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Laura Curran seeks proposals for Nassau Hub property

Nassau Executive Laura Curran wants to hear new

Nassau Executive Laura Curran wants to hear new ideas on how to develop the Hub area surrounding the Coliseum, seen here on April 5, 2017. Credit: ALL Island Aerial / Kevin P. Coughlin

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is formally seeking proposals to develop 72 acres surrounding NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum, her administration announced.

The Request for Expressions of Interest will solicit plans from developers, corporate organizations interested in partnering with the county and others on a new “Nassau Hub Innovation District,” according to a draft copy.

The move comes three weeks after Curran rejected a proposal by the Blumenfeld Development Group to build an “arena district” that would have included entertainment, retail, housing and office space on part of the property.

Blumenfeld, based in Syosset, pitched its plan to Curran and county legislators in May after reaching an out-of-court settlement with former development partner Forest City Ratner. The companies had fought over rights to develop part of the Hub property since 2015, stalling progress on the larger site.

“We are casting a wide net and looking for innovative proposals,” Curran said. “We want as many ideas as possible and are very interested in a corporate employer and high-wage jobs.”

Administration officials had expressed concern about whether Blumenfeld’s plan could compete with a $1 billion plan for a hockey arena for the New York Islanders and an entertainment and retail complex in Belmont Park.

Blumenfeld spokesman Gary Lewi said the company “will be participating in this latest county process.”

Curran said she was “committed to a tight timeline,” and set the deadline for proposals for July 20. An RFEI, which is similar to an RFP, does not require legislative approval.

Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), said the GOP caucus is “concerned that going back to the drawing board on the HUB development could cause a lengthy delay of the project, and could jeopardize more than $100 million set aside by the New York State Legislature. We are also concerned that the administration may be entertaining concepts for the property that are not realistic given the existing Town of Hempstead Special Zoning District.”

He said “any new proposal will require a thorough and transparent review by the Legislature.”

But Democrats support Curran’s plan, said Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport).

“While I thought the Blumenfeld plan did have some merit, it fell short on some things, so I think this is a good time to look for new proposals,” Abrahams said. “I’m hopeful that something innovative will come out of it.”

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