UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) – Officials in Nassau County have struggled for years to create a development project suitable to accommodate a new arena for the New York Islanders.

But with the hockey team’s announcement it is packing up its sticks and pucks in 2015, the field appears to have widened greatly on the possibilities for developing one of the last large parcels of prime real estate in the heart of Long Island.

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Developer David Pennetta says not having to include a hockey arena gives developers a variety of options for the 77-acre property surrounding the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

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As early as next week, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano plans to announce the creation of an economic development team to determine a plan for the county-owned property.

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