Developers are scared away from Nassau Coliseum development project

July 27, 2012 05:15PM

Theoretically the chance to build, or even renovate a large government facility, would be an attractive opportunity for a qualified developer, but Nassau County is struggling to attract many of Long Island’s biggest real estate developers to its Nassau Coliseum project, according to Newsday. Nassau County recently sent out a request for qualifications, with a deadline set for Monday, to develop the 77-acre site that includes the home of the New York Islanders, but so far the response has been weak.

Even an obvious choice for the project, RXR Realty Chairman Scott Rechler, who joined Islanders owner Charles Wang in 2005 to propose the $3.8 billion failed Lighthouse Project, said he is skeptical of the redevelopment plans. “Obviously we’re monitoring the situation carefully,” said Rechler. “But based on our past experience, we recognize that there’s no simple, silver bullet solution to have a mixed-use development with a new Coliseum without some third-party support.”

Developers are hesitant because of the shaky economy, zoning restrictions, lack of public funding, residents’ mixed opinions of the project and, most significantly, the chance that Wang will move the team from the area in 2015 when its Nassau Coliseum lease expires. [Newsday] – Christopher Cameron