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Friday, September 4, 2015
Lighthouse update
Town OKs plan for ‘scaled-down’ development
Consultant hired to devise zoning ‘blueprint' for Nassau Coliseum property
Courtesy Lighthouse Development Group
A rendering of the Lighthouse project's canal and 38-story five story hotel and luxury residence.

As expected, the Hempstead Town Council unanimously approved its plan to devise a "zoning blueprint" for the Nassau Coliseum property.

The vote all but certified the town's intent to only consider a less comprehensive version of the Lighthouse proposal.

The new legislation authorized the town to retain an engineering and planning firm to devise what Town Supervisor Kate Murray calls a “zoning blueprint” for the 77 acres of county-owned land surrounding the Nassau Coliseum.

The town has authority over the environmental and zoning applications filed by the developers.

The Lighthouse project, led by New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and real estate executive Scott Rechler, calls for the renovation of the Nassau Coliseum and the redevelopment of the property surrounding it with a mix of retail, business and residential uses.

The proposal submitted to the town includes a five-star hotel, a new convention center, a sports and recreation center, a residential village, space for offices, retail and restaurants, a cinema and a canal.

The zoning blueprint, to be completed by early summer, would act as a set of guidelines for the type and scope of construction that would be permitted at the site. “We will be paying [the consultant] to make a zone to create a development that we believe the board can live with, one we believe the residents can live with, and yet at the same time a project that would take in a number of the elements that Wang has proposed,” Murray said. “It isn’t going to be the same, but a scaled-down version.”

Murray, who unveiled the plan publicly at a Monday-morning news conference, told reporters that she was optimistic about coming to a resolution that best fits the town, the developers and the residents. However, she added, "We think, without a jump-start, this project will really die a slow death."

The town will hire Frederick P. Clark Associates, Murray said. Clark was overseeing the town’s environmental analysis of the proposal until shortly after a September zoning hearing, when, she said, the Lighthouse group stopped paying for the consultant’s services. Murray said the town would pay no more than $150,000 for Clark's services.

According to town officials, the Lighthouse Development Group owes the firm about $200,000.

Murray also said that the Lighthouse group has not answered questions that were submitted by the town board following the September zoning hearing. Some of the major questions dealt with traffic mitigation, building heights and water usage. The group has “shut their operations down and gone silent,” Murray said. “The board understands that this piece of property is too important to be sort of lying in limbo and threatened with a development that goes down the drain.”

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mikedef62

$200,000 to analyze that unstable ecosystem they call Uniondale. What a joke. Seven years of extortion, I'm surprised the Islanders haven't basically abandoned the town and left them with nothing, but a big parking lot of what used to be the NVMC. It's what they deserve for trying to run out the only thing worth coming to Hempstead for. I sure as hell know that most people aren't going shopping on Front St or Fulton.

Monday, February 8, 2010 | Report this
DickyLobster

"The town will hire Frederick P. Clark Associates, Murray said." can someone trace that connection for me?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | Report this
pworam

The irony is almost too rich too stomach. Kate Murray finally got religion on the project and now wants to jump start it. Maybe she shouldn't have treated two great local entrepreneurial pioneers like five year olds in the first place. She should have been working with Wang, Rechler and, heaven forbid, even Suozzi from the beginning. Instead, she opted for using the opportunity for political grandstanding. It's totally understandable that the town needed to perform it's own due diligence, but it should have been handled in a way that didn't frustrate ALL interested parties, ESPECIALLY the taxpayers who would significantly benefit from the project. Now she wants to trash some of the best elements of a project that isn't hers, and defer final culpability to an outside consultant (who is no doubt connected). Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the town have a building department and zoning board already? How about they do the job they are paid to do instead of wasting taxpayer money. If Wang does indeed walk away from the project, it will be the single biggest squandered opportunity in Long Island history. In the meantime, we're going to have to watch Murray and her colleagues squirm and duck for cover from this monumental blunder.

Sunday, February 14, 2010 | Report this
NYI4LIFE

The legendary New York Islanders need a new arena! Development is a must. Keep Long Island's only professional sports team HERE! The Town of Hempstead and perhaps more of Nassau County will just become crime-ridden and turned into another borough of New York City if the Lighthouse Project is killed. It's been SIX years since the birth of this project. http://www.lighthouseli.com/

Thursday, February 18, 2010 | Report this
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