By Eden Laikin
Members of a Long Island builders group tried to extort development rights to the HUB area from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, and when they were unsuccessful, they began a smear campaign against Mangano’s plan for the area, the County Executive said.
Mangano said that the Association for a Better Long Island, and its leader Desmond Ryan, told him that if he agreed to sell them the development rights to the land around the Nassau Coliseum, they would support his plan to build a new arena.
When the County Executive declined, saying the rights belong to the County and to the taxpayers, Ryan began publicly blasting the plan.
“ABLI’s accusations represent sour grapes and self-interest from a group that tried to hold up the county for developmental rights to the hub property,” Mangano said today. “The bidding will be open to the entire business community and not just those represented by Desmond Ryan. In fact, some of his developers have called to apologize for Desmond’s immature actions.”
Mangano called Ryan’s attempts to kill his plan – which would create a sports-entertainment destination center at the site – “mud-slinging.”
At a press conference earlier in the day, Mangano said “this group is focused more on self-interests than on public interests. It’s really sad that they brought it to that level because they didn’t get what they wanted. It’s rather disturbing.”
Mangano said the group “wants the development rights because there’s a depressed market and they’re low.”
“But Nassau County has the development rights,” he said. “And we’re going to make sure that whatever development is done there creates immediate jobs and stimulates the local economy.”
ABLI MEMBERS (according to its website.)