Although planning is still in the preliminary stages, funding for Nassau County’s redevelopment of the Hub area surrounding the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Uniondale, was given a leg up in December when the New York State Regional Development Council Initiative awarded $500,000 to the county for the project.
Regional councils were put in place in 2011 to redesign the state’s approach to economic development from a top-down model to a community-based, performance-driven approach. “These state planning dollars will serve as a seed [for] growth of new development at the Hub,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said of the funds.
In November, Mangano announced the establishment of a public-private partnership between the county and Bruce Ratner, the chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, to establish a plan to reinvent the Coliseum. Mangano also selected a master development team comprising developers, planners and architects, led by developer Renaissance Downtowns, to coordinate the development.
Brandon Palanker, vice president of marketing and public affairs for Renaissance Downtowns, said that where the $500,000 will go will be decided in the planning process over the coming weeks.
Members of the development team meet with county representatives on an almost weekly basis, Palanker said. Although it is too early to determine the cost of the Hub redevelopment project, he added, the public will not fund it. “We’re not looking to burden the taxpayers of Nassau County in any way,” he said. “We’re looking at private sector, the state, the federal government. There are tools available to find ways to finance these projects.”
There are no formal plans yet for what will be featured at the redeveloped Hub, but Palanker said that an entertainment and sports complex and a facility that would house professionals in science and medicine would be ideal. Inquires have already been made by the development team to local organizations and universities to gauge interests in building at the Hub.