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Kris
January 26th, 2005, 12:04 PM
Suozzi envisions development of hub

Ambitious plans for Nassau center include new student housing and attractions, but critics want fixes first

BY BILL BLEYER AND MONTE R. YOUNG
STAFF WRITERS

January 25, 2005

The "vision for a new suburbia" that Nassau Executive Thomas Suozzi is expected to offer Tuesday for the county's center includes an aquarium, a nature preserve -- or even Long Island's first sizable public zoo.

The idea for one such facility at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow will be offered during a speech by Suozzi at Hofstra University, where he intends to discuss the future development of what has become known as the "Nassau Hub" or what he's dubbed "Nassau Centre."

Other ideas include transforming neighborhoods of downtown Hempstead into a "college town" with housing for students and faculty from nearby schools, as well as building hiking and bicycle trails connecting office parks, businesses, and entertainment attractions. In the past two years, the Suozzi administration has preached the need to develop central Nassau as a means to reduce county property taxes.

Suozzi declined Monday to discuss details. But he said transportation in the hub area must be improved to make it easier for people to move between locations. "There are dozens of little islands unto themselves and we want to connect them together," said Suozzi, a first-term Democrat who faces re-election this November.

Aides to Suozzi cautioned Monday that plans for the new facilities -- including the zoo -- are in the formative stages only. "There's no specific plans for it," one official said. "It's a vision; the details will come later on."

But park advocates and county Republicans say Suozzi would do better improving existing facilities, rather than building new ones.

"Fix the bathrooms first," argued Bruce Piel, chairman of PARCnassau, a park users' advocacy coalition. "I think ... [a zoo] would be great. But do the basic stuff first."

Peter Schmitt, the county legislature's minority leader, declared plans for a zoo "laudable," but added "let's get the infrastructure of the parks corrected first."

Nassau, which has only recently rebounded financially, would have to pay tens of millions of dollars to build a zoo or aquarium, according to administrators at the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates New York City zoos and the Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead.

A massive $58-million aquarium had been planned by a nonprofit group to revitalize downtown Bay Shore, but the board of the Long Island Aquarium voted in 2002 to shift the proposed location to Brentwood.

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang last year unveiled his vision for a $200-million transformation of the hub area's aging Nassau Coliseum. It includes building additional seating, an adjacent athletic complex and eventually a 60-story hotel-condo tower resembling a lighthouse.

Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.


Nassau Coliseum (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=3567)

NIMBYkiller
June 17th, 2005, 08:50 PM
I've got several ideas for the future of the Nassau Hub. It is basically a modified version of Suozzi's idea. It includes several Greenways from the coliseum area to places like Hempstead and Garden City.

Glen Curtiss Blvd would be extended to Charles Lindbergh Blvd. Paralleling that extension would be a monorail, which would operate from Roosevelt Field Mall, down Oak St, Westbury Blvd, Glen Curtiss Blvd, and the Meadowbrook Pkwy to Freeport.

The new office buildings would be in a fairly large sized area between the Nassau Coliseum, NY 24(Hempstead Tpke), and the Mariott Hotel. In total, it will be 11 buildings. They will not be high rises, but certainly will not be small. I'm thinking something like 5-10 stories depending on the building.

Also, there would be a major bus terminal at the northeast corner of Hempstead Tpke and the Glen Curtiss extension. It will include express buses operating to destinations all across the island as well as local transit buses.

Above that bus terminal would be a monorail station for that monorail I mentioned above. All this would be part of the one of the larger office buildings.

There will still be a parking lot for the Nassau Colesium, but it will be in the southwest corner of the lot, near the intersection of Earle Ovington and NY24. Another option is that it will be in a parking garage, and the rest of the lot can be housing or a park, which would be connected to the greenway system.

Also, at the far eastern end of the greenway is the zoo proposed in the Suozzi plan.

