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As Nassau County officials prepare to choose a master developer for the 77-acre HUB site surrounding Nassau Coliseum, Syosset developer Edward Blumenfeld, one of the three remaining candidates, says he plans to try to keep the New York Islanders as part of his plan.
Blumenfeld also said that if he is able to include a minor league ballpark in the redevelopment, he could potentially involve the New York Mets.
Blumenfeld, who said he expects a decision from the county soon, noted that he did not produce a specific vision for the property in his application.
You have a key component that determines what will and what will not be done, and thats the Islanders, Blumenfeld said. Having no input from them or the county on what theyre going to do, it would be senseless to dictate whats going to be built.
But Blumenfeld said that even without a detailed rendering, he told county officials that he and his partners can put the puzzle together."
That puzzle, said Blumenfeld, would definitely include the Islanders.
We want it to be economically feasible to everybody, he added. With the right development and the right approach, it could become economically viable.
Blumenfeld said he brought in Mark Rosentraub, the co-director of the Michigan Center for Sports Management and a University of Michigan professor, and Ken Yaffe, a former National Hockey League executive, to work with him on the effort.
Blumenfeld is competing with Plainview developer Donald Monti and Patchogue architect Baldassano Architure to become the master developer at the site. Monti has said he would include a new arena in his development of the site. Baldassano is planning hotels, restaurants and an exposition center and is not dealing with the arena.
County officials have said that once they choose a developer, the winner will have the ability to negotiate with New York Islanders owner Charles Wang. Wang has said that he is not going to stay in the current Coliseum after his lease expires in 2015.
When Blumenfeld bid on the first Request for Proposals for the site in 2005, he partnered with the Mets and their umbrella company, Sterling Equities. They lost that effort to Wang.
Blumenfeld said Friday that the Wilpons are personal friends and are interested in the opportunity to have a minor league baseball team at the site.