Latest proposal for ‘Nassau Hub’ could make up for past failures

County officials hope to develop the empty lot surrounding the Nassau Coliseum.

A $1.5 billion plan that received support from Nassau County Executive Laura Curran last month could finally lead to development of the land surrounding the isolated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The proposal has local officials excited after more than a decade of failed attempts to build on the land often referred to as the  “Nassau Hub.”

“I am guardedly optimistic that we will have an end product that will improve the lives of Nassau County residents in the vicinity,” said Legislator Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury). “Everyone understands this is probably one of Nassau’s last opportunities to do anything as grand as this… so I think everyone is very engaged and we want to see this opportunity fully embraced.”

The proposal, which includes 500 units of housing, office and research space, retail, entertainment, parking garages and pedestrian bridges, follows failed proposals from former New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

“The previous plans all had some issues that presented roadblocks,” said Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association, a nonprofit, Melville-based organization that works to create local jobs. “The Charles Wang plan didn’t have support of the town or control of the zoning for the site and the Mangano plan didn’t have all the financial resources.”

“The beauty of this one is we don’t need any zoning variance or zoning change from the Town of Hempstead, so that’s one less hurdle for us,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

The Nassau Hub isn’t the only potential development County Executive Curran is looking forward to. The New York Islanders are planning to build a new, state-of-the-art arena at Belmont Park, just west of the Nassau Coliseum, as well. “One of the biggest goals in my administration is to grow the tax base,” said Curran, “so if we have this amazing development at Belmont and this new development at the [Nassau] Hub it will increase tax revenue and sales tax revenue.”

“We have some lease amendments to put before the legislature,” she added. “I’m very optimistic we will get this done.”