There is another transit part as well. An intra-island rail system would be established, with the main stop being at the intersection at the Glen Curtiss extension and Charles Lindbergh Blvd. It'd be part of a loop through the hub. Stops on the loop would be Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Hofstra, Nassau Coliseum, Endo Blvd, and Selfridge Av. From there, trains would carry people to Ronkonkoma, Patchogue, Valley Stream, and Glen Cove with intermidiate stops. Much of the system will use existing LIRR infrastructure and abandonned rail lines.

billyblancoNYC
October 17th, 2005, 12:54 AM
Anything new with this?

NIMBYkiller
October 22nd, 2005, 05:16 PM
Wang has teamed up with Reckson, and now critics are asking Suozzi to force Wang to meet the same requirements that have been set for other proposals.

I'm almost done with my proposal

antinimby
January 9th, 2006, 06:08 AM
Trying to Redesign the Paved and Low-Rise Core of Nassau

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: January 9, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/09/nyregion/09nassau.html

UNIONDALE, N.Y., Jan. 4 - From a certain spot here, there is concrete as far as the eye can see and in every direction. There are concrete roadways, parking lots, an incinerator smokestack, overpasses, buildings and, in a certain sense, ideas: ideas set in concrete about what it means to live in the suburbs.

As currently conceived, the fixed idea about living in the suburbs is that one lives in a comfortable home on a tree-lined street, and that is pretty much all that matters. The rest of the space between one's doorstep and the world at large is space that one drives by, and as fast as traffic will allow.

The sea of concrete in Uniondale, for instance, covers an area almost literally at the center of affluent Nassau County. It consists of an office park, a sports complex and a lot of parking space. Within a mile are two college campuses and a third of a million people. Yet no part of the area is related to any other part except by parkways on which people pass.

But in a bid for a new suburban logic, and on the verge of what is widely expected to be a dark-horse race for governor, the Nassau County executive, Thomas R. Suozzi, has conducted a quiet campaign in the past year to reimagine this piece of paved-over and strangely invisible suburban landscape as a place not to pass, but at which to arrive.

In broad outline, the 77-acre county-owned site surrounding the frayed county sports arena known as the Nassau Veterans Coliseum would undergo a complete makeover. Besides the coliseum and its Islanders hockey franchise, which would stay, the area would offer new places to live, work, shop, be entertained, ride a bike, hold parades, or catch a monorail to nearby shopping malls, college campuses and railroad stations.

Four developers have submitted bids, one of which Mr. Suozzi will recommend for approval to the County Legislature in the next few weeks. The work could take a decade.

But in the undertaking, Nassau County, one of New York's oldest suburbs, joins a raft of others in trying to figure out how to solve what planners consider a cluster of fundamental problems facing every aging suburban community in the United States. That is, how to use what little building space is left while competing with revitalized cities for new people and new business, and all the while staying "suburban."

Mr. Suozzi, for instance, does not like to call what he has in mind a "downtown."

"We don't want to become urban," he said in an interview. "We don't want it to be called post-suburban either, or new urban, or whatever they are calling it in other places. We call it the new suburbia."

Naming things being the first order of any reimagining, Mr. Suozzi even refers to the area by a different name from the one it has had, the Hub, since development there was first proposed by a previous county executive, Thomas S. Gulotta.

"We call it Nassau Centre now, and make sure you spell it right," Mr. Suozzi said.

By whatever name, planners consider the reinvention of the suburbs, by which they generally mean attracting jobs and increasing the density of population, in some places a matter of survival.

"Unless you want taxes to keep going up, and services to decline, I don't see how anyone can be against this," said Bruce Katz, the director of metropolitan policy at the Brookings Institution.

The thinking of Mr. Katz and others who have studied the oldest suburbs in America is that for the most part, sprawl has begun to reach its limits; that the declining urban crime rate has made cities attractive to a part of the population that would otherwise have been drawn to the suburbs; that what used to be bedroom communities exclusively are now places of work, too, especially rich in service and technology jobs; that too many young people cannot afford to buy homes in the suburbs where they grew up; that the oldest suburbs are at something of a crossroads.

"The question is whether the suburbs can mature to fit the new realities," Mr. Katz said.

