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Curran: Nassau Hub project just took a big step forward

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and her Suffolk counterpart Steve Bellone on Friday laid out plans for 2020 at the Long Island Association's State of the Region event. Business reporter James Madore breaks down the county executives' plans. (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Redevelopment of the Nassau Hub has taken a big step forward because Nassau County will receive $85 million from the state for planned parking garages on the site, County Executive Laura Curran said Friday.

The garages will free up land for development at the Hub, which is anchored by the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum. The plans include housing, restaurants, stores and entertainment venues but cannot move forward without first constructing the garages, she said.

Curran, speaking at a breakfast organized by the Long Island Association business group, said the state money is on its way. She said she received this week the documents necessary to get the funds.

Curran called on the Nassau County Legislature to vote to accept the state funds so negotiations can begin with the developers on construction and "shovels are in the ground" this year.

“We just received the disbursement agreement from the state,” she told about 1,000 people at a Woodbury catering hall. “We are going to build a vibrant, walkable destination.”

Curran said "conceptual plans" for the Hub's redevelopment have been submitted to the Town of Hempstead for its required approval. She said she has had amicable discussions with the new town supervisor, Don Clavin, about the project.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told the crowd at the Crest Hollow Country Club that his proposed "innovation zone" along Nichols Road received a boost from Thursday's announcement that Brookhaven National Laboratory will be home to a new electron-ion collider valued at up to $2.6 billion. He said BNL and Stony Brook University are key players in building an economy based on science and technology.

Bellone stressed the economic development aspects of combating water pollution by hooking up more homes in Suffolk to sewage treatment facilities and making improvements to residential septic systems.

"If we are not protecting water quality on Long Island, we are sacrificing our future," he said, citing sewer projects planned this year for Patchogue and the Town of Babylon.

Both county executives denounced recent acts of anti-Semitism and hate. They cited the Newsday investigative series "LI Divided" for demonstrating a need to combat housing discrimination.

Bellone urged audience members to "stand up and say 'it's wrong' " when they witness acts of hate. "Call it out. When we do that hate cannot survive. Bias cannot survive," he said to loud applause.

LIA president Kevin Law said the group's board of directors will meet next week to determine its legislative priorities for the local, state and federal governments. He said, "We will oppose any new taxes and a single-payer health care system."

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