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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Governor David A. Paterson Monday, urged State and county agencies to expedite a multi-billion-dollar development project that will yield tremendous economic and recreational benefits for Nassau County and New York State. The Governor spoke from the future Lighthouse site and was joined by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and other local officials.

Islanders Owner Charles Wang speaks at Lighthouse Press Conference.
“The Lighthouse Project has the potential to be one of the most important economic development initiatives we have ever seen on Long Island and is precisely the kind of economic stimulus that we need here,” Governor Paterson said. “That’s why I am directing our State agencies to expedite their review of this project. Our government agencies need to work diligently and swiftly to ensure that this project can move forward as quickly as possible so that we can begin to put people back to work right here on Long Island.”

The Lighthouse at Long Island is slated to transform the 150-acre Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site into a mixed residential and commercial center, featuring a variety of housing, retail, shopping, athletic and entertainment venues. The project has been proposed by the Lighthouse Development Group, a joint venture between Charles B. Wang, Owner of the New York Islanders, and RXR, Long Island’s largest owner, manager and developer of commercial real estate.

The $3.74-billion project is expected to generate $71 million in annual tax revenues, create 75,000 construction and 19,000 permanent jobs. This mixed-use development will be designed to be Long Island’s largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), or certified environmentally friendly, project, transforming the Nassau Coliseum into a state-of-the-art arena that can accommodate 17,500 fans for hockey, 18,500 for basketball and 20,000 for concerts.

(L to R) Islanders Owner Charles Wang, NY State Governor David A. Paterson and Islanders Hall of Famer Mike Bossy
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy said: “The Lighthouse presents a huge opportunity for Nassau County that will help grow our economy and create jobs. I am pleased that Governor Paterson has lent his support to this important project, which will be a major economic driver and create thousands of jobs. With the development of residential and commercial space, a large recreational park, and an improved sports and entertainment venue, the Lighthouse project will bring increased revenue to Long Island, attract new business, and place a spotlight on the Island for residents and visitors alike. Long Island needs the Lighthouse project and I am proud to stand with the Governor and call for the development of the project to be expedited so we can help rebuild Long Island.”

Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi said: “The Lighthouse can’t come soon enough for Nassau County and all of Long Island. This project will bring thousands of jobs to the area, breathing life into new suburbia and jump-starting our economy. Now, more than ever, we need everyone in government to work together to get this project done, and I thank Governor Paterson for his support.”

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray said: “Hempstead town officials are focused on innovative and progressive development. The key in reviewing all development proposals of the magnitude of the Lighthouse project is to be thorough and complete in our work. After all, the decisions we make today will affect our children and grandchildren.”

Charles B. Wang, principal and founder of the Lighthouse Development Group and owner of the New York Islanders, said: “We appreciate the support and direction from Governor Paterson and look forward to the progress he will help foster between the State, Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead to finally bring certainty to this project by the start of the next hockey season. The Lighthouse will be a catalyst to kick-start the Long Island economy and will be a destination for all Long Islanders to live, work and play.”

The Town of Hempstead Board has scheduled a public hearing for August 4 and has invited community members to make official comments on the project.
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