SBD/Issue 211/Facilities & Venues

Hempstead's New Nassau Coliseum Plan Cuts Revenue Projections

Renovating Nassau Coliseum Could Be More
Difficult If Area Developments Are Limited

The Town of Hempstead's new plan for the land surrounding Nassau Coliseum "could cut the potential for moneymaking development" by nearly 75%, compared with Islanders Owner Charles Wang's Lighthouse Project, according to an analysis by Randi Marshall of NEWSDAY. While the town said that its proposal, announced last week, "reduces the size and density of the project by half, Newsday's study found that a far more significant cut is likely when only the potential for new residential, retail and commercial development is considered." The Hempstead plan, by "limiting the amount of development so significantly, also would make it far more difficult to renovate the Coliseum -- a key component" for Wang, who has threatened to move the Islanders. Town officials contend that their plan "gives the developer the leeway to determine what's feasible economically." Hempstead's new proposal indicates that a developer "could be left with 1.35 million square feet for revenue-making development," compared to 4.92 million square feet under the Lighthouse proposal. Town officials said that "under their plan a developer could expand the Marriott and add more development to the site." They added that there would be "much more room for moneymaking development if a renovated Coliseum were smaller than the 1.2 million square feet the Lighthouse plan recommended." But Newsday's analysis shows that "a smaller arena wouldn't mean more housing could be built." Experts said that as "long as the developer has to pay for a renovated Coliseum, the numbers likely won't work" (NEWSDAY, 7/19).

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