Friday, 28 October 2011 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano has submitted what he is calling his job creation and retention plan for Nassau County to Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council. The submission recognizes current obstacles to development and includes opportunities expressed by the private sector for inclusion in “Nassau’s Job Corridor” which stretches from Belmont Park in the West to Nassau’s Hub in the heart of the county to the former United States Navy-Grumman property in Bethpage at the Eastern end of Nassau. The county executive’s “Accelerate Nassau Now Plan” seeks to partner with New York State to enhance the present assets at each center of economic opportunity in the area and addresses current obstacles to economic growth.
“Nassau County has a tremendous opportunity to revitalize local communities, create new jobs and stimulate the local economy,” said Mangano. “By partnering with Governor Cuomo, we can truly benefit all Nassau residents by creating new jobs and enhancing economic development opportunities. Accordingly, I have submitted a plan that jump-starts economic activity and job creation throughout Nassau County.”
Mangano said his plan enhances the Hub’s present sports and entertainment center by addressing obstacles to redeveloping the full 77-acres site while adhering to the Town of Hempstead’s mixed-use zoning requirements for the property. The county seeks to attract developers to privately-finance a new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, minor league ballpark, multi-purpose exposition center, multi-purpose track and field facility, a Bioscience Innovation Center, Research and Development Expo Center and residential housing options. For the first-round of funding, this “Accelerate Nassau Now Plan” requests an initial $7 million from the Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council for design and construction of a “Research and Development Expo Center” on the site.
The county’s plan identifies infrastructure and transit improvements required to maximize and accelerate the creation of thousands of jobs at the Hub. Mangano said that together, solutions to current traffic congestion, transit and parking availability will turn this underutilized area into the job creation it should be as well as developing a vibrant, mixed-use, transit-friendly economic center with premier tourism entertainment options. The plan capitalizes on Nassau’s synergy, he said, with local academic and healthcare institutions as well as Nassau’s skilled workforce. “Accelerate Nassau Now” will provide year-round economic activity, improve quality of life, create new private-sector employment opportunities and retain Long Island’s only major professional sports team, Mangano said.
Nassau County will aggressively pursue the following and other state-based economic development incentives and programs to attract private capital: additional capital funding through the Regional Economic Development Council Capital Fund, Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and Recharge NY energy subsidies.
The county executive’s plan seeks to expand on the current homeland security research and development center in Bethpage by supporting current composite manufacturing at the site. He said that Nassau County will work to attract new enterprises by working to secure state-based economic development programs for this growing industry. As this industry requires varying degrees of manufacturing sophistication, the county will look for synergies with the Workforce Investment Act for training and development of a new labor force. The county will also work with the private industry to secure funding through the Excelsior Jobs Program and Economic Development Purpose Grants.
“Accelerate Nassau Now” pursues the continuation of incentives for the movie and television industry as this site in Bethpage is now home to successful production studios that encompass three buildings and nine sound stages. In fact, in 2010, Nassau County hosted 650 production days – more days than Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx combined. It is estimated that the film industry provided $85 million in economic impact for Nassau County in 2010. Working to secure State-based economic incentives and grants, the county plans to create a county-wide cyber catalogue of filming locations which will allow producers to view potential filming sites from their computers. The county executive said that by making it easier for producers to view the county’s resources, more will choose Nassau County as their production location. The county will also advocate for a continuation of New York State incentives for film production.
County Executive Mangano’s “Accelerate Nassau Now Plan” includes a plan for pursuing additional sports and entertainment opportunities on vacant land at Belmont Park. Nassau County has received interest from a developer with the financial means to establish a soccer stadium complimented by mixed-use development, which would enhance the current raceway.
In addition, Nassau supports gaming at Belmont which Mangano said would create thousands of additional local jobs and result in hundreds of millions of dollars invested in local schools, the state, the county and the community. He added that due to the size of this potential development, and the amount of jobs it can create, Nassau County will seek Excelsior Jobs Program funding as a regionally significant project, as well as energy discounts applied through the Recharge NY program.