Astroland Saved!

Now hear this: The city will not sell out Coney Island's Astroland. Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden told a roomful of civic heavyweights this morning that the city is weeks away from announcing a rezoning plan that will "save the amusement park, an icon of democracy which is beloved by the whole world." She continued: "The strategy will catalyze a new park which will be open year-round...and housing, in the right place." Planning insiders have long doubted rumors that Astroland would become a northern outpost of Del Boca Vista (come on, Seinfeld's parents' retirement community? Anyone?). Thor Equities, which had floated the idea of time-shares near the hallowed ground, has also been pretty quiet lately. But this hammers the point home. The devil will be in the details, as any change to Coney's curious chemistry will be hard for some people to swallow. Mayor Bloomberg, in a speech at the same conference, promised that the rezoning will "take full advantage of the wonderful new subway terminal at Stillwell Avenue." So apartments could still cluster near the Cyclone. As long as we get direct access to the boardwalk from the subway, that's fine with us. —Alec Appelbaum