A State Supreme Court Justice has ruled that Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG) can move forward with a court case against Forest City Ratner Cos., the company renovating the Nassau Coliseum. BDG, originally selected by Forest City to help transform the 77 acre retail space adjacent to the future sports and entertainment complex into a plaza, alleges its Coliseum partnership was wrongly terminated. Justice Vito DeStefano agrees that the case should continue. Forest City believed BDG’s argument should have been tossed.
But on Tue., Feb. 23, 2016, Newsday reported Judge DeStefano “denied nearly all claims filed by Forest City.” Forest City asserted BDG was not actually a partner in the Uniondale project, but DeStefano differed. According to Newsday, regarding the chief developer’s contention, the judge submitted Forest City’s position was “contrary to events and circumstances.” At libn.com, BDG’s attorney, Ronald J. Rosenberg, responded that this was “a significant victory…for all of the taxpayers of Nassau County…”
Essentially, BDG proposed 300,000 square feet of retail space in the area surrounding the new Coliseum; Forest City and its subsidiary, Nassau Events Center, or NEC, only want 180,000. While Forest City is looking to scale down the overall Coliseum project, BDG has larger plans. As a result of the opposing agendas, BDG was fired by Forest City and both sides subsequently filed lawsuits in court. The $260 million restoration is supposed to include a 13,000 seat multi-use sports arena and ice rink, too small by NHL standards. A bowling alley, assorted restaurants, Modell’s sporting goods and a Bass Pro Shops mega-store are all anticipated tenants.
A Forest City spokesperson told reporters that Judge DeStefano’s decision will not hamper the refurbishment of the Coliseum. Meanwhile, in January, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, announced completion of the facility has been pushed back due to negotiation problems between Forest City, NEC and local labor groups. BDG and Forest city are due back in court next month.