In that sense of the word, some communities have matured earlier than others. Pedestrian-friendly and so-called mixed-use developments - usually combining residential with commercial and entertainment facilities - have brought downtown substance, and high-density living, to such previously sprawling suburbs as Palatine, Ill., outside Chicago; Arlington, Va., near Washington; and Orange County, Calif.

In Anaheim, Calif., plans are in place to build high-rise condominiums, lofts and stores on the land surrounding the Angels' baseball stadium, a design that looks somewhat like what could sprout on the land around the Nassau Coliseum, depending on which of the four developers' proposals is selected.

"You know what the tallest structure in Nassau County is?" Mr. Suozzi said, stepping from his car on a tour of the proposed development site near the coliseum. "The Hempstead incinerator!" He pointed at it. "That's ridiculous."

As it happened, a question of height was the first sticking point for Mr. Suozzi's vision. A 60-story hotel, office and residential tower was the centerpiece of a $1.4 billion plan proposed last year by the Islanders' owner, Charles B. Wang, the first developer to commit to a major undertaking at Nassau Centre.

He promoted the tower as the "icon" missing from the local landscape, the image that would say "Long Island." But opponents immediately argued that 60-story towers say Manhattan, not Long Island. In December, Mr. Wang removed it from his proposal, promising to replace it with another "appropriate" icon, but insisting that there has to be something on the landscape that defines the center of Nassau County.

In all the developers' proposals, a renovated or rebuilt coliseum and construction of a parking garage are givens. Mr. Wang's plan features a sports training center, light rail service and a network of artificial canals that would draw pedestrians to their banks in summer, and ice skaters in winter.

One of the proposals, by the New York Mets Development Corporation and its partners - which consider Long Island a big part of its fan base - is to rebuild the coliseum and add a minor league baseball stadium, a hotel convention center, rail service, two million square feet of apartments and 500,000 square feet of commercial space.

A group led by Vincent Polimeni, a shopping center developer, offers three residential towers and a new county government building, which would allow the county to consolidate offices scattered in dozens of sites.

The most modest proposal, made by the Engel Burman Group, a development company in Lynbrook, would add four condominium towers in a cluster near the coliseum.

"The fact is that we lost 116,000 people between the ages of 20 and 34 in the last 15 years, and that is not something we should be proud of," said Mitchell H. Pally, vice president for governmental affairs of the Long Island Association, a business group that strongly supports a major new development at the site. The figure referred to both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

"We have to change our patterns of living," Mr. Pally added. "We can no longer have acres and acres of parking lots."

Mr. Suozzi's idea is probably too new and unshaped to have drawn the kind of opposition that met his predecessor's efforts on the same field in 1998. Then, fiscal problems, environmental watchdogs and small business owners merged to sink Mr. Gulotta's Hub plan.

But some of the same issues are likely to be raised in the coming months, when the County Legislature holds hearings. At recent public presentations of the four development proposals, small retailers have voiced concern about losing business. Also, civic leaders have raised questions about traffic congestion, water and sewage service, school overcrowding, police patrols and fire service, which on Long Island is still provided by volunteers.

"Before we do anything, we have to carefully study the economic impact of this thing," said Richard M. Bivone, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, which represents 52 chamber groups. "Traffic could be a nightmare."

Mr. Suozzi seems sensitive to the issues. He has been raising money for an expected challenge to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for the Democratic nomination for governor this year. His every remark on the development proposal seems a balance between a sweeping vision statement and a list of the issues that matter to the constituencies that must be brought on board, whether for Nassau Centre or the campaign for governor.

"We have to preserve our open space, we have to revitalize our downtowns, build affordable housing, clean up our pollution, build public transportation," Mr. Suozzi said.

He paused. "But we have stopped growing," he said. "We have to make people want to come here."

NIMBYkiller
January 7th, 2007, 11:24 PM
Traffic will get worse only because the planned transit is no where near enough. Transit can't be within the hub only. All this development will also draw plenty of traffic from outside. LIRR needs to serve the area directly, which is fairly easy to do. There needs to be a lot more transit than just some light rail or monorail loop. Buses will help, but they are not the solution.

antinimby
January 9th, 2007, 01:18 AM
That is freaking weird.

