Today’s news:

Asser Levy transformed

The city is poised to invest $36 million into Coney Island’s Asser Levy Park, transforming the now modest summertime concert venue into a “world-class” amphitheater.

With funding secured for the project and a feasibility study complete, the massive upgrade is now heading into the design phase.

Borough President Marty Markowitz, who hosts popular summer concerts at Asser Levy Park, spearheaded the project.

Markowitz personally pitched the concept to members of the Community Board 13 Parks Committee at their April meeting.

Representatives from Community Board 13 and City Councilmember Domenic Recchia’s office recently began meeting with architects and city officials. The Borough President sought added community input during the project’s early stages and initiated the discussions.

Plans are to begin the formal review process later this year and break ground in August 2009. The revamped park, which is also known as Seaside Park, could be open in time for the 2011 concert season.

Markowitz first announced the development during his 2007 “State of the Borough” address.

He again boasted about the amphitheater during his most recent annual Brooklyn roundup, delivered on February 7, 2008.

“It’s a state-of-the-art recreational facility and performing arts venue at the gateway to Coney Island,” Markowtiz said, “which will attract top entertainers who play the summer concert circuit at Jones Beach, Radio City Music Hall and the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey.”

“So now the old-school concerts that I present, along with the hottest new acts, will have a brand-new venue

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