Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Ratner won unanimous approval from the Nassau County Legislature on Monday to move ahead with a $229 million redevelopment plan for the Nassau Coliseum.
The developer behind the Atlantic Yards megaproject will develop a 13,000-seat arena, where Ratner also plans to host professional lacrosse, boxing and Arena Football League games.
Forest City has offered to foot the entire $229 million cost of renovating the arena and pay the county, which owns the building, eight percent of gross revenue and 12.75 percent of parking revenue, according to the New York Times. Forest City also guarantees the county $4 million a year. Ratner has indicated, however, that he will ask the county for certain tax exemptions, according to the newspaper.
But a major question for the future of the arena is whether it can thrive without the New York Islanders, who are poised to move to Ratner’s Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015.
“The bottom line is — are they going to have to back out of the deal at some point and come back to the county and say ‘we need more money?’” sports economist Dennis Coates told the Times. ”The county will be on the hook.” [NYT] – Hiten Samtani