I swear I didn't post that above article!

Something fishy is going on here...

P.S. check the date and time of that post and the subsequent post of NIMBYkiller's. It's not even in order.

antinimby
January 9th, 2007, 01:26 AM
I am however, posting this article. :)


New life for Nassau Hub project

BY ELIZABETH MOORE
Newsday Staff Writer

January 8, 2007 (http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzwang0109,0,3650230.story), 10:24 PM EST

Nassau County lawmakers last summer refused to decide what should be built when the county's Coliseum property is redeveloped.

Now they're being asked at least to settle who'll be building it.

The slumbering Hub project kicked back into gear yesterday as County Executive Thomas Suozzi filed a proposed "development plan agreement" with Reckson Associates chairman Scott Rechler and Islanders owner Charles Wang that formalizes their control over the 77-acre site.

The three-year agreement, due to come before legislative committees Jan. 22, is meant to give the developers standing to negotiate with the Town of Hempstead for zoning approvals, without committing the county to any lease price or design.

The agreement binds the developers to make steady progress on their plans or lose control of the site. It requires the county to facilitate their efforts "promptly" but not to endorse them. And it allows the Islanders to abandon the Coliseum in Uniondale for another venue if their redevelopment efforts are nixed by the Nassau County Legislature after a lease is finally reached.

"We heard the legislature loud and clear -- they do not want to approve a lease until the size, scope and density of development have been determined through the Town of Hempstead," said Deputy County Executive Helena Williams, who negotiated the deal, noting that the legislature will participate in the planning reviews. "I think it's important for the Islanders to know what lies ahead for them, too."

Within the first week after this agreement is signed, Wang and Rechler are to make the first of their annual $1.5-million option payments to the county. Within a year, which could be as early as February 2008, they agree to sink about $3 million into the rezoning effort. That pay for preparing site plans, forming an advisory committee, hiring consultants and starting traffic and environmental studies, and meeting with Hempstead officials and the county planning commission to set the approval processes in motion.

By the end of the second year, or winter 2009, the developers agreed, they will have spent about $5 million, and will have submitted rezoning and subdivision applications to the town and county and finished their traffic studies and draft environmental impact statement.

And by the end of the third year, or winter 2010, Wang and Rechler agree to spend $7 million and to have "diligently" pursued hearings and town and county votes to approve their site plans, rezoning and subdivision plans.

If these benchmarks aren't met, the county has the right to terminate the developer agreement. This was an important condition for the county, Williams said, to assure that Wang and Rechler actually move forward promptly with the redevelopment effort, because their $1.5-million annual option payment is trivial compared with the $1.6-billion estimated cost of the project.

Midway through that third stage, once the plans have taken clear shape, the county executive's office expects to begin serious negotiations with Wang and Rech.ler on the financial terms of the 99-year lease for the Coliseum property.

Wang and Rechler also agreed to pay for outside attorneys -- one of those tapped is Mineola development maestro Jeffrey Forchelli -- who will bird-dog the Coliseum process on the county's behalf, at a cost of up to $1.3 million.

But if they or the county pull the plug on the deal, Nassau agreed to refund up to $1.5 million a year of Wang and Rechler's project expenses.

Scott Rechler yesterday said he and Wang plan to run a "very inclusive community outreach program" to flesh out residents' needs and concerns. In return, if the county rejects their plans, the agreement gives them the right of first refusal on building an alternative the county decides on later.

After a brief review yesterday, the legislature's presiding officer, Judy Jacobs, said the agreement seemed to be "a good step forward" on the Hub, which she called Nassau's last major economic development opportunity.

"A lot is riding on us doing each step the right way," she said, praising the deal for giving the county "many more bites of the apple" in reviewing the unfolding plans and shielding residents from any open-ended financial obligations.

Suozzi expressed satisfaction with the progress it represented.

