If Thor Equities has decided to give Astroland Amusement Park owner Carol Albert a two-year lease on Surf Avenue, they haven’t told her about it.
“Nobody said anything to me about it,” Albert told this newspaper. “Not a word.”
Albert, who finds herself in the same sort of limbo as she did last year at this time, said she hasn’t even been in discussions with the property owner and instead has decided to “wait and see what happens and take it on a day-by-day basis.”
“I don’t know why I’m hopeful, she said. “Maybe this is called denial. They haven’t said no, so I’m pinning my hopes on that.”
Thor Equities did not respond to requests for comment about possibly extending Astroland’s lease into next season.
In its last public response to the situation, the development company headed by Joe Sitt said, “Astroland is signed until January, 2009. In the meantime, Thor remains focused on this season's “Summer of Hope.”
Many have panned Thor’s so-called “Summer of Hope” on Stillwell Avenue and its efforts to maintain active amusements on land formally home to a thriving go-cart and batting cage concession before Thor purchased it.
Those same community watchdogs fear the same fate awaits the 3.1 acres underneath Astroland park.
New York City Council hopeful and former Community Board 13 Chair Brian Gotlieb has restarted last year’s “Save Astroland” petition – online at www.saveastroland.com – as a way of getting both sides to the negotiating table.
“Thor tells me that they’re interested in talking,” Gotlieb said. “Doing everything possible to keep Astroland open would be a significant goodwill gesture. It’s a win- win for everybody involved. Rather than having an empty lot or a minor concession there, let Astroland continue to serve the community. You don’t want a part of the area to go dark.”
Dennis Vourderis, owner and operator of the world famous Wonder Wheel said that he’d obvious love to see “more things open” and that forcing Astroland out before Coney Island’s rezoning efforts were completed wouldn’t benefit Joe Sitt and Thor Equities.
“He’ll be giving up a substantial amount of interest on the property to accomplish what?” Vourderis said. “Keeping it open and vibrant would be to his advantage. I would say leave well enough alone you have something there.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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