Sitting side by side in the Old Westbury Golf & Country Club on June 26, the four developers who have made proposals to revamp the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum gave one final pitch to a group of Long Island-based real estate professionals.
In the lead-up to County Executive Ed Mangano’s selection of a proposal — which will take place on July 15, according to a county spokesperson — the four leaders of the bidding companies delivered presentations at a networking breakfast hosted by the Long Island Real Estate Group. It was the first time the developers had been in the same room since May 2, when they introduced their proposals at a press conference in Mineola.
The session was moderated by LIREG Co-president Brad Cronin, and each group was given approximately 20 minutes to present its plan. A brief question-and-answer session followed the presentations.
Representing the Madison Square Garden Company, President Hank Ratner boasted of his company’s experience redeveloping arenas and concert halls, including a recent $1 billion refurbishment of Madison Square Garden, as well as restorations of Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre. “This is the only team that has the necessary experience, talent and resources to deliver on its promise,” he said to a roomful of more than 100 LIREG members.
David Blumenfeld, the vice president of the Blumenfeld Development Group, reiterated his belief that a brand new arena, as opposed to a renovated one, would best serve Nassau County over a longer period of time. “The existing facility cannot be renovated,” he said. “We’ve learned this through years and years of doing this, because we’ve been trying to get this project since the early ’90s.”
Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark, who head Nassau Events Center LLC, said they would create a redesigned, iconic venue similar to their recent development of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. “How proud will you feel when and if we do this kind of arena?” said Ratner, who is not related to Hank Ratner. “You’ll drive by it every day. It’ll be talked about all over the world. I really mean that.”