"This agreement signals that we are moving forward with our plan for a New Suburbia at the Nassau Coliseum site, which will provide thousands of jobs and energize our tax base," he said yesterday in a statement.

Copyright Newsday Inc.

NIMBYkiller
January 9th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Don't ask me about the posting times. That's happened to me on some other forums as well.

I really hope they make some MAJOR overhauls to the transportation system. And personally, I think the layout is a bit weak. I say extend Glen Curtis Blvd to Charles Lindbergh Blvd. That's one major access point. Put the majority of the office buildings along there, adjacent to the coliseum, hotel, and convention center. Leave the athletic complex, sports technology center, and adjacent office building where they are. Southwest of that is where he should place that grand canal with the high rise apartments. Then west of that is the smaller apartments. Snake the LIRR through there and you've got connections to the entire island.

Pandadoll
January 20th, 2007, 05:49 PM
I'm not sure if any of you are aware of the fact, that Nassau County no longer has an Office of Cultural Development.

Cultural activities are the heart of civilization. They include music, dance, theater, and Visual Arts like sculpture, painting and the like. Cultural activities are also a very good source of revenue. It can bring participants in from surrounding areas or even surrounding states.

Nassau County should turn THIS area....near the Coliseum into a CULTURAL HUB. It would greatly ease the tax burden and increase interest into the area. We would no longer have to stand int he shadow of "stupid" Manhattan.

There is so much talent available right here on Long Island. We could stake OUR claim as the Cultural Place to be.

Pandadoll
January 20th, 2007, 05:59 PM
We need a place for ALL the Visual Artists of Nassau County & Long Island to be able to exhibit their work. A museum that caters to LIVING artists, would be a great asset to Long Island. The only one that we have, isn't involved in the living artists that are here. There are a tremendous amount of creative people who don't belong to any particular organization & they are not being represented in any way.
Artists are the folks who usually don't have any money, so it doesn't make any sense to charge them to belong to anything. We need a representative, not a bunch of clicks for elite people.

Pandadoll
October 5th, 2007, 10:28 AM
Still think it would be a great idea to elaborate on the Cultural Arts Academy.

Long Island Living Museum of Fine Art....LILMOFA

Designed with idea that if you are going to encourage ARTS in SCHOOLS you need to give the FUTURE inhabitants a FUTURE job in the field.

Highlighting LIVING ARTISTS that actually work, as their occupation. Studios at the Museum where they work, create. People could come in, look around, watch the artists as they create. Sculpture, painting, pottery, dance, literature, every aspect of the culture that surrounds us.........

:cool:

Pandadoll
May 31st, 2008, 11:09 PM
Gee.....and we haven't given up on this yet.............

:cool:

:cool:

:cool:

vanshnookenraggen
June 10th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Not quite the Nassau Hub but close enough.



A Mission to Make Suburbs, Well, More Like the City
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/09/nyregion/09suburban.600.jpg Uli Seit for The New York Times
Thomas R. Suozzi, the Nassau County executive, wants to give more people reasons to stay.


