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Nassau County lawmakers react cautiously to $1.5 billion Hub plan

Lawmakers say they want to see details of the plan to develop 72 acres surrounding NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum

An aerial view of NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum,

An aerial view of NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum, April 5, 2017. Photo Credit: ALL Island Aerial/Kevin P. Coughlin

Republican and Democratic leaders of the Nassau County Legislature reacted cautiously Wednesday to a $1.5 billion plan for RXR Realty to redevelop 72 acres of land around NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum, saying they lacked enough information to pledge their support.

The proposal backed by County Executive Laura Curran would name RXR Realty “master developer” in a partnership with BSE Global, formerly known as Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Coliseum. Curran, a Democrat, needs the approval of the GOP-controlled legislature to move the project forward. 

Presiding Officer Legis. Rich Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) said there were “some positive aspects” to the plan. The fact that the plan does not require Town of Hempstead zoning changes is a plus, he said.  

“As far as the entities involved — they are both major players in the market and I have a lot of respect for them,” Nicolello said. 

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said he believes RXR has the ability to complete the project, but wants to be sure the impact on neighboring communities is fully addressed. Abrahams' district borders the property. 

"No one has done this before," Abrahams said. "We've got to get it right this time."  

Preliminary plans include 500 units of housing; 600,000 square feet of office and biotech research space; 200,000 square feet of “experiential retail” and about 3,400 parking spaces, including two parking garages.

The project also would feature two pedestrian bridges connecting to adjacent RXR properties that could provide overflow parking for events, and bus rapid transit to the Mineola and Hempstead Long Island Rail Road stations.

Curran administration officials said they were negotiating and drafting an agreement with the two companies.

The county owns the land surrounding the Coliseum. BSE Global, as part of their 49-year lease with the county to operate the Coliseum, must endorse any development plans for the area around the Coliseum. 

Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury), who represents the district in which the Coliseum is located, said she would like to examine the plans "to ensure my residents’ interests are protected.”

She said that “given that I represent the immediate impacted areas I would have loved the opportunity to have been more informed and I hope that’s the intention of the administration moving forward.” 

Legis. Thomas McKevitt (R-East Meadow), who sat on the panel that solicited ideas for the area around the Coliseum, said he was “all ears and receptive to anything. I just want to see what the plan is. I want to make sure we are creating job growth without being a detriment to the surrounding communities." 

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