By Eden Laikin
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s detailed plan to transform the 51-acre parking lot surrounding the Nassau Coliseum – into a vibrant, mixed-use, transit friendly and job-generating economic engine – requires a total state investment of $225.2 million, to generate more than $2.8 billion in economic activity. In all, the Long Island Nassau County (LINC) plan could generate an additional $72 billion for Nassau, over the next 30 years by laying the foundations needed to pursue jobs in the biotech sector.
According to the just released plan, design work on the “shovel-ready, under-utilized’ Hub, would begin immediately upon designation of Empire State Development funding, with construction beginning within one year. Phase I redevelopment of the Coliseum has already begun, Mangano stated, with the $260 million private investment by Nassau Events Center to renovate the arena. An additional $140 million potential private investment by Memorial Sloan Kettering would help transform it into the nation’s largest suburban redevelopment project.
Phase I includes Plaza construction of a live music and performance theater, a cinema with restaurant, entertainment and recreation, retail, a Veterans Memorial and a major youth and family sports facility. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center would bring 250 jobs with six-figure salaries.
Traffic studies and environmental reviews have already been conducted for the plan, which would include a 2,700-spot underground Green Parking Structure in Phase I. The parking structure would unlock the Hubs potential by serving as a foundation for biotech office space above.
The plan also creates critical connections to link major employment, academic, educational and entertainment centers, via Nassau’s first Bus Rapid Transit Connector, Green Pedestrians Connectors and roadway improvements.
Nassau’s LINC plan would provide premium electric, non-emissions bus service that improves connectivity with large regional transit areas, while reducing congestion and pollution. Green pedestrian bridges above Hempstead Turnpike, Charles Lindberg and Earle Ovington Boulevards, would create a safer environment for pedestrians while serving as a traffic calming measure. The $50 million estimated for the transit project, would include $2 million in safety improvements for Hempstead Turnpike.
The total infrastructure and transit improvements would help create an estimated 18,550 direct and indirect permanent jobs – creating year-round economic activity for generations to come.