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Nassau to sell parcel near Coliseum to Sloan Kettering for $6.5 million

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will spend $140

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will spend $140 million in private funds to build an outpatient treatment and research facility adjacent to the Nassau Coliseum, County Executive Edward Mangano said. Photo Credit: Nassau County

Nassau County plans to sell a five-acre parcel next to the Nassau Coliseum to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for $6.5 million to build an outpatient treatment and research facility, officials said Tuesday.

Under a contract submitted to the county legislature, Sloan Kettering will spend $140 million in private funds to build a two-story, 105,000-square-foot medical center to provide chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments.

The facility, to be located on the southwest portion of the Coliseum property near Hempstead Turnpike and Earle Ovington Boulevard, can be expanded to 140,000 square feet, the contract states.

The land would revert to the county if it ceased to be used for health care purposes.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who announced the deal in March, said the project "will serve as a further building block to attracting health care-related research and development jobs to county."

The contract comes as Brooklyn developer Bruce Ratner begins a $261 million project to renovate the Coliseum and build an adjacent retail and entertainment complex.

Sloan Kettering would spend an additional $20 million to build a 450-spot parking garage that would be used by the cancer center weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The garage would be available for use for Coliseum events after 5 p.m. on weekdays and any time on weekends.

Ratner spokeswoman Ashley Cotton said the cancer center "will provide greatly needed jobs in a sector that is extremely important to the county." Ratner sits on the Sloan Kettering board.

The agreement also calls for Sloan Kettering to develop internships and educational programs for students enrolled at local universities, including Nassau Community College, Hofstra University, Molloy College and Adelphi University.

The facility, which would have about 250 employees, will replace Sloan Kettering's cancer center in Rockville Centre, which has 80 workers. Sloan officials said the 80 workers would transfer to the new center.

The contract identifies a dozen conditions that Sloan Kettering must satisfy before closing on the property, including obtaining building permits from the Town of Hempstead. Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray said the cancer center would be a "great neighbor" and would provide "great synergy with the surrounding businesses and academic institutions." The center also must obtain a certificate of need from the state Health Department, officials said.

Construction is expected to take 18 months, with the building scheduled to open in 2018 when Sloan Kettering's lease in Rockville Centre expires.

The contract will go to the Nassau Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee Wednesday and then move to the GOP-controlled county legislature.

Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said she was "looking forward to reviewing any plan that creates jobs in Nassau County."

Legis. Carrié Solages (D-Elmont) said Democrats are "supportive of bringing accessible health care to the Coliseum property" but that lawmakers needed to review the contract.

The deal needs the approval of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state monitoring board in control of the county's finances. NIFA chairman Jon Kaiman said the board will examine the deal to ensure the county "got fair value" for the property.

Sloan Kettering is a nonprofit and would not be required to pay property taxes on the site, said Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin.


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