Coney Island Developer Cutting Rents to Attract Business to Sandy-Devastated Neighborhood

Joe Sitt of Thor Equities is talking about reducing rents with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce for retail space in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Coney Island, Brooklyn to help quickly attract new businesses into the area in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s massive destruction.

Sitt said that he would like to see rents cut by at least 40 percent to help populate the new 15,000-square-foot commercial property at 1232 Surf Avenue. The location was the former home of the Henderson Music Hall, which was knocked down in order to build the new retail space.

“Joe is willing to go case-by-case to help Brooklyn businesses that make sense for Coney Island and help maintain its distinctive flavor; these deals could be effectuated in a number of ways” Thor Equities spokesman Stefan Friedman said.

“It can mean a dramatically slashed rent of 40 percent to 50 percent off of market rate. It could also mean — say for a hip, start-up surf shop — a rate based on a percentage of sales.

“Joe wants to work with small Brooklyn businesses to determine what is sustainable for them, so they can open up for summer of 2013, and make sure the Boardwalk is booming as Coney Island welcomes New Yorkers back to the beach after a period of rebuilding.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Joe Sitt and Thor Equities in helping recruit local businesses to Coney Island,” said Carlo Scissura, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “This program is especially important in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and will go a long way in making sure that Coney Island remains a vibrant neighborhood and tourist attraction as well as a place where small businesses can thrive and Brooklynites can get jobs.”


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)