MSG president wants to make L.I. ‘the place to be’
Hank Ratner, the CEO and president of Madison Square Garden.
The Madison Square Garden Company was one four respondents to County Executive Ed Mangano’s Request-for-Proposals last March to redevelop the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. The group, led by president and CEO Hank Ratner, is proposing to renovate the 41-year-old building and build an entertainment district called “Long Island Live!” that would lie adjacent to the arena.
The other three respondents included Nassau Events Center LLC — the same group that built the Barclays Canter in Brooklyn — and two Long Island-based groups in New York Sports and Entertainment LLC and Blumenfeld Development Group Ltd. Mangano’s decision of the selected developer is expected to be made sometime this month, according to a county spokesperson.
The Herald recently conducted an interview with Ratner, gaining more insight into his proposal, and how he believes it can boost Nassau County’s economy for years to come.
Ratner said his group is willing to spend $250 million to redevelop the Coliseum site. The construction of the arena and entertainment district would be completed in one phase, he said, over the span of a year. During that time, the arena would be shut down. “We’re really doing a top to bottom renovation and in order to get that done as expeditiously as possible,” Ratner said, “and as efficiently as possible, we would be closing down.”
The MSG group is working with BBB Architects, and project manager Jones Lang LaSalle, both who worked on the Madison Square Garden refurbishments from 2011 to 2013. “We will do what we do best, and we’ll put our record against anybody in the world,” Ratner said.
According to Ratner, his plan would leave 10 additional acres for future development.
Long Island Live!, according to Ratner, would be a 5-acre, 150,000-square-foot entertainment district surrounding the Coliseum, and include an MSG Zone, restaurants, bars, music venues and retail.