Thursday, July 15, 2010
Limiting the Lighthouse
From Fox 5:
An ongoing battle to develop 77 acres of prime real estate surrounding the New York Islanders' hockey arena had town officials and county brass feuding Monday over the size and scope of what should be built there.
The county, which owns the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the land around it, has expressed general support for Islanders' owner Charles Wang's vision to develop the property into a $3.8 billion housing, retail and office complex with a refurbished coliseum as its centerpiece.
The property is one of the last remaining large parcels of undeveloped land in Nassau County, which considers itself America's "first suburb," because it is home to the post-World War II Levittown development.
Hempstead Town leaders, who have zoning jurisdiction over the property, proposed their own development plan Monday, essentially cutting Wang's proposal in half.
Wang's Lighthouse Project, first proposed in 2003 and amended several times since, calls for 35-story residential and office towers. Hempstead's proposal would limit building to no higher than a nine-story hotel currently occupying part of the land.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said the scaling back of the project would address concerns of residents who are worried about the impact of traffic and other lifestyle issues if Wang's larger project were approved.