Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

The clock is ticking on the Lighthouse/Coliseum/Casino/Topless Bar plans for the 150-acre Coliseum site in Uniondale.


  OK, the topless bar part is only imaginary -- but the point is, it may only be as fanciful as the other proposals that have been floated recently. 

But decisions are coming soon.

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At some point in the coming weeks, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray will unveil her plans for a scaled-down version of the Lighthouse Project that had been promoted by Islanders owner Charles Wang and real estate developer Scott Rechler. She has said, “this summer,” and summer begins June 21.


Meanwhile, there has been furious behind-the-scenes negotiations among parties involved. Wang and Rechler met Wednesday with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, several sources said. Mangano aides declined comment.


If Wang and Rechler walk away from the scaled-down plan put out by Murray, then Wang would likely pursue another venue (Queens? Brooklyn?) for the Islanders. And Mangano might be remembered as the county executive who lost the Islanders.


But Mangano made a potential game-changer in late April when he said he had been in talks with the Shinnecock Nation for a casino on the site.


That raises some interesting possibilities, such as using the Shinnecock casino as an anchor, and floating a renovated Coliseum, a new hotel, conference center and other amenities around it.

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Perhaps the casino could be developed on a separate part of the site, getting a federal declaration that it is Indian land to avoid town zoning, and using the revenue from a casino deal to fund the rest of the project, which would go through town zoning.
And perhaps there will be a huge topless bar there after all.