One day after the referendum to build a new Nassau Coliseum was voted down by residents, County Executive Ed Mangano has announced that he is now looking for privately financed proposals to redevelop the 77-acre site surrounding the current Coliseum.
Voicing no regrets about the vote, which called for taxpayers to fund the $400 million sports-entertainment complex, he assured that any risk of public finance was permanently put on ice with Monday's outcome. Now the county executive is soliciting private proposals that may save the New York Islanders and Nassau residents' dollars.
"No offer will be discouraged. ... This is simply a call to bring them forward now, in whatever form that they are in," Mangano said. "Bring them forward now so that we can consider them in the [Request-for-Proposal] process."
Mangano asked that proposals be submitted by Aug. 12 for what he called a "drafting process," so that the entire process would not come to a standstill.
"The clock has been ticking. 2015 is around the corner and if you're going to redevelop that property, rather than have a lag in development, we need decisions now," he said.
Mangano said he has made Islanders owner Charles Wang aware of the new plan, but no further steps have been taken by Wang at this time.
Democrats have questioned Mangano's plan from the beginning and after the results were in, the opposition ripped into the vote, calling it "a failed stunt."
"I urge Mr. Mangano to do what he should have done in the first place … and that is to give us a privately-funded development plan with clear details as to how it protects taxpayers while stimulating economic growth," Minority Leader Diane Yatauro, D-Glen Cove, said.
A vocal opponent from the start, Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs called for bipartisanship during the next phase.
“A privately funded new Coliseum should be the first phase of an overall smart growth development plan for the full 77-acre site,” Jacobs said. “I will urge the Democratic caucus in the legislature to work with their Republican colleagues and County Executive Mangano to work this out for the people of Nassau.”