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Officials: Housing part of complex plan near Nassau Coliseum

Fans file into the newly redesigned Coliseum as

Fans file into the newly redesigned Coliseum as Billy Joel performs at the re-opening of Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Credit: Steve Pfost

Plans for a retail and entertainment complex next to NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum are now expected to include housing, according to a joint statement Monday from the project’s developers.

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group — which last month reached an out-of-court settlement with developer Bruce Ratner to end their long-running lawsuit over rights to build the complex — said their plan will allow the Hub property to maximize its full potential.

“We are proud to announce a shared vision that will make the Hub a centerpiece for world-class sports, entertainment, dining, recreation, and residential living, which the community has long sought and certainly deserves,” the statement read.

While the developers did not release details of their proposal, the statement was the first official confirmation that plans for the Hub have expanded to include housing.

“We look forward to meeting with the developers to hear more about their proposal,” said Michael Martino, a spokesman for Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Baldwin Democrat who took office in January.

Last year, former County Executive Edward Mangano considered adding housing to the development plans after the state approved an $85 million grant to construct two parking garages on the Uniondale property.

The garages would free up 19 acres of blacktop originally designated for surface parking, for housing. Town of Hempstead zoning for the 77-acre Hub allows for up to 500 housing units.

“We look forward to hearing the proposal and working to put forward the most beneficial plan for the residents of the Town of Hempstead,” Supervisor Laura Gillen said.

Housing was not included in the county’s original request for proposals to develop the Hub. The developers said they will make new presentations to Curran, Nassau Legislature and the Town of Hempstead “to swiftly finalize the comprehensive development plan for review and approval.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Curran telling Newsday last month she’s creating a Hub task force to identify the best way to develop the 77 acres around the renovated Coliseum. The task force is chaired by Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Evlyn Tsimis.

Blumenfeld and Forest City Ratner Cos. were among four companies that bid on the redevelopment of the Coliseum and its surrounding property in 2013.

After Nassau settled on Forest City and the Madison Square Garden Company as finalists, Blumenfeld signed on to Ratner’s proposal, agreeing to develop the retail and restaurant components. The two firms worked together on the project for 18 months but had a falling out over control and direction of the development and filed suit against one another in 2015.

Brett Yormark, chief executive of Brooklyn Sports, told Newsday last month the dueling lawsuits between Ratner and Blumenfeld brought the development to a standstill.

During the nearly three years of litigation, Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner Companies, sold a controlling stake in the Coliseum development to Mikhail Prokhorov, who also owns Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.

“We would love to see it developed sooner rather than later,” Yormark said of the area outside the arena. “And we want to see development that certainly complements the Coliseum.”

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