The pirate ship will take flight again: In what seemed inconceivable only a few months ago, Astroland operator Carol Hill Albert and her landlord Thor Equities have agreed to a new lease that will keep the 45-year-old Coney Island institution open for another season.
“I’m very pleased for my employees and I’m very happy to be part of another tremendous year for Coney Island,” Albert tells the Voice.
After a summer in which she had complained Thor refused to budge from its $3 million a year rent demands (a nearly 1500% increase), she now says that “everything really started to happen right after the day that we closed. Right after that I got the call from Thor, and we’ve been talking since.” (Neither side will reveal the agreed-upon compromise rent.)
Albert says all of her rides—from the Astrotower to the Break Dance— will be open for business on the park’s traditional opening date of Palm Sunday (which falls on March 16 next year, for the unbelievers out there). And after that? “At the end of this lease, as far as we know, that’s it.”
With Astroland’s immediate future settled, all eyes will now turn to the city-run Coney Island Development Corporation, which has been holding off on introducing its rezoning plans since June, presumably in hopes of cutting a deal with Thor principal Joe Sitt before telling him where to shove his timeshare condos. Sitt has so far turned up his nose at the city’s offer to swap condo-approved land west of the Cyclones ballpark for his amusement-district property; as of this morning, the CIDC still hadn’t set a date for its long-awaited next meeting, at which the zoning rollout is supposed to take place.
Mayor Bloomberg, meanwhile, is set to address the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce on November 8 at Gargiulo’s, the historic Coney Island restaurant a stone’s throw from Thor’s property. Conspiracy theorists and tea-leaf readers, take note—oh wait, you already have.