By PAUL VITELLO (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/v/paul_vitello/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: June 9, 2008
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. — The “Downtown” that Petula Clark evoked in her 1964 pop song of that name (where “you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares”) never made much sense to anyone who worked or lived in an actual downtown. It was a song for people who did not.
So, blaring from the public address speakers to open a recent meeting here, Ms. Clark’s hit was probably the perfect score for a conference of suburban officials and planners promoting the idea that Creating Cool Downtowns, the conference title, was the future of the suburbs of New York.
“Young people are moving to Manhattan. They are moving to Brooklyn,” said Thomas R. Suozzi (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/thomas_r_suozzi/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the Nassau County executive and organizer of the conference, which was held on Friday in the parish center of St. Agnes Cathedral.
“Why aren’t they moving here?” he asked.
Why young people flee the suburbs was the underlying question of the day. But there has never been much mystery about it: There is nowhere to live; not enough to do; and not enough young adults around to improvise the kind of neighborhood scene born every few years in the big city.
Planners have been promoting the idea of suburban downtown life for decades, not just for the young, but also for retirees and workers of all ages. Corporate employers in the suburbs have long lamented the scarcity of affordable rental housing for workers. The environmental advantages of living and working in the same zip code are obvious.
But recent shocks over gas prices, global warming (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) and the tenuous hold many people have on their mortgaged homes seem to have brought new urgency to the idea — at least among professional worriers about the suburbs.
Though there was nothing groundbreaking about Friday’s meeting in Nassau County — no programs unveiled, no new money dedicated — it seemed to reflect what Bruce Katz, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/b/brookings_institution/index.html?inline=nyt-org), called an emerging consensus among planners about how the suburban landscape needs to change.
“Suburbanites need to understand that if they want their adult children to live nearby, if they want tax relief, environmental sustainability, there has to be a different approach,” he said.
With a political future to consider, Mr. Suozzi voiced many of the same convictions, but with a different emphasis on the pre-eminent suburban political issue, which is taxes. By building apartments near commuter rail lines and attracting young people to suburban downtowns with “fantastic restaurants and small shops,” he said at the conference, “our major purpose is to expand our tax base and lower taxes.”
“We need places to eat that you can walk to,” he said. “Downtowns that make people want to live in them. We need cool downtowns!”
The assembly comprised about 200 men in dark suits and women in sensible shoes who represented the township, village, zoning and planning boards of many of Nassau County’s more than 70 incorporated communities.
Engineering “cool” downtown life might not seem to be the first job one might imagine for them, but they were enthusiastic and earnest.
At times, they erupted in applause when speakers uttered phrases like “commercial-facade- improvement tax districts,” or “benefit-assessment-basis taxation.” The notion of “multiyear capital improvement programs” was also quite popular.
At other times, they seemed darkened by a sense of almost existential frustration, as if they were cosmologists trying to understand a phenomenon — a world of 2.8 million inhabitants, Long Island — that is simultaneously densely packed and yet lacking gravitational force.
“Everything is so interconnected, so you feel sometimes that you can’t fix anything until you fix everything,” said Mayor Ernest J. Strada of the village of Westbury, talking at one point about a zoning question, but really addressing a deeper issue — the lack of a central planning authority on Long Island, a problem that exists in many suburbs. Each of the more than 100 communities of Nassau and Suffolk Counties have zoning and planning agencies that govern development within their own borders.
“So sometimes you feel like, well, since you can’t fix everything, you can’t do anything at all,” Mayor Strada said.
Jon Kaiman, supervisor of the town of North Hempstead, underscored the political perils of trying to change the suburban landscape. People in the suburbs like the way things are in the suburbs, he said — the big malls, the strip malls, the three-car garages, the three cars that go inside them.
“They do not want more kids in the schools,” he said.
“I want to get re-elected. Tom Suozzi wants to get re-elected. So, what is the answer?” Mr. Kaiman asked to a murmur of nervous laughter.
Mr. Katz, of the Brookings Institution, said that sweeping demographic changes would eventually make inevitable, and reduce opposition to, some of the changes proposed at the Cool Downtowns conference.
The increasing racial and cultural diversity of the suburbs would be the main engine of change, he said. “And people are not having children the way they used to,” he added. “The idea that the schools will become overcrowded is not supported by the evidence.”
When the conference concluded, Ms. Clark’s song permeated the room once more with the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova as Mr. Suozzi and about 50 other officials stepped outside for a walking tour of downtown Rockville Centre, one of four Nassau County communities identified at the meeting as having already achieved some measure of downtown cool.
Its downtown is a grid of about six square blocks, with a train station at the center.
When told what the impromptu parade of darkly dressed people was all about, some passers-by gave a thumbs up to the mission.
Robert Bernstein, a 19-year-old student from neighboring Oceanside, said he had no opinion about the mission, but did have a thought about the marketing strategy behind the word “cool.”
“It is just so old,” he said. “Maybe they should have consulted somebody.”

Link (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/nyregion/09suburban.html)

Pandadoll
August 6th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I wish someone would listen to the people occasionally....

:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool: