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$275M for Nassau Hub anchors LI request for state aid

A rendering of the renovated Nassau Coliseum is

A rendering of the renovated Nassau Coliseum is shown. Credit: Shop Architects

A group of local political and business leaders Friday recommended that the state award $275 million to the proposed redevelopment of the Nassau Hub in Uniondale.

The eight-member group ranked the transformation of parking lots surrounding Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum into a biotechnology park and entertainment center as the economic development project on Long Island that merits the most state aid.

The group, which includes the Nassau and Suffolk county executives, also endorsed 16 other projects, ranging from sewer upgrades in downtown Smithtown to a data center at Stony Brook University.

The Ronkonkoma Hub would receive $225 million, the second-largest amount.

"We tried to have parity between the two counties" in making funding recommendations, said Kevin Law, chairman of the group and president of the Long Island Association, which represents area businesses.

The projects would be funded in part with $550 million that was included in the 2015-16 state budget at the behest of Long Island's nine state senators. The allocation came after complaints that the Island received only $150 million out of a $5.4 billion state surplus.

The aid would need to be matched by nearly $2 billion from the private sector.

Empire State Development, the state's primary business-aid agency, will take up the recommendations. ESD official Jason Conwall said Friday it would "engage" local leaders before deciding which projects to support. Decisions could be made before year's end.

The Nassau Hub proposal includes $50 million for a $300 million Center for Bioelectronic Medicine, to be run by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a unit of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. The center would create 250 jobs and sit atop a parking garage, for which $122 million is being sought.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said a revamped Nassau Hub "will create jobs and a new economy for Long Island."

In Suffolk County, a proposed bus rapid transit system and biking trails along Nicolls Road would connect the Ronkonkoma Hub to Stony Brook, Suffolk County Community College, Islip MacArthur Airport and Patchogue Village. "This will bring young people back to our region," said County Executive Steve Bellone.

While $550 million has been reserved for local projects, the group's recommendations total $951 million. Law said additional funding could come from future state budgets.

Senate spokesman Scott Reif said, "While we welcome input from business and political leaders . . . , ultimately our decisions will be guided by the Long Island State Senate delegation." With Robert Brodsky


A group of political and business leaders has recommended the state award millions of dollars to 17 local building projects. The largest requests are for:

Redevelopment of the Nassau Hub, $275.2 million

Ronkonkoma Hub, $225 million

Data-Enabled Applications Institute at Stony Brook University, $75 million

Syosset Park housing and retail development, $65 million

Wyandanch Rising, $40 million

Sewer improvements in downtown Smithtown, $40 million

SOURCE: Report by the Transformative Investment Program Work Group

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