Building on County Executive Edward P. Mangano’s recent success in attracting a 100% privately-financed Expo Center to Mitchel Field, the County today launched a sustainable economic development and job creation plan for Nassau’s Hub. The redevelopment has been at a logjam between what the present tenant is willing to pay and the actual costs to construct a new sports-entertainment arena to host professional sports as well as concerts, the circus and other family-fun entertainment.
In an effort to break the logjam and spark development, Nassau County issued a Request-For-Qualifications (RFQ) to select a Master Developer for the property. The Master Developer will be charged with bridging the gap between the dollars necessary to construct a new arena and the rent a sports team should realistically pay to play in the arena. The Master Developer will bridge the gap by pursuing mixed-use opportunities to assist in offsetting the costs to construct a new arena. The RFQ’s primary focus is to retain Long Island’s only major professional sports team in Nassau, but to also produce alternative plans for review. The Master Developer is also tasked with keeping the public informed as the plan progresses.
County Executive Mangano stated, “I set forth a new approach to jumpstart economic growth and job creation at Nassau’s Hub. This plan presents the opportunity for Long Island to shed the moniker of the ‘Land of No’ and move forward with job creation and retention of an important sports-entertainment venue.”
Independent economists, Camoin Associates, estimate the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum generates $200 million of economic activity annually. Experts believe the Coliseum, the oldest un-renovated facility in the NHL, may shutter its doors should the New York Islanders vacate the venue in 2015 when their lease expires.