Ratner: Coliseum renovation on schedule

Artist's rendering of developer Bruce Ratner's plans for Artist's rendering of developer Bruce Ratner's plans for the Nassau Coliseum site on May 2, 2013. Photo Credit: SHoP Architects

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Developer Bruce Ratner said Thursday that his plan to revamp the Nassau Coliseum and transform the surrounding land into an entertainment complex is on schedule, although he has yet to file a building permit application with the Town of Hempstead -- the next step in the review process.

In September, the Nassau County Legislature unanimously approved Ratner's $229 million plan to renovate and downsize the arena and build an adjacent plaza with restaurants, shopping, a movie theater, ice rink, bowling alley, nightclub and an outdoor amphitheater.

Ratner said he is "refining" plans to remodel the interior of the 41-year-old arena in Uniondale, although he did not expect any major changes.

Ratner, executive chairman of Forest City Ratner Cos., said he also must complete details such as the size of the theater and the mix of restaurants. He declined to identify any potential tenants.

"The process takes time," said Ratner, who was in Garden City to speak at an event on suburban planning and architectural design.

Ratner, who built the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, said he expects to submit permitting documents with Hempstead's Building Department "in a short period of time," declining to elaborate.

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Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has assigned a team of senior staffers to streamline the town's review of Ratner's proposal. Town spokesman Mike Deery said Murray's staff has met several times with Ratner's team and no serious concerns have been raised.

Work on the project is expected to begin in August 2015 after the New York Islanders vacate the Coliseum to begin playing at the Barclays Center. It is likely to take 15 to 18 months to complete the work.

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