Coney Island: Thor Threatens to Flatten Museum
Zigun: Zip for Sitt
By Ariella Cohen
The Brooklyn Paper
Coney Island developer Joe Sitt is being accused of backing out of a deal to save a historic Coney Island building, and has enraged a key supporter of his planned $1.5-billion, 10-acre beachfront makeover in the process.
Dick Zigun, a board member of the city’s Coney Island Development Corporation and the founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, is known as the unofficial mayor of Brooklyn’s freak capital. Throughout the past year of tense public discussion of Sitt’s Las Vegas-style proposal, he has provided an important voice of local support.
But now, his cheers have turned to boos.
“I am totally outraged,” Zigun said. “[Sitt] told me and the city for a year and a half that he would work to preserve the character of Coney Island and save this building and now, he is not.”
Zigun claimed that he and the developer reached a preliminary agreement last year for the sale of the 1880s-built Grasshorn building. His organization agreed to pay the developer $2 million in city-awarded grant money for the decrepit wooden building, allowing the developer to walk away with a cool $1 million profit on it. But now Zigun says Sitt will raze the Surf Avenue building to make way for a new structure.
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