Arena makeover first step in ambitious plan

Updated: September 29, 2004, 10:17 AM ET
Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The co-owner of the New York Islanders has unveiled an ambitious $200 million plan to renovate the Nassau Coliseum and construct a mixed-use complex that would include a 60-story hotel and condominium tower.

The plan is being developed by Charles Wang, the multimillionaire who is also the founder of the Computer Associates software company on Long Island. The proposal would require approval from Nassau County, which owns the coliseum and the land, and from the Town of Hempstead.

The centerpiece of the proposed complex, on 70 acres next to the coliseum, would be the 60-story tower, to be called the Great Lighthouse, with a 10,000-square-foot observation deck. Long Island's tallest building is the 19-story Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

The complex also would include a five-star hotel, luxury condominiums, rental apartments, a 500-seat amphitheater, two skating rinks, basketball and volleyball courts, offices, restaurants, shops, an exhibition hall and a center to help athletes improve their performance.

The complex would be the second phase of the proposed plan. Nassau Coliseum would be updated first, its seating capacity expanded to 17,500 from 16,300 and 50 new luxury boxes added by 2009.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press