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Judge Nixes Las Vegas Sands Land Deal in New York

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A New York State Supreme Court judge's ruling has set in motion the halt of the Nassau Coliseum's renovation in Uniondale. The judge declared the lease agreement between Nassau County and Las Vegas Sands as void, prompting a fresh start for both parties in the renovation proceedings.

Back to the Drawing Board

Judge Sakira Kapoor ruled that the district had breached the state's open meeting law as well as the state's environmental quality review law. This occurred when the Nassau City Planning Commission approved Sands' lease in April and subsequently forwarded it to the Nassau County Legislature for approval in May.

Related: Las Vegas Sands Release Strong Net Revenue for the Q2 of 2023

Last year, Sands unveiled its plan to construct an extravagant hotel, casino and entertainment complex right where the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum stands. Bruce Blakeman, the Nassau County Executive, declared that the sprawling 80 acres of land would be transformed into an idyllic outdoor area for the community to enjoy. He also said it would also boast upscale dining establishments and a venue paying tribute to the rich legacy of live music held at the Coliseum.

The plan includes a vibrant complex, encompassing a hotel, an expansive conference area, a dynamic music hub, a day spa, an inviting swimming pool and a state-of-the-art health club. This initiative, according to Sands, would have the potential to generate a staggering 12,000 employment opportunities within the construction industry, and ultimately provide livelihoods for a promising 5,000 individuals.

The focal point of the endeavor, which occupies only 10% of the entire location, would be the casino, an imperative component in the process of constructing establishments akin to this one by Sands. With the objective of procuring a casino license bestowed by the state, the company envisioned the Coliseum site as an ideal venue for this ambitious venture.

Local University Stands in the Way

The $4-billion plan compelled Hofstra's president, Susan Poser, to express her concerns, leading to the initiation of a lawsuit by the university in April. Hofstra then filed a lawsuit, in which Sands is not listed as a defendant, claiming that the regulatory agency arranged three hearings on the transfer of the Coliseum mall to Sands during March and April.

The school alleges that the district failed to appropriately designate the gathering and inform individuals about the deliberation regarding the lease transfer. According to them, the meeting agendas inadequately covered topics such as the Sands, Nassau Coliseum, Nassau Hub, or the proposed development.

The contention made by the district attorneys contradicted the claim, arguing that Hofstra's legal representative was present and participated in the initial meeting as invited. Kapoor, in his ruling, invalidated the vote that took place during the gatherings on April 27 and May 22, along with the lease agreement between Sands Chairman Zac Hudson and Blakeman, which had been signed on April 26.

Kapoor rendered a verdict instructing the administration and legislature to organize an additional public assembly. Moreover, Kapoor, a 2004 alumnus of Hofstra University, ruled in favor of Hofstra University, which had previously lodged a complaint, awarding it a portion of the legal expenses incurred while pursuing this project.

The judge's order mandates all groups to revisit the initial phase of public rental negotiations that occurred in the previous spring.

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