Good afternoon and welcome to The Point! Not a subscriber? Click here.
Talk about a power play
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?
Randi F. Marshall
New York AG hopefuls make the rounds
Democrats seeking the nomination for state attorney general are focused on Long Island in the last few weeks leading to the Sept. 13 primary — underscoring the outsized role Nassau and Suffolk county voters can play in determining the winner.
That’s because the four main contenders — Leecia Eve, Tish James, Sean Patrick Maloney and Zephyr Teachout — need to rack up ballots here to win a plurality of the vote. But the candidates aren’t necessarily all looking for the same voters. James, the NYC public advocate, is presumed to have a lock on urban minority voters, her political base. But the city vote alone can no longer deliver a Democratic primary win; the suburbs are essential, and Long Island delivers a majority of the downstate suburban vote.
So James needs to add suburban black, Asian and Hispanic voters to that mix to get more than 35 percent of the overall vote — the total Eric T. Schneiderman received in 2010 in a crowded field of five. James cannot count on the upstate black vote, which is being conceded to Eve, who is from Buffalo, where her family holds considerable sway. Even if Eve commands only the low single digits, this is a contest in which a percentage or two of the vote could make the difference, and James could be hurt if Eve outperforms upstate.
The second runner-up to Schneiderman eight years ago was Kathleen Rice, with 32 percent of the vote. Schneiderman added the sizable Jewish primary vote for his win. Sean Coffey, the former federal prosecutor who garnered 16 percent of the vote, split the suburban Catholic vote and denied Rice the win.
This year, it’s Teachout and Maloney who risk canceling each other out in the suburbs. The Jewish vote is up for grabs and essential for both Teachout and Maloney to catch James. However, James is making multiple visits, especially to Nassau County, to cut off any opportunity for rivals — especially Teachout, considered the most progressive candidate in the race — to come even close.
This is the long way of saying the attorney general candidates will be visiting the Newsday editorial board. James, who summers in Sag Harbor and is making her 11th campaign visit to Long Island, kicked off our meetings on Thursday. Maloney visits on Friday, and Teachout and Eve in the next two weeks.