Written by Melissa Argueta Friday, 12 August 2011 00:00
Proposals anyone? Just one day after residents came to the polls and defeated the $400 million bond to fund the Nassau Coliseum Hub project, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced that he is immediately seeking redevelopment proposals for the 77-acre site surrounding the sports and entertainment arena located in Uniondale.
In order for the county to prepare a Request-For-Proposals (RFP) to redevelop the Coliseum site, Mangano is encouraging any interested parties with privately financed proposals to submit them to the county by Aug. 12, 2011. According to Mangano, the RFPs must address job creation, quality of life and revenue. Although the county said all submissions will be considered, Mangano is seeking development proposals that complement existing recreational, sporting and commercial assets at Eisenhower Park, Mitchel Park and Museum Row.
“There’s no time to waste. We must move forward with economic development, job growth, opportunities for our county,” Mangano said at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building on Aug. 2.
With the New York Islanders’ lease set to expire in 2015, the county executive confirmed that he wants to keep the Islanders on Long Island and continue pursuing a sports entertainment destination at the Coliseum site. “Again our intention is to try to move forward and retain the New York Islanders here in Nassau County,” Mangano said.
Despite resident voters rejecting the plan, Mangano said he has “absolutely no regrets,” about supporting the project. He also clarified that he does not plan on pursuing any other publicly financed projects in the future.
“As we move forward and do create jobs with a privately financed model, I think it’s most important that I am guided by the people. I will not risk the people’s money without asking them first. There was risk in the transaction. We asked the people whether they have an appetite for that risk. Clearly the democratic process has spoken,” Mangano said.
The county executive acknowledged that Islanders’ owner Charles Wang is aware of the county’s plan to accept new proposals for redevelopment.
In an official statement Wednesday, Wang thanked the residents of Nassau County who participated in the vote and solidified his commitment to keeping the team on Long Island.
“I am disappointed and heartbroken at the outcome. However, what I believe is every time a door closes, another one will open. I have lived on Long Island for 60 years and I am not giving up on Long Island and I hope you won’t either,” Wang said.
“The New York Islanders were born on Long Island in 1972,” Wang said. “As we enter our 40th year, we only have two goals for the team — winning another Stanley Cup and keeping the Islanders on Long Island.”
The Nassau Coliseum is located within the Town of Hempstead and the Town of Hempstead Board approved a new development zone for the Coliseum site on June 21. In light of the county’s recent announcement of a redevelopment initiative, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray commented that the Town of Hempstead is “excited that the property owner, Nassau County, is focused on the development of Nassau’s Hub.”
“The town has been proactive in this regard, having created a vision for the property by approving a building zone in June of this past year. With the zone, a developer can now put a shovel in ground quickly without having to go through the extensive state-mandated environmental review and the zoning process,” Murray said.