HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With the Islanders leaving for Brooklyn, developer Bruce Ratner is pressing forward with plans to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum site.

Ratner has submitted his proposal for the 91-acre site to the town of Hempstead for review, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

The project includes the renovation of the arena, as well as the construction of a movie theater, restaurants and stores.

“We’re turning what could have been a wasteland into a thriving sports and entertainment destination,” Ratner said at a news conference Tuesday.

Added Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano: “Today brings us one step closer to putting a shovel in the ground.”

“It’s a very important step. We’re excited to build. We’ll start Coliseum in August as we said, retail to follow,” Ratner said.

As CBS2’s Diane Macedo reported, Ratner was all smiles as he announced his master environmental plan had been submitted to Hempstead officials. The plan will face a streamlined review because Ratner followed the recommendations laid out for years ago by the town for what it would accept at the Coliseum site, officials said.

“Before they did their first step they know how high they could build, how dense, all the parameters of the zone, so there was no guesswork,” Kate Murray, (R), Hempstead Town Supervisor, said.

Ratner’s development group is promising a $260-million renovation of the dilapidated coliseum including a mix of retail, restaurants, a movie theater, and more.

“In addition there are two other entertainment uses which we’re working on, we’re pretty close to leases on both of them,” Ratner said.

Ratner would not name the possible tenants other than to say their businesses will be fun and youth sports oriented. He promised there would be 1,500 local jobs, but rejected a request by Uniondale civic activists to invest $10-million in the community, an idea that Uniondale’s representatives said could be revisited.

“I’m sure, down the line I think we can really work to get something else. I don’t think it’s closed,” Dorothy Goosby, (D), Uniodale, said.

With the building of a new arena for basketball and hockey, the county executive renewed his call for the departing Islanders to consider moving back.

“I think the plan certainly provides the opportunity for a professional ice hockey team to stay in the facility,” Ed Mangano (R), Nassau County Executive, said.

If approved, construction should begin in August.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said the town will consider issues such as “parking, traffic, air quality, water quality, any kind of impacts that the building would have.”

Comments

Leave a Reply