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Nassau giving Nassau Coliseum tenant more time fix lease default

Photo of the NYCB Live / Nassau Veterans

Photo of the NYCB Live / Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on the afternoon of June 16, 2020. It was announced today that the Coliseum will be closed. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Nassau County is allowing the tenant of NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum more time before terminating the lease and seeking a new operator in anticipation of the Islanders' 2021 season, county officials said Thursday.

Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports & Entertainment, which holds the lease to the county-owned venue, will get another 15-day extension, through Aug. 7, to cure its potential lease default, according to a letter sent to stakeholders.

The move follows the county's July 7 notice of default threatening to terminate Onexim's arena lease if more than $2 million in unpaid rent and utilities wasn’t paid by July 21.

The threat prompted talks to hand over control of the arena lease to its lender, possibly paving the way to reopen under new management, and impacting plans to develop the 72-acre site around the Coliseum into a residential, business and entertainment site known as the Nassau Hub.

Onexim, which has operated the Coliseum since a $180 million renovation in 2017, also has contractually obligated partnership rights with Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty on the long-discussed proposed development in the Nassau Hub.

It was unclear Thursday what role RXR and Onexim's lender, a Jupiter, Florida-based company called U.S. Immigration Fund headed by Nick Mastroianni II, will play in the future of the Coliseum's operations.

A spokesman for RXR said the company declined to comment.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement: "I am pleased to share the positive news that constructive conversations continue between the Coliseum tenant Onexim, the leasehold lender USIF, and Nassau Hub developer RXR Realty, which would ensure sustained Coliseum operations and future development of the surrounding Hub site. The County’s goal remains achieving a plan for sustained Coliseum operations, including a place for the Islanders to kick off their 2021 season, and progress on transformational redevelopment of the Nassau Hub."

A spokesperson for Prokhorov declined to comment. As of last month, Onexim was seeking investors to take over the arena lease and assume the remaining $100 million in debt. 

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