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Las Vegas Sands Corp. files petition to rezone Nassau Hub for casino - Newsday

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Las Vegas Sands' proposed $4 billion casino-resort at the site of the Nassau Coliseum would require a zoning change that creates a new hospitality district in Uniondale, according to land-use plans the company filed with the Town of Hempstead Thursday.

The application — a major step in the process for the Nevada-based company's proposal — seeks to integrate the 72-acre "Nassau Hub" with nearby property that houses the Long Island Marriott hotel.

Current zoning does not permit a casino at the Coliseum site. Sands also could need zoning changes related to height, setbacks and parking. The application also kick-starts the state's environmental review, commonly known as SEQR, that will include a formal scoping process, a draft environmental impact statement and a final statement that would need approval from the town.

Sands' land-use application shows more details about the size of the proposed development. It would include a 3.7 million-square-foot structure with the following:

  • Two hotels with 1,670 rooms, a spa, fitness center and indoor and outdoor pools

  • A casino with 393,726 square feet of entertainment space

  • Food and beverage service that would take up 147,929 square feet

  • Meeting space of 213,000 square feet

  • A 4,500-seat live performance venue

  • 60,000 square feet of "public attraction" space

  • Three parking garages

  • Various support and utility spaces

Hempstead Town spokesman Greg Blower said the application "will be subject to a thorough review."

“The town's assessment will include issues such as noise, traffic, parking, air pollution, and the ability of our infrastructure to handle the sewage generated at the site, as well as the impacts of the project on our sole source aquifer," Blower said. "The Town Board will consider all the aforementioned issues while focusing on the health and safety of residents, along with the preservation of our suburban quality of life. The review will be conducted with full transparency including public hearings.”

Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, a Republican who is running for reelection in November, did not respond to multiple requests for comment and has not taken a public stance on the project.

Sands officials declined to comment.

The 20-page application seeks to merge the Coliseum and Marriott properties to create a new, "Mitchel Field Integrated Resort District." "The application will facilitate Petitioner's multibillion-dollar investment and pave the way for the transformative redevelopment of the Premises into a state-of-the-art flagship hospitality, entertainment and casino venue on Long Island," the filing said.

Sands closed last month on a 99-year lease for the Coliseum site, two months after the Nassau County Legislature approved transferring the lease to the company. In return, the county received a one-time, lump sum payment of $54 million.

The development depends on winning one of three state gaming licenses to operate a commercial casino in the downstate region. The licenses allow Vegas-style gambling with traditional table games such as poker and blackjack.

More than 10 entities have announced plans to bid on a downstate license. State gaming commission officials have said they expect to award them in 2024 or 2025.

Beyond the town approvals, Sands would need support from a local five-member community advisory committee and a state site selection panel.

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