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New Proposal for Nassau Coliseum Development Looks for Momentum

Nassau Coliseum

Another effort to develop the area surrounding Nassau Coliseum has surfaced, with BSE Global and RXR Realty behind a proposal that is looking to gather momentum. 

There has been discussion for decades about redeveloping the 72 acres of county-owned property surrounding Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum–dubbed Nassau Hub–but numerous proposals have come and gone without becoming a reality. The latest Nassau Coliseum development pitch comes from BSE Global (formerly Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment) and RXR Realty, as the two are looking to partner on a $1.5 billion mixed-use project. Their concept calls for 600,000 square feet of office and biotech research space, along with 200,000 square feet of experiential retail, and 500 housing units.

The plan has some advantages, including the backing of two well-known firms, along with compliance with Hempstead Town zoning regulations, and the potential for $100 million-plus in state grant money. However, the plan has some political hurdles to clear if it is to become a reality, including approval for an amendment to the Coliseum lease. More from Newsday:

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran backs the plan and in October is expected to file an amendment to the Coliseum lease that will require the approval of the GOP-controlled county legislature. The amendment will recognize BSE’s right to support or reject development around the Coliseum and include the BSE-RXR plan for the area.

County legislators say they won’t rubber-stamp Curran’s proposal.

“We won’t show favoritism just because they’ve done projects like this before,” Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), minority leader, said of RXR, based in Uniondale. “No one has done this before. We got to get it right.”

Redevelopment of the Hub property has been hamstrung for years by political infighting, costly project delays and protracted litigation. Curran, a Democrat who took office Jan. 1, is the fourth county executive to attempt to redevelop the site.

To this point, a site plan has not surfaced, though many area business leaders are expressing their support for the proposal. However, developer Ed Blumenfeld, whose previous plan to redevelop a portion of the site was rejected by Curran earlier this year, has expressed his opposition and suggested a possible legal challenge, though it remains to be seen if such a challenge would be filed and ultimately affect the development proposal.

Nassau Coliseum was home to the New York Island Islanders from 1972-2015, and reopened in 2017 after an extensive renovation. Since reopening, it has been under a naming rights agreement that makes it known as NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and it is currently operated by BSE under a 49-year lease with the county. The venue will host select homes for the Islanders over the next few seasons while the team awaits the completion of a new arena in Belmont Park.

Image courtesy NYCB Live.

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