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Battle of the bids
Nassau County is getting a lot of interest at the Hub, with 17 responses, including more than half from major developers, in its latest attempt to find a partner.
The Point has learned that among those pitching, and there aren’t any real surprises here, are RXR Realty of Uniondale, Blumenfeld Development Group of Syosset, and Engel Burman of Garden City, which is partnering with The Beechwood Organization in Jericho.
Blumenfeld’s submission suggests a development similar to the mixed-use development he proposed earlier this year, but eliminates the Bass Pro Shops, and adds a life sciences tenant, in the hopes of the county finding it more attractive this time.
RXR, Blumenfeld and Engel Burman have looked for love at the Hub before. All three bid on the first request for proposals, in 2005, which ultimately went to a partnership between RXR and then-New York Islanders owner Charles Wang to build the $3.8 billion Lighthouse Project. Lighthouse ultimately failed to garner support from the Town of Hempstead.
This time around, there’s a zone in place that allows for mixed-use development and up to 500 units of housing. Several of the interested developers did include the housing component, sources told The Point.
And while then, Wang was the key player, because the county was looking for a way for the Islanders to stay in Uniondale, this time, the most important player remains one connected to sports at the venue: BSE Global, previously known as Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.
BSE Global manages the Coliseum, and has spearheaded efforts to lure the Islanders back to the Uniondale arena — temporarily at least — until their new home at Belmont is built. The team will play 20 games at the Coliseum during the upcoming hockey season.
But BSE has an even bigger role to play. BSE’s parent, Onexim Sports & Entertainment, controls 85 percent of Nassau Events Center, which holds the Coliseum lease.
A clause in the lease says the county has to “reasonably cooperate” with Nassau Events Center on any project, so whichever developers successfully court BSE might have the best chance of getting to the altar.
Randi F. Marshall
No secret ballot
Democrat Michael Marcantonio, a Northport native, got knocked of the ballot in the race for the 12th Assembly District seat Friday for not meeting state residency requirements.
Acting Suffolk Supreme Court Judge Richard Horowitz ruled Marcantonio, who attended Duke University Law School 2012 to 2015, was registered to vote there and had his car registered there. Marcantonio’s appeal will be heard Tuesday at the Appellate Division in Brooklyn.
Supporters of Republican Andy Raia, who is seeking his ninth term in 12th, will be in Brooklyn as well, but making a different appeal. Raia is trying to stop Democrats from being able replace Marcantonio if he does not win his appeal to stay on the ballot.
Suffolk County Democratic Party and its chair, Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, should have plenty of reason to fight for Marcantonio, or if he fails to make the ballot, the right to replace him. The talk is of a blue wave in 2018, and the registration in the 12th District makes it a competitive one on paper.
But it’s Long Island politics, so it’s complicated.
In his speeches, Marcantonio is selling himself as far to the left of traditional Democrats. He’s said “we need progressives to take over the Democratic Party.” And he has described himself and his campaign manager as committed workers for the run of 2nd Congressional District hopeful Liuba Grechen Shirley, Schaffer’s newest archnemesis.
A March fundraiser was held for Grechen Shirley at Marcantonio’s Manhattan apartment, another bone of contention in the residency lawsuit because Raia claims Marcantonio lives there, not in Northport. If Marcantonio stays alive, does Schaffer got all in for him? If a new candidate is needed, does Schaffer try to make it a race?
Digging a hole
Blue wave, red wave, green wave
- Which meme will President Donald Trump adopt upon news that White House counsel Don McGahn spent 30 hours talking to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators about his many meetings with Trump and the president’s thinking? The Biblical one that the truth shall set you free? Or the one espoused Sunday by Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani: “Truth isn’t truth.”
- In France, crows have been trained to pick up cigarette butts and throw them in the trash. Humans were untrainable.
- In a meeting with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Long Island farmers and fishers listed goals that included cleaning polluted bays, policing counterfeit seafood, being able to hire seasonal workers in the face of an immigration crackdown, and getting permits to use a banned pesticide.
- All together now, and channel your inner Elmo: One of these things is not like the other, one of these things doesn’t belong.
- Democrats are talking about a blue wave in November’s election. President Donald Trump is touting a giant red wave. Environmentalists are predicting a green wave. Hey, it’s a midterm, a wave of any color would be unusual. But a multicolored one would really be something.
- President Donald Trump compared the Russia probe to McCarthyism. He should know. As a real estate developer, one of his attorneys was Roy Cohn, the chief counsel to Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweet-blamed his inability to get a tweet by Fox News host Laura Ingraham on censorship by Twitter. But the problem apparently was his own Twitter settings. And with that misleading tweet, did McCarthy show he’s ready to move upward in the leadership of the new GOP?
- In Georgia, an 87-year-old Syrian émigré who speaks little English was cutting dandelions for a salad on Boys and Girls Club property across the street from her house. Police were called and ordered her to stop and drop her knife; when she did not respond, they shot her with a Taser, handcuffed her and detained her. Imagine the trouble she’d have been in if she had been planting the dandelions.