Zoning move cuts Lighthouse in half
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In a joint statement, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and the Lighthouse Development Group said it appears that the town’s plan is not economically sound for the developer, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, and the property owner, Nassau County. “While we have not yet had the time to review the ‘new vision’ just released by Supervisor Murray and the Town of Hempstead for the redevelopment of the Coliseum site, it does not appear to achieve the goals of the County and the developer,” the statement said. “Without this, the Town of Hempstead’s ‘new vision’ looks to be economically unviable for both the developer and owner of the site.”
According to the statement, the Lighthouse group’s original proposal incorporated additional development necessary to fund the construction of a new Coliseum. The proposed $3.8 billion project included a renovated Coliseum, a convention center, a sports complex, a hotel, a residential community, space for offices, retail businesses and restaurants, a movie theater, open space and a canal.
The county is continuing to hold discussions with the Shinnecock Nation about the possibility of building a resort casino on the property. The Shinnecocks recently attained long-awaited federal recognition, which permits them to explore sites for a casino.
The county also continues to face a growing deficit, and officials have pointed to the importance of developing the Coliseum property to generate jobs and revenue for the area.
According to Murray, an agreement on a casino between the Shinnecocks and the federal, state and county governments would supersede the town’s zoning authority over the property. “Then the zoning regulations mean nothing,” she said.
According to Murray, a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be completed within two months. Then public hearings must be conducted before a decision is made on the new zone.