A major Long Island development group is calling on Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano to rescind the lease to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum, held by Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
Desmond Ryan, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island in Hauppauge, said there has been “a noticeable lack of activity” at the Coliseum site for months.
In a news release Wednesday, Ryan called on Mangano to acknowledge that the Coliseum project is “moribund” and to put the work out for bid again.
Ryan said a new request for proposals “would serve notice that the Mangano administration will not allow this incredibly important parcel to be marginalized and controlled by those who do not have the best interest of the county, the taxpayer or our economy as their first or even second priority.”
Mangano said the lease will not be rescinded.
“The ABLI’s comments are clearly misguided as the Coliseum is under construction and well on its way to becoming a world class arena,” said Mangano.
Deputy County Executive Rob Walker said a “tremendous amount of work” has been completed on the Coliseum interior, including the concourse, ticket office, concession stands and locker rooms. The exterior is largely unchanged.
Forest City Ratner, the Brooklyn-based developer for the project, is planning a media tour of the arena next week.
Since a groundbreaking in November, 1,000 tons of debris have been discarded from the Coliseum, all of the seats removed, the restrooms gutted and asbestos was “methodically” abated, said Ratner spokesman Robert Leonard.
“This is a gut renovation of a 45-year-old building, so we have a tremendous amount of work happening on the inside of the building before we get to updating the outside,” he said.
Edward Blumenfeld, president of the Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group, sits on the board of the ABLI and is the group’s former president. Blumenfeld bid on the Coliseum project but later joined Ratner’s team to work on the retail complex.
Ratner and Blumenfeld filed dueling lawsuits last year over control of the project. A State Supreme Court justice last month allowed Blumenfeld’s suit — claiming he was illegally ousted from the project — to proceed.
Ratner and Prokhorov are spending $260.5 million to redevelop the Coliseum and build a retail and entertainment center. Construction of the retail center has yet to begin.