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OpinionColumnistsRandi F. Marshall

The hub begins to take shape

Nassau County is again looking for ideas for

Nassau County is again looking for ideas for the 77 acres it owns around the Nassau Coliseum, above. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The Point has learned that Uniondale-based RXR Realty, headed by developer Scott Rechler, has formed a partnership with perhaps the most important player in the Hub’s redevelopment.

RXR is partnering with BSE Global, formerly known as Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which manages Nassau Coliseum. And Nassau County can’t move forward with the Hub redevelopment without BSE’s involvement and approval. That makes an RXR-BSE partnership a game-changer — one that could supersede any other development proposal at the Hub.

Sources with knowledge of the situation told The Point that representatives from Nassau County, RXR and BSE planned to meet Thursday to discuss the partnership and next steps.

RXR Realty submitted a response to Nassau County’s request for expressions of interest last week. In a letter obtained by The Point, BSE Global chief executive Brett Yormark confirmed the deal with RXR, and noted its intention to “submit a collectively developed master plan” for the Hub.

“BSE is proud to be part of the team that will turn the HUB Project into an integrated and dynamic environment for living, working and playing in the heart of Nassau County,” Yormark wrote.

BSE’s parent, Onexim Sports & Entertainment, controls 85 percent of Nassau Events Center, which holds the Coliseum lease. A clause in that lease says the county has to “reasonably cooperate” with Nassau Events Center on any development.

Sources told The Point that RXR is proposing a mixed-use development that would include housing and retail. What’s more, the developer intends to bring a life sciences institution to the Hub — fulfilling one of the county’s most significant goals. Yormark’s letter also mentioned plans to add another company with “expertise in developing and operating venue-driven retail and entertainment destinations.”

Also key: RXR suggests that its own parking lots at RXR Plaza and at the Omni office building could be used for parking while asphalt lots at the Hub are under construction, and, once the housing, retail, entertainment and other development is built, for overflow parking. The plan conforms to Town of Hempstead zoning, so it wouldn’t require a zoning change.

This isn’t Rechler’s first effort at redeveloping the Hub. He partnered with former New York Islanders owner Charles Wang when they proposed the Lighthouse Project, a $3.8 billion plan that the town ultimately rejected.

With zoning in place, new leadership in both the town and county, and a different partner for Rechler, could this be a winning combination for the Hub?