$229 Million Project Will Be Privately Funded

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Local officials touted Monday’s unanimous vote to approve the $229 million redevelopment of Nassau Coliseum and its surrounding property.

As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, some legislators viewed the proposal as the last best opportunity to rehab the 41-year-old arena.

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“This is a very aggressive, ambition proposal but we’re also at the 11th hour. I mean, the lease expires in 2015. That being said, we don’t have too many options,” Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams told Xirinachs.

There is still work to be done before construction on the privately funded project can begin.

Construction is not expected to get under way until the summer of 2015 and isn’t slated to open until late 2016, Xirinachs reported.

Still, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said this is a time to celebrate.

“This is certainly an historic day is Nassau County,” Mangano said on Monday.

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Richard O’Kane with the Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council said the vote in favor of the proposal translates to a 4-letter word.

“It’s all about jobs now today and that’s what this is going to do: jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs,” O’Kane told Xirinachs.

Last month, the county selected Forest City Ratner Companies to renovate the Coliseum.

“I cannot wait to get started,” developer Bruce Ratner said.

In addition to a 13,000-seat arena, the project will build a retail and entertainment complex that would include restaurants, an ice rink, a bowling alley and a movie theater.

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