Islanders Update: Hope For New Arena in Uniondale?
By Christian Arnold (CA_NYHockey)
There may be hope after all for the Islanders to stay in Nassau County.
Of the four developers who responded to last week’s request for qualification deadline, at least one is serious about working to keep the Islanders. Donald Monti, CEO of Renaissance Downtowns, told Islanders Point Blank, “If Charles wants to stay here, I think we can help make it happen.”
Renaissance Downtowns is working on projects in Glen Cove, and was selected as the master developer to revitalize the Village of Hempstead, a project that is expected to cost $2 billion and is being called the largest development project ever on Long Island. Monti’s plan for the Hub area would be to build sports and entertainment facilities along with high-tech research and development facilities. The Hempstead downtown project, which will feature residential and and commercial retail space, will help offset the costs for the Coliseum project.
“The synergies between the two projects are just unbelievable,” Monti told IPB. “There is only 8/10ths of a mile separating them so the financial challenges that come from a standalone project can be mitigated … when you have a common developer for both projects.”
Monti has been vocal in his desire to keep the Islanders in their current location since he went public with his intention of responding to the RFQ. He has repeatedly said that it would be a shame to lose the team and told IPB that he was a season ticket holder during the dynasty years of the early 80s.
He has been the lone developer to, publically at least, state that he wants to keep and work with the Islanders. The others have remained mum on the subject and one recently told Newsday that they only had interest in developing 30 acres of the property.
Monti and his development group have not spoken to Islander owner Charles Wang, and do not know if they were successful in their bid to become the master developer of the Nassau Hub.
Up until now, Brooklyn seemed to be gaining more and more steam, and even though the county has yet to choose a winner, Islander fans can at the very least feel a little bit of love from an area that has shown them barely any in recent years.