JLL scales back on Ronkonkoma Vision Project, filing plans for smaller arena

The so-called Ronkonkoma Vision Project, a partnership between former National Hockey League star Pat LaFontaine and Chicago-based real estate investment management and services firm JLL, has dramatically scaled back its plans for a $1.1 billion arena development on 86 acres between Long Island MacArthur Airport and Ronkonkoma’s Long Island Rail Road station, according to Newsday. JLL had hoped to build a 17,500-seat arena that would be home to an NHL team, but in a revised plan released last week said it would now seek to construct a 7,500-seat arena for a minor league hockey team and a 6,000-seat stadium for a minor league soccer team. In 2018, JLL beat out three other developers for the Suffolk County project in Ronkonkoma, which will also include offices, a convention center and medical facilities. But local residents voiced their concerns about increased traffic and overcrowding, while the grand athletic visions attached to the development were dashed when officials with the NHL and the league’s New York Islanders said there weren’t interested in it. LaFontaine, a Hockey Hall of Famer, used to play for the Islanders, who in December returned to Long Island as they prepare to move into a new arena at the Belmont Park development in Nassau County. Long Island Business News reported that LaFontaine and JLL now hope to bring an American Hockey League team in as an anchor tenant for the project, which also hopes to recruit a United Soccer League franchise. The two serve as feeder leagues for the NHL and Major League Soccer, respectively. [Newsday]

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