“The developer still needs to line up millions in private financing to renovate the Coliseum and build restaurants, an ice rink, bowling alley, movie theatre and other facilities he has proposed.”- newsday.com
Nassau County has appointed a developer to revamp the aging Coliseum. Nevertheless, stumbling blocks need to be conquered before any shovels can start breaking ground out in Uniondale.
Looming large, among other things, are the zoning issues that must be resolved before progress can begin. Remember how Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray completely squashed the Light House at Long Island Project with zoning laws and endless environmental studies?
There are additional concerns. Soon the Coliseum will be without a professional sports team for the first time in its 41 year history. So why is the current redevelopment plan already being touted as a success? There must be an election coming up.
Though Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano appointed Forest City Ratner Companies to redo the Coliseum, and yes, it’s the same group that developed the Barclay’s Center, the arrangement doesn’t quite appear to be a done deal.
According to a Newsday article by Joe Ryan, Robert Brodsky, Lisa Du and Randi Marshall, published Sept. 21, 2013, “Inside the deal to remake Nassau Coliseum,” “The entire agreement is contingent on Ratner's clearing a series of other hurdles, including negotiating labor agreements, securing zoning appeals and finding a minor league hockey team to replace the New York Islanders, who are moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.”
Newsday reports, “Officials at Ratner's development company, Forest City Ratner Cos., acknowledged that challenges remain,” but it has the “resources and expertise to deliver what it promised.”
Keeping your fingers crossed type of economics
Mangano’s Coliseum will move forward if Forest City Ratner secures adequate private financing, resolves employment contracts, avoids zoning entanglements and oh yeah, finds a professional sports team. All of that is still up in the air.
Why have Forest City spokespeople said “the plan is a safe bet” when there is so much uncertainty? What’s more, Nassau officials are highly convinced that this is the correct choice for county residents even though how the job will get done remains hazy. How is it that they can be so certain about Ratner’s project? The answer is Mangano is up for reelection and Nassau voters go to the polls in roughly five and a half weeks.