Anyone who's followed the tragi-comedy of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum over the past five, nay 10, nay 30 years should not be surprised at, well, any kind of news that emerges from this aging building's impending ashes and the valuable Suburban Dream property around it.
Did you expect Bruce Ratner, the developer of the Barclays Center which eventually lured the New York Islanders away from Nassau, to be a key figure in (re)developing a successor venue at the Nassau site?
As reported in Long Island Business News Monday and aired in Newsday today, that appears to be the latest:
Ratner will advise the county on what to do with the arena itself, the sources said. He will come up with a plan in 2013 to increase the arena's viability and allow it to compete for shows, concerts and other events.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano will announce Tuesday that Ratner will play a strategic role in developing an entertainment facility at the Coliseum, the centerpiece of the Hub site, the sources said. Donald Monti, of Renaissance Downtowns in Plainview, will be designated as the master developer on the rest of the property...
The boat show, the Nickelback, the Disney on Ice must go on!
Furthering the circular nature of this whole thing, the Newsday article says Monti will partner with Scott Rechler -- the sometimes development partner of Charles Wang who was with Wang on the $3.8 billion Lighthouse Project, which
did not inspire the name of a hockey blog, I insist was Wang's biggest and best swing at developing the "Hub" site which Nassau County long wanted and the Town of Hempstead long obstructed.
Even richer: Newsday reporter Randi Marshall tweets that Wang introduced Ratner to Nassau County executive Ed Mangano, who is making today's announcement.
We are not one to put the cart before the politics, so we'll just note that the political horses will make their announcement today, and then we'll see what happens. Bossy knows we've seen announcement after announcement in this saga fade into memory.
For the many residents of Nassau County who have watched the site fall victim to developer-and-politician fighting for, well, three-plus decades, you can only hope a smart, productive resolution is one day found. Maybe this latest one is even it.
But for the many local Islanders fans in Nassau and Suffolk who don't fancy the idea of commuting to Brooklyn for games ... how cruelly ironic would it be for the powers that be to finally develop a new entertainment facility there now that the Islanders have signed their commitment to flee West?