Written by Rich Forestano Tuesday, 20 November 2012 16:36
The owner who decided to move the New York Islanders off Long Island once its lease expires in June 2015 may play a role in filling the potential void left by the teams’ departure. County Executive Edward P. Mangano, developer Bruce Ratner, Isles owner Charles Wang and Don Monti of Renaissance Downtown think they have a plan in place to solve the developmental conundrum that is the Hub, which includes Nassau Coliseum.
The group announced a strategic “Reuse Plan” on Tuesday, Nov. 20 that reportedly will transform the Coliseum within the first half of 2013. Others have tried and failed where Ratner is venturing and the 77-acre site in Uniondale could become barren in three years once Wang departs for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The study will ultimately determine the cost of the yet-to-be-known plan, according to Mangano. His main concern is a 40-year-old, 18,000-seat empty building.
“This is a process to avoid a darkened Coliseum,” Mangano said. “With the news of the Islanders choosing to go to Barclays, that creates the possibility of a darkened Coliseum. That’s something I don’t want to see and that’s why we’re going down this path today.”
Ratner, for free, will advise the county on how to proceed to make the Coliseum economically viable to compete for concerts, sports venues and big-ticket events. Monti, founder of the Plainview-based real estate firm was named the master developer for the rest of the Hub site.
It is unclear what cost will be incurred to county taxpayers. Any public monies needed for the project would need to be approved by the county legislature.
“You have my personal commitment that we will hit the ground running,” Monti said. “I recognize that [Renaissance’s] selection represents a vote of confidence and I can assure that we will not take that responsibility lightly.”
Monti will work with RXR Realty, a firm that aligned with Wang to propose the failed $3.8 billion Lighthouse Project. Where Wang fits into the picture is unknown. He signed a 25-year lease with Ratner after announcing the Islanders would be moving to Brooklyn for the 2015-16 NHL season.
“When you’re dealt lemons, you make lemonade,” Mangano stated. “Here in this case, Charles [Wang] has made a decision to go to [the] Barclays. We continue to talk and maintain a relationship and this [plan] has come out of that.”
Mangano would not directly address any rumored animosity that Wang and he might have had for one another. The county executive would not reveal how he and Ratner met or where the idea originated.
“[Ratner] is a good corporate citizen and we’re thrilled to have him on the team to reinvent Nassau Coliseum,” said Mangano.
Wang was present, but declined to comment during the press conference. Mangano called the Marriot Hotel owner a “key stakeholder” and that “he cares about Long Island.” The hotel is adjacent to the arena, a space in which Wang has total control.
“We need to get something done with the Coliseum and there is no better person than Bruce to entrust for this project,” said Wang in a statement. “Bruce is a passionate individual with a proven track record. Once we have his road map, we must work together to bring this to fruition. There are too many jobs at stake and this is too important for Nassau County.”
Ratner successfully secured the New Jersey Nets and Islanders relocation to the Atlantic Avenue arena. While jokingly saying the Coliseum needed “spiffing up,” he affirmed it’s in need of a makeover.
“I’m hear to talk about the reuse of the Coliseum and our ability to put together a plan that we think will make a lot of sense and will work,” Ratner said. “In Brooklyn, we were able to put together a program and an arena that everybody feels is incredibly positive and helpful and our goal is to put together something here, which everybody will be proud of.”
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00
Stewart Manor Fire Department (SMFD) Captain George Somerset is the recent recipient of Nassau County’s Firematic Award. Citing his “extraordinary leadership skills,” Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano honored Somerset at a ceremony, which included Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Scott D. Tusa, Fire Commissioner Rick Gardner, Comptroller George Maragos and members of the SMFD. JetBlue Vice President Richard Smyth was also on hand and awarded Somerset with one of 50 roundtrip airline tickets he doled out to thank first responders for their dedicated service following Hurricane Sandy.
“I can always count on him to be there,” said SMFD Chief Thomas Skinner, who nominated Somerset for the award. “Serving as lieutenant and captain, George has been a dedicated firefighter and training officer since he joined the department.”
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Friends of the Garden City Public Library will sponsor a free lecture, “Life in the Music Business,” with Garden City resident “Bugs” Bower. The legendary music arranger/producer/publisher will be appearing on Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m. at the Garden City Public Library at 60 Seventh St. to share excerpts from his new book, Nice Stories about Nice People—highlights from his personal experiences in the music business.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
The boys and girls high school teams are both rolling and have their sights set on a long run in the playoffs. Both team have faced a number of formidable opponents throughout the season and have successfully navigated their schedules. One thing that has been consistent for both teams has been that their defenses have had to stand tall at key times and shut down very active offenses. Both Coach Finnell and Coach Chapman have made sure that the non-league schedules of their teams will ensure that their teams are prepared for whatever the playoffs can throw at them.
After going the full season last year undefeated, the boys team has three blemishes on their record with losses to powerhouses Ward Melville, Manhasset and LaSalle of PA. With a 9-3 record the Trojans are looking to wrap up the number two seed in the playoffs to force a rematch of the Manhasset game in the County finals. The boys have excelled defensively only allowing 4.25 goals against per game. And if you remove those three tough losses the goals against average drops to 3.1.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
The Recreation and Parks Department’s new roller hockey rink is now open for general public use by Garden City residents during the following days and times:
Tuesdays 3:30 p.m. to dark
Wednesdays 3:30 p.m. to dark
Thursdays 3:30 p.m. to dark
Saturdays Noon to 6 p.m.
Sundays - Family Skate 3 to 6 p.m.