Coney Island rides again: “We will never make Disney here”
No mayor in 50 years has overseen as many physical changes to New York City as Michael Bloomberg. From Cornell's Roosevelt Island Campus to Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards and the Second Avenue Subway, development projects begun under Bloomberg will be shaping the face of New York for decades to come. His influence was beautifully illustrated by a recent New York Times graphic series, "Reshaping New York," which ticked off the best of the boom, the many neighborhoods that could not, after 12 years, recognize themselves in the mirror: Hunter's Point, West Chelsea, Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn.
Coney Island, where Bloomberg fought one of his toughest and most expensive land use battles, was missing from that commemoration. The plan to rezone the famous beach resort was, as the mayor remarked in 2007, "one of the largest and most ambitious rezonings we've proposed for Brooklyn." By the time the bill passed the city council two years later it had become more transformative still, shrinking the outdoor amusement area from 40 acres to nine.