Las Vegas Sands has revealed proposals to redevelop roughly 80 acres of vacant land surrounding the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum into a new casino and entertainment complex in Uniondale, Long Island. The campus would also have a hotel, outdoor spaces for private events and community gatherings, celebrity chef restaurants, flexible meeting and convention space, a day spa, and a live performance venue that the developer said will honor the long legacy of live music at Nassau Coliseum.
Las Vegas Sands has already entered an agreement to purchase the long-term lease of Nassau Coliseum and the 80 acres surrounding the venue. The current leaseholder is Nassau Live, which took over the property in August 2020.
Preliminary renderings of the campus illustrate at least three new buildings, each enclosed by a prismatic glass façade. The tallest building will most likely house a hotel. As the project moves through the state and local agency approval process, however, these preliminary renderings are likely to change.
The announcement did not specify if Las Vegas Sands intends to demolish Nassau Coliseum or renovate and redevelop the aging property.
“Our company’s track record of driving significant economic benefits to the communities in which we operate and the meaningful relationships and partnerships we have created in each of those communities gives us a unique perspective on what it takes to develop transformative tourism destinations that positively impact the local community,” said Robert G. Goldstein, Las Vegas Sands’ chairman and chief executive officer. “Based on that experience, we strongly believe Long Island can be home to one of the region’s great entertainment and hospitality developments.”
Las Vegas Sands is also working in close collaboration with RXR to engage the surrounding Long Island community on a plan that maximizes economic opportunity and helps support residents.
Prior to the casino proposals, RXR worked with community leaders to develop the Nassau Hub Redevelopment, a plan to transform the grounds surrounding the Nassau Coliseum into a mixed-use campus with office space, residential buildings, retail, and open green spaces. It is not clear how proposals for the Sands Casino align with the Nassau Hub masterplan.
“After nearly two decades of working to transform the Nassau Coliseum site, including countless hours meeting with thousands of community members, the message has been overwhelmingly clear that Long Islanders want a global renowned entertainment destination that creates well-paying jobs and new opportunities at the Nassau Hub,” said Scott Rechler, CEO and chairman of RXR. “[The] challenge for turning this vision into reality has always been the commercial viability of a site encumbered by a nearly obsolete half-century-old arena.”
Rechler goes on to laud the plan envisioned by Las Vegas Sands as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to sought after by Long Islanders.
Nassau County officials remain open to the Las Vegas Sands proposal, but insist that community buy-in is a must for any plans to proceed.
“It would have to be something that was first-class and exciting and primarily and an entertainment center and a hospitality play, rather than just a casino; architecturally pleasing, preferably spectacular, and that there was open space,” said Nassau County executive Bruce Blakeman.
The coliseum proposals are the latest to join a consortium of developers vying for rights to construct a new, full-scale casino in downstate New York. State agencies will only allow the construction of three full-scale casinos in the downstate region, making the stakes incredibly high for competing teams.