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Concern over rising rents on Coney Island boardwalk

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn — The history of Coney Island is on the wall of Ruby’s Bar and Grill, going back to 1886.

Coney Island has seen good times and bad over the last century and a half. While this birthplace to the amusement park is clearly on the upswing, there is concern among the owners of six businesses on the boardwalk that their rents may be going sky-high when their leases are up in January.

“We’ve been here since 1934 and I am hopeful we will still be here,” Michael Sarrel, the proprietor of Ruby’s, told PIX11 News.

Central Amusement International, also called Zamperla’s, was granted a lease from the city in 2009 to run Luna Park and be landlord to these six businesses. While these businesses have all agreed not to disclose the terms of the lease negotiations, it’s believed rents are going up between 25 and 75 percent for the Beach Shop, Tom’s, Ruby’s and Nathan’s on the boardwalk and perhaps 400 percent for Lola’s, something that concerns City Councilman Mark Treyger.

“There were no protections put in place for the mom and pop businesses,” Treyger told PIX11 News. “But the city owns the land so there is leverage there,” he added.

“Since 2010, CAI has been committed to the revitalization and development of Coney Island while preserving its unique identity," said a spokesperson for the landlord in a statement. "We value our relationships with our tenants and neighbors and continue to work with them to improve our community.”

Treyger hopes to meet with the deputy mayor and the landlord next week to ask for an extension on the leases.

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