Northwell to create ‘Innovation Center’ at Nassau Hub

Northwell to create ‘Innovation Center’ at Nassau Hub
A rendering of what the Nassau Hub may look like. (Photo courtesy of BSE Global)

Northwell Health and the developers seeking to create a destination downtown around the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale have signed an agreement for Northwell to create an innovation center there, according to the three parties.

The Northwell Innovation Center may include laboratories, and research, educational and conference space and comes as developers BSE Global and RXR Realty are completing a proposal for the “Nassau Hub” downtown area it would be a part of.

“The plan to develop the Hub has taken another giant leap forward with the addition of Northwell Health,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “This is true transformative development.”

The center will make neighbors of Northwell and Hofstra University’s Zucker School of Medicine at the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Earle Ovington Boulevard.

It will be up to 225,000 square feet.

“As the population ages due to medical advances that have reduced mortality and increased longevity, the life sciences sector will continue to experience robust and sustained growth for years to come,” said Northwell Health president and CEO Michael Dowling. “Establishing a presence in such a strategically important location as the Nassau Hub is an intriguing opportunity.”

Northwell has yet to hash out the details of what the center will include, how much it will cost and how it will be funded, said Terry Lynam, a Northwell Health spokesman.

It is considering including public exhibits about Northwell’s work, space to host conferences and events with businesses, and programs for students.

Laboratories might focus on data analytics in the life sciences, and the center could also expand on Northwell’s efforts to commercialize innovative ideas, Lynam said.

“We have been successful in creating and investing in new startup companies that could potentially be located at this [Hub], so it could serve as a business incubator of sorts for some of the new medical technologies that are taking shape in the industry,” he said.

BSE Global CEO Brett Yormark and RXR Realty Chairman and CEO Scott Rechler presented their goals for the Hub development at the Nassau County Legislature Tuesday afternoon.

“Since we reopened the Coliseum in April of 2017, I think it’s fair to say we have reintroduced the world of entertainment to Long Island,” Yormark said. “However, that was only part of the mission. The real prize here is the development of the hub.”

The developing companies hope to draw young and maturing professionals to the area by creating affordable housing for those  groups and a catered retail district that Rechler said “will be less about shopping and more about experience itself.”

To support professionals in their 20s, the developers are considering housing models that allow young people to share apartments while paying 30 percent less than studios, he said. 

They are also looking at a model that allows parents to live in an apartment attached to a studio apartment for their adult child.

“If we can start bringing the talent to Long Island – the young professionals, the maturing professionals … that ultimately will bring companies,” Rechler said.

The developers also plan to propose a transit hub and two hotels.

To prepare the area’s small businesses for the transformation, BSE Global and RXR Realty will bring in a consultant who will guide the businesses through how to adjust, Rechler said. The developers estimate that there will be 1,500 new retail jobs at the Hub.

The Nassau County Legislature is expected to vote on plans for the Hub in December.

Rechler said that their companies are interested in creating an advisory committee with the Legislature to keep the county involved throughout the development.

Northwell’s interest in being involved in the Hub demonstrates how other large companies may respond to the development, he said.

“We’ve seen Northwell, the largest employer in the county, come forward and say, ‘Hey, we want to be a part of this,’” Rechler said.

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