Coney Shed Seeking Proposals

The idea of a permanent shed structure near Brooklyn’s Coney Island has been tossed around for years, but a recent request for expressions of interest from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation could mean the project is finally ready to break ground.

The document outlines Parks and Rec’s plans to “reconstruct approximately 9.2 acres of the eastern portion of Asser Levy Park in a project that will be completed by 2012,” according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Highlights of the $64 million project will include a permanent stage house, a paved area with 5,000 seats plus room for 3,000 on the lawn, restrooms and multiple concession areas, and a back area with a VIP terrace, dressing rooms and office space.

The amphitheatre would replace the existing band shell at Asser Levy Park, which has housed free concerts for years. Officials maintained in a statement that they plan to continue the free offerings at the new venue with the community’s support.

“New York City’s parks are our shared backyard and bandshells, amphitheatres and other spaces have hosted concerts and events for as long as there have been parks,” Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe said. “We look forward to continuing a long tradition of live music at Asser Levy Park through a complete revitalization of a state-of-the-art amphitheatre, which will serve Brooklyn for many generations to come.”

The statement also included a glimpse of possible programming for the venue, as Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz added that he imagines the venue as “a wonderful home for a summer residency for a philharmonic or ballet company.”

A group of local residents continues to oppose the proposal, questioning whether the shed will reduce parkland and overwhelm nearby residents with noise from concerts, the New York Post reported.

The group, New York City Park Advocates, has questioned why the Parks department is seeking proposals before the amphitheatre plan has been examined in the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, the paper said.