's busy Jamaica Station. That line handles approximately 250,000 passengers a day.
Some cities are encouraging high-density development around new transit to provide enough ridership to make investment in a subway, light-rail line or rapid bus system worthwhile. For example, in Phoenix, officials actively encouraged high-density developments around the Valley Metro rail stations by doling out height allowances and other variances. Rail officials told Construction Dive last year that because of the city's promotion of high-density development, combined with smart line placement near Arizona State University and along popular bus routes, the Valley Metro reached its 20-year goal of 50,000 daily riders in only a few years.
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