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Report: NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum project a $2.5B boon for county 

Developers of NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum project said

Developers of NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum project said Thursday that building the planned complex on land surrounding the arena would generate more than $2.5 billion in economic activity and 2,600 jobs during construction. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Nassau County could see more than $2.5 billion in new economic activity and 2,600 jobs during construction if land surrounding NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum is built into a 24-hour residential, commercial and entertainment hub, according to a report by project developer RXR Realty. 

The developer included the economic analysis in its most recent quarterly report sent to the county legislature Thursday. It was the first pre-development release of the project's economic impact on both the county and the state. In addition to the economic stimulus during construction, RXR estimates the Nassau Hub will generate $1.3 billion in annual economic activity when the project is fully operational with 10,000 permanent jobs. 

"We are pleased to provide you with our third quarterly update detailing the steps we have taken to move the Nassau Hub development forward," RXR Realty Chairman and CEO Scott Rechler and Onexim Sports and Entertainment President Maureen Hanlon wrote in a cover letter to county lawmakers. "In the past three months, we have made significant progress towards realizing our vision for the Hub as a new model of suburban living, working and recreation."

Onexim operates the Coliseum and has partnered with RXR to develop the 72-acres of county property around the venue.

Plans call for the construction of 500 units of housing, geared primarily toward millennials; 600,000 square feet of office and biotech research space; two hotels, and 200,000 square feet of entertainment options and "experiential retail" stores providing services such as yoga and cooking classes. 

The proposal also includes two pedestrian bridges; bus rapid transit to the Long Island Rail Road; and 3,400 parking spaces, including two parking garages to integrate the property with the rest of the Uniondale area. Also included in the developers update was the design of a "Highline of Long Island," an elevated public park and a farm built on top of one of the new parking garages.

To address infrastructure, developers have contracted with the Manhattan-based transportation planning and engineering firm, Sam Schwartz, according to the report.   

”I’m enthusiastic about the continued progress the team is making on the HUB, as well as the economic activity it will drive during and after construction,"  Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement. "This is a transformative project that will encourage business development, job growth, and help attract younger generations to stay in Nassau County.” 

The RXR/Onexim development team is required to submit updates to Curran and legislators. The project is pending state and Town of Hempstead approval. 

RXR/Onexim is expected to submit an updated grant application to the state for $85 million in funding to begin building the parking garages. The project stands to receive at least $125 million in state funding, including for pedestrian bridges and rapid transit. 

Developers are also seeking subsidies from the county to offset taxes in the construction of the residential units, likely in the form of a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement. 

Nassau County presiding officer Legis. Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) called the economic impact of the Hub project "promising."

"While we are excited about the positive impact the Hub will bring," Nicolello said, "we need to collectively ensure that given there will be two large scale arenas within a few miles of each other, they will be able to successfully coexist."

Democratic Minority Leader Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said: "Not only does this underscore the great potential waiting to be unlocked at the Nassau Hub, it reinforces the fact that we must get this right. That is why I fought for a community benefits package framework that brings tangible improvements to surrounding communities, and why I will continue to insist on the use of local, union labor while this project is being built."

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