Less than two months after Nassau County residents voted down a $400 million proposal to build a new Coliseum in Uniondale that would be financed by taxpayers, another plan for the sports and entertainment venue has emerged.
Earlier this week the Associated Press reported that "a group of developers, business leaders and community planners is proposing a privately financed redevelopment of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and its surrounding 77-acre property."
The $346.5 million plan was designed by architect Angelo Francis Corva, of the West Hempstead-based Angelo Francis Corva & Associates, in less than two weeks.
Unlike the failed proposal, which would have demolished the existing Coliseum once a new one was constructed, Corva's plan involves overhauling and expanding the original structure.
The new plan would lift the roof as much as 25 feet and expand the promenade running around the building, keeping the Coliseum operational throughout the construction but adding more seats and corporate boxes. The inside and outside of the building, including the façade, would be refurbished as well.
The current Coliseum is the second smallest arena in the NHL, with a capacity of just 16,234. The additions would call for anywhere from 3,000-4,000 more seats.
"It would basically be a new Coliseum, but with bones of the existing structure," Corva said, with the exception of the roof, which would be taken down once they complete building the new one above it. The plan also calls for the hockey team occupying the Coliseum — presumably the New York Islanders if the NHL team decides to stay — to share the ice rink with the public.
Adjacent to the Coliseum would be a 16-story parking structure with a capacity to house 6,800 cars, the same amount of spots in the current lot, freeing up this space for other attractions.
South of the Coliseum would be a 100,000-square-foot minor league baseball stadium with a practice facility, which would both also be shared with the public, according to Corva.
“The minor league stadium would be domed so it could be used 12 months a year,” he said.
To the west would be 75,000 square feet of retail stores, restaurants and a pedestrian bridge connecting the Coliseum to Mitchel Field. After these projects were completed, the county would still have two additional parcels of land — 4.9 acres to the northeast and 19.2 to the southwest — to develop in the future.
Another major difference between this proposal and the one voters rejected on Aug. 1 is that it would be privately financed, with no monetary support from the public, but they still need to find investors.