After years of meetings planning the future of the Nassau Hub area, it is time to support the bond act that will refinance Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Public financing of the arena would allow the Islanders to stay on Long Island, preserve the tax base and provide the opportunity for mixed-use development and revitalization in the surrounding area.
A responsibly financed Coliseum redevelopment would enhance the quality of life in Nassau County by providing the state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex the county deserves. It would be a strong first step toward a new town center at the Hub, one that would expand the tax base, provide jobs and create tangible economic development benefits well into the future.
For the many residents, civic associations, small businesses, chambers of commerce and other local organizations that supported the Lighthouse project and other past proposals for redevelopment, supporting the bond is a logical choice. There are many reasons why the Lighthouse project did not move forward, despite wide and deep public support. Chief among them was the Town of Hempstead’s fear of the project’s impact, as well as the failure to secure necessary state and federal infrastructure funding by former county officials.
The kind of “smart growth” proposal offered by the Lighthouse project is critical to Long Island’s future. The current redevelopment proposal offers similar promise while using different methods. Redevelopment of the Coliseum would serve as a companion to the town’s recently approved mixed-use code in the area around the arena, which includes housing, office and retail with new development guidelines.