County picks developer for Nassau Hub


Uniondale-based RXR Realty and BSE Global, which operates the Nassau Coliseum, will work together on a $1.5 billion venture to build housing, retail and office space on a 77-acre lot of land known as the Nassau Hub.

Karen Contino, a spokeswoman for Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, confirmed the agreement and said in an email, “BSE and RXR have formed a formidable partnership that can get shovels in the ground quickly and help move the County Executive’s economic development vision forward and reinvent Nassau County. Development at the HUB will be transformative, create jobs and grow our tax base.”

Under the plan, which requires the approval of the Nassau County Legislature, RXR would be a master developer in charge of building 500 units of housing, 600,000 square feet of office and research space, 200,000 square feet of retail space and the addition of 3,400 parking spaces, including two garages. Also proposed is the construction of two pedestrian bridges connecting the Hub to adjacent RXR properties and bus rapid transit service to the Hempstead and Mineola Long Island Rail Road stations.

The plan does not require any zoning change, which has hampered past attempts to build on the land. The state has also committed $90 million to the project and Curran told the Herald in June the county may seek $30 million more.

Redevelopment plans for the property surrounding the Nassau Coliseum have bounced between developers and lawmakers for the past decade, with Blumenfeld Development Group offering the most recent proposal, which was rejected by Curran in May.

She cited concerns that the rejected project — which would have included the construction of an e-sports area and a biotech park— wouldn’t have been able to compete with development at Belmont Park and it lacked sufficient transportation infrastructure. Curran released a Request for Expressions of Interest to seek ideas from developers in June.

Blumenfeld executives criticized the newest deal in a published report. “What is deeply troubling, and should be to every lawmaker and taxpayer, is that this decision was made with no transparency, no genuine review, and through a process that defies rational explanation by an administration that has quickly abandoned the principles upon which it ran for office,” said Ed Blumenfeld, founder of the Syosttet-based company, according to reports.

President Officer Richard Nicolello, a New Hyde Park Republican, could not be reached for comment by deadline. Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams, a Freeport Democrat, called the plan “our last opportunity to get this right in Nassau County,” and urged more time be devoted to the topic — according to published reports, Curran is seeking approval from the Legislature by next month.

“I think the Hub deserves it’s own standalone time and process in the Legislature,” Abrahams said. “Maybe we can start to discuss it next month but table a decision until November.”

Abrahams, whose district abuts the Hub, said he’s heard mixed concerns from his constituents. “If you talk to the chambers of commerce and civic association,” he said, “they’re all advocating for something that’s not going to have a tremendous impact on their community.” The groups are also pushing for some type of community benefit agreement with the county, according to Abrahams.

The nearby school districts, the legislator said, are concerned how they might educate children who move into the proposed housing units.