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Hempstead OKs Redevelopment Plan For Nassau Coliseum Site

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A plan to renovate Nassau Coliseum and redevelop the property surrounding the arena was approved Tuesday by the Hempstead Town Board and Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

A group headed by developer Bruce Ratner will renovate the aging arena and build a movie theater, restaurants, stores, recreation and office space on the 91-acre site. The coliseum site was in need of revitalization as its main tenant, the Islanders, moves into Brooklyn's Barclays Center this fall.

Ratner submitted the proposal in April, and the Town Board held a hearing to discuss it May 19. The panel approved the first phase of the construction.

Nassau Plans
Redevelopment plan for the Nassau Coliseum site (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

"The development that will occur there is not only going to create a great buzz, great interest, become a tourist destination, but it's development that we can actually live with that is fully sustainable," Murray told WCBS 880. "And that is the important thing for, of course, all the surrounding communities."

The board's approval contained some stipulations, including "green building" requirements and reviews before any future projects not included in the initial plan.

Ratner has promised the redevelopment would create 1,500 jobs.

Nassau Coliseum exterior
Nassau Coliseum as seen before the Islanders' home playoff game against the Washington Capitals on April 21, 2015. (Credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880)

"Today's approval by the Hempstead Town Board brings us one step closer to beginning work on the redevelopment of the Coliseum site," Ratner said in the news release. " ... 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 said Ratner hopes to break ground on the project in early August.

"This is the last major hurdle for the coliseum redevelopment," Murray told 1010 WINS. "We're excited to see the redevelopment of the coliseum in the next, hopefully, several months."

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