Skip to main content

"Respected Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner" gets key approval for Nassau Coliseum project

Unsurprisingly, the Hempstead Town Board yesterday approved the redevelopment plan for the Nassau Coliseum led by Bruce Ratner and the Nassau Events Center development group. 

As noted by Newsday, this was the final hurdle for the project, and renovation work should begin shortly after the final event at the Coliseum, an Aug. 4 concert featuring Billy Joel.

Notably, the press release referred to "respected Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner," a strained honorific that vaguely recalls the attempt to attach "Cultural Icon" to Jay-Z. The respect due Ratner surely should be balanced with wariness.

The press release below, verbatim

Murray & Hempstead Town Board Approve Plan For Renovated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Surrounding Property
Supervisor Kate Murray and the Hempstead Town Board have approved a redevelopment plan for the property surrounding the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, clearing the way for the complete renovation of the aging arena and setting the stage for additional new construction at the site. Nassau Events Center, LLC (NEC), a development group headed by respected Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, presented its Conceptual Master Plan to the town on April 14th and the Town Board held a hearing on the plan on May 19th. After a thorough review of the proposal and extensive questioning of the applicant by Town Board members at the public hearing, Murray and the councilmembers signed off on the Master Plan at a May 26th meeting. 
“I am pleased that the Hempstead Town Board has ‘set the stage’ for a thoroughly renovated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and additional new construction at Nassau’s HUB by approving Nassau Events Center’s plan,” stated Murray. “The Coliseum renovation will take place without any taxpayer financing, and the approved plan provides for balanced and sustainable development.”
The Conceptual Master Plan presented by NEC and approved by the Town Board provides for 3.4 million square feet of development on the 91-acre site. The first phase of the project includes a renovated Coliseum (416,000 square feet) and 188,000 square feet of related development. The Board’s approval also contained a number of technical conditions which govern issues such as adherence to the Master Plan, “green building” requirements and reviews that would be triggered by future development proposals that go above and beyond the approved Master Plan. 
NEC will not be required to appear before the Town Board again before it moves forward with its planned interior and exterior renovations on the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The applicant will be required to secure any necessary building permits from the Town of Hempstead Building Department. Types of permits that could be applicable include plumbing, electrical, general construction, etc.
“The Town Board’s approval of NEC’s Conceptual Master Plan demonstrates that Hempstead Town is committed to progressive and reasonable development at the Coliseum site,” stated Senior Town Councilman Anthony Santino. “I am proud of the work that town officials did in reviewing this proposal, and I thank Supervisor Murray for her leadership throughout this complex process.” 
Murray and Ratner indicated that NEC’s submission of its Conceptual Master Plan and the production of an Environmental Assessment Form were able to be generated in an expeditious timeframe as a result of two factors. First, Supervisor Murray, Councilwoman Goosby and the Town Board created a unique building construction zone for the area surrounding the Coliseum after a previous development proposal stalled. The town-created zone is progressive and accommodates development uses such as the Coliseum, hotels, a convention center, health and technology facilities, business offices and educational institutions, among other uses. The zone, the Mitchel Field Mixed (MFM) Use District, was adopted in June of 2011. The zone established a framework for developers, detailing the types of construction that prospective developers could build at the site. 
“Supervisor Murray and I worked hard to make the prospect of a renewed Coliseum and additional ‘smart growth’ a reality at this site,” stated Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “This is a great step forward in the redevelopment of the Coliseum and the property surrounding the arena.”
“Today’s approval by the Hempstead Town Board brings us one step closer to beginning work on the redevelopment of the Coliseum site. I want to thank Town Supervisor Kate Murray for working closely with us to get to this moment,” said Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies. “We look forward to beginning construction in the near future so that we can bring all Long Island residents the reimagined venue they truly deserve.”
Murray renewed her thanks to Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano for advancing the development process at the Coliseum site by leading the review of applicants for a renovated Coliseum and selecting NEC as the developer for the project.
“Hempstead Town has demonstrated that government and the private sector can work together efficiently to bring about smart, forward-looking development,” concluded Murray. “I want to thank Bruce Ratner for presenting a great proposal that accommodates a renewed Coliseum and associated development, as well as a plan for future construction across the entire site. I also want to thank Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and all of my colleagues on the Town Board for their tireless work in creating a progressive building construction zone at this location that will preserve our suburban character while providing for substantial growth. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the residents of Nassau County, especially those who live in communities that surround the Coliseum, for sharing their important views and concerns as we considered major development that will impact our regions for many years to come.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

"There is no alternative": DM Glen on de Blasio's affordable housing strategy

As I've written, Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to steer and spin coverage of his affordable housing initiatives.

Indeed, his latest announcement, claiming significant progress, came with a pre-press release op-ed in the New York Daily News and then a friendly photo-op press conference with an understandably grateful--and very lucky--winner of an affordable housing lottery.

To me, though, the most significant quote came from Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who, as the Wall Street Journal reported:
said public housing had been “starved” of federal support for years now, leaving the city with fewer ways of creating affordable housing. “Are we relying too heavily on the private sector?” she said. “There is no alternative.” Though Glen was using what she surely sees as a common-sense phrase, it recalls the slogan of a politician with whom I doubt de Blasio identifies: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a Conservative who believed in free markets.

It suggests the limits to …