As a decision by County Executive Ed Mangano looms for the selected developer of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Democratic challengers Thomas Suozzi and Adam Haber have recently come forth with their own visions for the 77-acre site.
Mangano, a Republican from Bethpage, is expected to choose from four private developers to renovate the 41-year-old Uniondale Complex by July 15 — The Madison Square Garden Company, Bruce Ratner’s Nassau Events Center LLC, the Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group or Bayville-based New York Sports and Entertainment.
But Suozzi, the County Executive from 2002 to 2009, and who is the party-endorsed Democratic Candidate for the position in this November’s election, said that Mangano’s plan fails to utilize the maximum allowable zoning boundaries implemented by the Town of Hempstead.
Suozzi’s economic growth plan calls for the creation of 10 “Suburbia Trailblazer” communities throughout Nassau County, with the first one being the Nassau Coliseum site. According to Suozzi, the Town’s zoning laws provide for 5.4 million square feet of new construction, which he said should be fully used to create his desired community.
He added he would create bike paths to connect the site with surrounding landmarks, including Nassau Community College, Hofstra University, Museum Row and Eisenhower Park. “As we develop the Hub, we must focus on connecting all of the educational and research institutions, businesses, recreational and retail destinations it hosts,” said Suozzi in a written release.
Suozzi’s vision of creating 10 such communities would feature a mix of commercial and residential property located near train stations. The communities, he said, would take up approximately 5 to 7 percent of Nassau County land.
Adam Haber, an East Hills businessman who is seeking to run against Suozzi in the Democratic primary, said it is important to create a big draw that attracts the 35-and-under crowd. “So the next generation actually moves back here and stops the brain drain and aging demographics of Nassau County,” he said.