Neptune/Sixth, a mix of retail, office facilities, and residences, will include Coney Island’s tallest tower

by matt Scanlon

Until this year, Coney Island, and Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay by extension, had one remarkable thing in common—no large-scale office facilities. To be sure, there was and is an abundance of mom-and-pop retail and small-scale flex, desk, and meeting spaces, but no agglomeration of office facilities. This remarkable market hole was the focus of developer Cammeby’s International Group’s Neptune/Sixth project, a diverse mix of retail shops, service-oriented businesses, office facilities, and residences.

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Designed by Manhattan-based S9 Architecture, Neptune/Sixth is a redevelopment of what was once Trump Village Shopping Center and Royal Palace Baths, and tenancies have been announced over the last few months by Capital One, CVS Pharmacy, DII department store, and Apple Bank, with DII set to anchor the about-to be-completed first phase, a seven-story commercial and retail building at 626 Sheepshead Bay Road totaling some 161,000 square feet of retail, office, and medical professional floorplans.

Phase two (70,000 square feet) will occupy Neptune Avenue and W. 5th Street, followed by 95,000 additional square feet scheduled for completion at Neptune Avenue and W. 6th Street. The final phase, scheduled for completion in 2018, is a remarkable-for-the-region 575-residential-unit tower, with attached parking garage.

For what will be Coney Island’s tallest tower, 40 stories and 430 feet tall, Cammeby’s has engaged Manhattan-based Suffolk Construction to provide the apartments, plus 90,000 square feet of retail and another 15,521 square feet for community facilities. It will be overseen by the developer’s management arm, AMA City Living, and is the continuation of a Cammeby’s presence in the neighborhood for many years (the company is owner/manager of more than 2,000 rental apartments in the neighborhood and surrounding area).

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H&S Spread

The unprecedented nature of the project did not go unnoticed by community activist groups, which argued that its scale was out of neighborhood proportion. Most notable among the critical voices was Kate Cucco, who challenged state Assemblymember Pamela Harris in the September 13 Democratic primary for the 46th district. Though she ultimately lost the election, Cucco’s skepticism encouraged a number of Coney residents to begin “a new dialogue” with the developer about the tower, also expressing concerns over toxins leeching from the construction site.

Whether the developers will be of a mind to address community concerns in more elaborate ways remains to be seen, but construction continues—part of a seemingly irreversible evolution of Coney Island from its boardwalk and residential past to a loftier urban layout, with the 532 Neptune tower joining other skyscrapers in Sheepshead Bay and Bath Beach, along with developer John Catsimatidis’s Red Apple Group-proposed 21-story tower on Surf Avenue (part of a three-building project that will include 415 apartments). The Mayor’s office has added to the scrum with its open request for proposal for the creation of new games, rides, and other attractions in Coney, including 150,000 square feet of space on five vacant parcels along the boardwalk between West 10th and West 16th Streets, their opening hoped for by the summer of 2018.

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“The de Blasio administration is working to grow jobs in the amusement district, build affordable housing, and invest in critical infrastructure,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO, James Patchett. “All part of our effort to improve quality of life and expand opportunities for Coney Island residents while preserving the unique culture of this historic destination.”

Neptune/Sixth
Commercial leasing – The Lawrence Group / 212.363.3939
Retail leasing – Winick Realty Group / 212.792.2600
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