By Eden Laikin
Mineola, NY – The four potential HUB re-developers presented their proposals to reinvent the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum today, to a Business Advisory Council created by Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano.
“The presentations provided business advisers and the media an opportunity to view the four plans submitted to transform the Coliseum into an exciting new family, sports and entertainment venue for Nassau County,” County Executive Mangano said. “I would like to thank the respondents for their hard work and vision in proposing a reinvented Coliseum. My administration is committed to creating a premier sports and entertainment destination at the HUB through a public-private partnership. Reviewing these proposals is the first step is achieving that goal.”
Mangano added that “A refreshed Coliseum will provide family-oriented entertainment for decades and also unlock the potential for further growth in the HUB by freeing up more developable acres.”
Developers who gave their presentations today at the Nassau County Police Department’s Assembly Hall, were Nassau Events Centers, LLC; New York Sports & Entertainment, LLC; Blumenfeld Development Group, Ltd. and Madison Square Garden Companies.
The Business Advisory Council consists of Sandata Chairman and CEO Bert Brodsky; President of the Long Island Association and Co-Chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, Kevin Law; former Town of Hempstead Supervisor and Dean of Business Development at Hofstra University, Richard Guardino; Kirk Kordeleski, CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union; Michael Puntillo, President of Jobco Realty and Construction; Henry Holley, President of The Holley Group; Mike Posillico, Executive Vice President of Strategic Business Development at the Posillico Group; and Executive Director of the IDA, Joseph Kearney.
Nassau Events Centers, LLC’s Bruce Ratner is the developer of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn. He hopes to replicate his success with the Nassau Coliseum. Ratner was retained by Nassau County in November to advise the county about making the Coliseum competitive with other venues for concerts and sporting events, and develop a strategic plan for the surrounding 77 acres. His plan reportedly includes renovating the Coliseum.
Bernard Shereck, CEO of New York Sports & Entertainment, LLC, in Bayville, started the company in 2010. The former operator of the Long Beach Ice Arena has pitched a proposal to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum and bring in a minor league hockey team and potentially other indoor sports. Newsday has reported that Shereck is partnering with Global Spectrum, a Comcast subsidiary that manages stadiums such as Citizens Bank Park and the Wells Fargo Center, both in Philadelphia. The group plans to privately finance the renovation of the Coliseum, and reduce seating capacity from the current 16,000 to between 8,000 and 10,000 seats.
Blumenfeld Development Group, Ltd submitted a proposal to redevelop the HUB back in 2005 and lost the bid to Charles Wang. But, Wang’s Lighthouse proposal did not garner public support and did not advance. At the time, Blumenfeld proposed a $300 million mixed-use development on the coliseum’s 77 acres, with retail, commercial, affordable housing and, possibly, a minor-league baseball stadium. Today, according to the New York Post, Syosset-based Ed Blumenfeld is expected to unveil a $200 million plan that calls for the demolition of the 41-year old Coliseum and the building of a much smaller arena and adjoining convention center.
The Madison Square Garden Company, an offshoot of Bethpage-based Cablevision, owns Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan as well as the Knicks and Rangers. The Garden is in the middle of a three-year renovation project.
Each developer has reportedly followed the bidding guidelines and submitted plans for renovating the arena by reducing seats from 17,686 to roughly 10,000
The county expects to choose a winner by July.