SBD/June 21, 2011/Facilities

Agreement Would Give Islanders Owner Control Of Land Surrounding Coliseum

Proposed agreement would give Wang control of 77 acres around arena

Nassau County Exec Edward Mangano and Islanders Owner Charles Wang have “reached a tentative agreement that could give Wang control of the entire 77-acre parcel of county-owned land surrounding Nassau Coliseum,” according to sources cited by Randi Marshall of NEWSDAY. Two members of the Hub Advisory Committee, which was charged by Mangano to "offer options for the project," said that Wang would get the site “exclusively for a new hockey arena and surface parking -- far less expensive to build than a garage or underground parking -- and no other development.” But they added that terms of the deal “might still change because of objections to its lack of mixed-use.” Nassau County sources said that “future mixed-use development may be possible, subject to a request for proposals process that would be opened to developers other than Wang.” But they added that any additional development “would have to replace the parking spaces on which it would sit.” In exchange for use of the land, Wang would “provide a percentage of Coliseum revenue” to the county, and sources confirmed that the deal “includes a minimum annual payment.” The county has not released details on the size of the payment, but has “promised to do so in mid-June.” Hub committee members “expressed concern that the deal might result in a new arena and a parking lot -- and nothing else.” Local business leaders also "expressed concern" about the plan. The county has scheduled an Aug. 1 referendum “to determine whether to borrow as much as $400 million to build a new Coliseum and a minor league ballpark.” Sources said that a central issue is “the cost of garage or underground parking.” Structured parking lots “cost $25,000 per space.” The Coliseum area “houses almost 7,000 outdoor parking spaces, adding up” to a $175M price tag (NEWSDAY, 6/21).

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