A number of small businesses on Coney Island’s landmarked boardwalk are facing major rent hikes, possibly threatening their ability to remain open. According to the Brooklyn Paper, six shops, including long-standing hangouts Ruby’s Bar and Grill and Tom’s Restaurant, could see a 500 percent increase in rent from Zamperla, the company that operates the amusement park. The potential increase has revived the group “Save Coney Island,” which advocates for the preservation of the neighborhood’s mom-and-pop shops.
In 2010, Zamperla was selected by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to operate the amusement park and bring new rides to Luna Park under a 10-year agreement. As the leases for the businesses are set to expire this month, there are reported plans to increase the area’s rent by 500 percent, according to the Coney Island Blog.
“With an insane 500-percent rent increase expect all of your favorite longtime businesses on the boardwalk to be replaced by Dave and Busters, Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as the Cheesecake Factory,” the post reads.
Owners of Ruby’s and Tom’s, restricted by non-disclosure agreements with Zamperla, told the Brooklyn Paper that the rent hike would likely shutter both restaurants, which have been in business since the 1930s. Coney Island Council Member Mark Treyger told the newspaper: “If Zamperla proceeds with the drastic proposal, this would be the end of mom ‘n’ pop shops.”
As a result of the likely rent increases, local advocacy group Save Coney Island has been revived by Diana Carlin, who owns the roller rink Lola Star. The group called out “corporate greed” in an Instagram post published Wednesday.
“The businesses on the boardwalk lease from Luna Park. All of their leases expire on Small Business Saturday- Nov 30 2019,” the post’s caption reads. “And they are all in danger of being kicked out, on Small Business Saturday, due to huge increase in rent and other greedy terms.”
[Via Brooklyn Paper]
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Neighborhoods : Coney Island