Thor’s vision for its Surf Avenue properties. Source: Thor Equities

Thor Equities, the global urban real estate developer, has announced plans to rent parcels at reduced rates in its new building at the corner of Surf Avenue and Stillwell Avenue in an effort to encourage the growth of local small businesses in the area, according to a press release.

“Coney Island’s popularity has reached record proportions, but we can never forget what got us here – local, ahead-of-their-time business owners who brought flair, hipness and edge to the People’s Playground,” announced Thor CEO Joe Sitt, adding, “While it is wonderful that national chains are now coming to Coney, providing needed jobs and year-round revenue to the community, we must always remember the history of this iconic neighborhood.”

So far, reaction to this plan remains skeptical. Amusing The Zillion highlighted a 2008 New York Post article in which Sitt took severe measures against local Coney business operators, by clipping and changing their storefront locks on Christmas Eve, and hanging “For Lease” signs in their storefront windows. Has Sitt pulled a 180 on small businesses?

Another caveat in Sitt’s altruistic gesture to the local small business people of Coney Island is that the rents will only be slashed for 2013. Amusing The Zillion, recalling the documentary “Zipper,” noted that Sitt’s real plans for Coney Island’s future involves installing a series of national chains. In the documentary, Sitt listed Dave and Buster’s, the Hard Rock Cafe, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Howie’s Game Factory as his choices to fill in and replace the Coney landscape.

Thor’s new one-story building is on the spot once occupied by the century-old Henderson Music Hall, a building that was demolished when the city re-zoned it in July 2009. Since being erected last January, the sleek and sterile-looking new building has since been covered with plywood decorated in the Coney Island style, promising “THE RETAIL RIDE OF A LIFETIME,” with info about leasing opportunities.

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  • King Truth

    Supply and demand. Mr. Sitt inflated the rent price and now he is lowering the prices. You could find cheaper rent in Manhattan than what Sitt demanded. He is not doing a favor for Coney. He is sucking as much $ out of it as he can.

  • guest

    Sometimes wonder if the whole purpose of the rezoning and building was to just knock down historic buildings in order to say Screw you Brooklyn.

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    Fantastic news. That building needs to be inhabited.

  • Kool4Coney

    poor thor, thought it had bought itself a shoreline goldmine but Sandy proved otherwise. Thor can’t rent that building so it pretends its doing Coney a service by lowering the rents. GO AWAY THOR, that is the best service you can do for Coney Island. we dont want your Hooters in our little beachtown

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      The building hasn’t found a tenant since it was built. People aren’t stupid. The building doesn’t fit into its surroundings,

      Sitt lives in his own little world. I can’t understand how he’s managed to keep Thor from bankruptcy.. I suppose his talent lies in selling off at a profit when communities want him out of their lives.

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      You want furniture stores and empty lots instead? That’s what I’ve looked at for 40 years!