AFTER THE COLISEUM VOTE, IT’S TIME TO FOCUS ON NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND IDEAS

Land Use

The Coliseum vote is history.  We should consider the vote as an opportunity to generate and focus on new ideas for the redevelopment of the Coliseum site, and the surrounding area.  The public and the private sector should embrace the chance to rethink the future of the very center of Nassau County.

County Executive Mangano has correctly stated that the County must move ahead in a new direction.  Supervisor Murray has correctly pointed out that the Town of Hempstead’s new zoning allows more flexibility for development.

The County should immediately send out a Request for Ideas.  Not a Request for Proposals, but rather ideas.  The proposals can come later.  Now, most of all, we need different, creative and visionary ideas for the future of the very core of Nassau County.

To put the Coliseum area in perspective, very few areas of the country can boast the assets that surround the Coliseum.  There are significant infrastructure improvements already in place serving the area.  We have an existing, well developed roadway system with easy access to New York City, eastern Suffolk County and points north and south.  Yes, the roads are crowded, but there are many ways to improve the existing facilities.  Rail service that runs virtually to the Coliseum site itself.  Why not think about ways to use the rail system?  The development concepts to date have not sought to maximize this transportation asset.

More important, surrounding the Coliseum are museums, educational institutions, prestigious office buildings, regional and local shopping centers, hotels, world class parks including Eisenhower Park with golf courses and an olympic level swimming facility.  There are also a wide variety of housing options including rental apartments, condominiums, townhouse developments and single family homes in all price ranges.  The Hofstra-North Shore LIJ Medical School has just opened, bringing a new focus to a growing university.   Nassau Community College continues to expand, and nearby Adelphi is adding new programs and facilities.  These are only some of the many assets that provide a base for creative thinking.

The leaders of the surrounding public and private institutions, local government officials and private business owners should all contribute their best efforts to seek new plans. The public should also generate new concepts.   Most will save the Coliseum.  Many may have a vision for new development without an arena or a professional sports team.  Regardless, now is the time to think, plan, propose and look for new vision and ideas. If we take the vote as a positive, then years from now we will look back and say this was a turning point for Nassau County and Long Island.

 

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