The Blumenfeld Development Group is bidding on the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the fourth time. The Syosset-based company’s history with the arena began in the early 1970s when president Edward Blumenfeld bid on the New York Islanders, who at the time were being introduced to the NHL as an expansion team.
Following two more unsuccessful bids, the company is trying once again to gain operating rights to the 41-year-old Uniondale complex. The company was one of three respondents to County Executive Ed Mangano’s Request-For-Proposals in March to redevelop the Coliseum. The other three proposers include Nassau Events Center LLC — the same group that built the Barclays Canter in Brooklyn — the Madison Square Garden Company, and Long Island-based New York Sports and Entertainment LLC.
The group is the only of the four respondents who plan to demolish the Coliseum and build a new arena — a project they say would cost approximately $787.3 million. Edward’s son and the company’s Vice President David Blumenfeld recently spoke with the Herald, explaining how a brand new arena would best serve the local economy.
Development and design
According to Blumenfeld, construction of a new arena would begin in 2015 and be completed in 2016. He said the plan would be to leave the existing building in place, keeping it operational while constructing a new building next to it. Upon its completion, the current Coliseum would be demolished. The rebuilding of a new Coliseum, and a parking structure, he said, would cost about $200 million.
Blumenfeld said that during his group’s recent bid on the Coliseum in the mid 2000s, they hired HOK, a global design and architecture firm, to conduct a study on the arena. “We back then decided there was much better bang to your dollar to knock down the existing Coliseum and build a new one,” he said. “And the same holds true today.”