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June 20, 2006

Denenberg and Nassau lawmakers to offer recommendations on proposed Coliseum development plan

Will now wait for lease agreement from County Executive

Over the past several weeks, Nassau County lawmakers, led by Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) and Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (Woodbury) and have listened to testimony regarding the proposed Coliseum development project put forth by developers Charles Wang and Scott Rechler. The review process of the project began with three hearings before the Legislature’s Planning, Development and Environment Committee, chaired by Legislator Denenberg, and now the committee plans to issue its recommendations to the County Executive.

“Before the developers can work with the Town of Hempstead officials and move forward with their zoning requests, the legislature will issue its recommendations,” Legislator Denenberg said.

Following the recommendations and zoning approvals from the Town, a lease agreement will be sent to the legislature for approval.

“How we proceed will influence the future of this county and fashion the footprint of the most valuable parcel of land in Nassau.”

The first hearing included a lengthy presentation to the committee by Charles Wang and Scott Rechler of the Lighthouse Development Group. The second hearing by the administration described how proposals for the project were solicited and selected. The third and last hearing focused on a preliminary review of the development proposals by the Legislature’s Office of Legislative Budget Review.

“This report by Legislative Budget Review is based on a vision,” said Legislator Denenberg, “but it is obvious that greater detail from the developers is needed. That detail should include any changes due to zoning and environmental impact as the process moves along.”

Among the highlights of the Lighthouse Development Group’s $1.6 billion proposal are: a $200 million renovation of the Nassau Coliseum; a commitment from the Islanders NHL team to stay until 2025; a canal lined with retail shops and mixed-use residential-commercial development; the creation of a pedestrian-friendly ‘Nassau Centre;’ an investment in a transportation system; the construction of a minor-league baseball stadium and the development of next generation housing. The project is expected to generate approximately $160 million in net new taxes through 2025.