October 14, 2009
Breaking news out of Long Island. Citing a source, the Long Island Press is reporting that New York Islanders owner Charles Wang has decided to walk away from the Lighthouse Project, the development that would overhaul Nassau Coliseum and the area surrounding it.
The Press also reports that some of Wang's employees are already being moved off their efforts on the Lighthouse Project:
The source has also indicated that reorganization has already begun within Wang’s company, reassigning some top-level executives who have been key members of the Lighthouse initiative to work on other unrelated projects.
One source says it would not be surprising, given Wang’s self-imposed deadline of Oct. 3 to have an approval from Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and the Town Board before he would put an end to the project.
Chris Botta of Fanhouse and Islanders Point Blank, who has been all over Lighthouse Project developments over the past year, attempted to get in contact with three top development officials and his calls went unanswered.
Wang had set October 3rd as a date he wanted a yes or no answer to the project from Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray before he began exploring all other options. In the 11 days since, Wang and his staff has kept quiet, waiting for an answer that has yet to come. This latest move could seem like doom and gloom for the Islanders future at Nassau Coliseum, yet it could also be another move in the game of political chess that Wang has been playing with the Town of Hempstead for the past five years.
UPDATE: Newsday reports that a person close to the developer says the project is not done. Also, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi was quoted as saying he has yet to hear anything from Charles Wang about the Long Island Press story.
UPDATE: Thursday 11 a.m. ET - Charles Wang tells Newsday "There's no truth to the story. It's bogus. There are no plans to abandon the project."