Two steps forward, one step back

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Daily Point

Islanders and Barclays icy relationship

When Forbes initially reported Monday that the Barclays Center had earned more money in the year before the New York Islanders went to Brooklyn than in the year after, observers used it as fodder to suggest that Barclays had a reason to send the team packing.

But Forbes got the numbers wrong — and as it turns out, the arena’s financials were better in the Islanders’ first year in Brooklyn than they were a year earlier.

Would that mean Barclays executives would want to hold on to the hockey team? Perhaps. But it doesn’t say anything about whether the Islanders would want to stay at Barclays.

Then there’s the question of where Nassau Coliseum fits into the financial picture. Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, which operates the Barclays Center, will also manage Nassau Coliseum, which cost more than $130 million to renovate, lacks an anchor tenant and is set to reopen in two weeks.

The principal owner of BSE is Russian billionaire and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Can the Coliseum bring in the profits Prokhorov is looking for, even without the Islanders and even after he pays the county the guaranteed minimum $4 million in annual rent? We don’t know that, either.

We do know that Barclays Center paid the Islanders $37.5 million in the year ending in June 2016. That payment made up the majority of the $58.2 million the arena spent on all fees, licensing deals and concessions agreements, according to the arena’s financial statements. But in the same documents, the arena estimated that by 2021, that total figure would fall to $23.8 million.

That leaves one more question: Is Barclays predicting a future without the Islanders?

Randi F. Marshall

Talking Point

New era for Hempstead

When Hempstead Village Mayor Wayne Hall lost his re-election bid Tuesday, it was a blow to the massive redevelopment that’s been in the works for years by developer Don Monti, who later was joined by Scott Rechler on the project.

Hall had been the champion of the project, while his election opponent, Republican Don Ryan, had been a critic of the plan’s size and scope.

But a leadership change is nothing new to Rechler, who faced a similar setback in Glen Cove, when Reginald Spinello was elected mayor in 2013, beating out then-Mayor Ralph Suozzi.

Spinello had criticized Rechler’s plans to develop the Glen Cove waterfront, saying he wanted less density. But Rechler spent time negotiating with the new mayor, eventually making changes to the Glen Cove project, which includes rental and condo housing units, and finding areas for compromise.

When ground broke on the project, known as Garvies Point, late last year, Spinello and Rechler celebrated.

The challenges in Hempstead are likely greater, as the developers face objections to their requests for tax breaks and concerns over their proposal for 1,000 new residential units in addition to a hotel, shops and more. But the stakes are higher, too, as Hempstead Village badly needs a revival, a transformation that new development could spur.

Rechler and Ryan both told The Point that they’re interested in finding a path forward. They hope to meet after Ryan takes office in early April.

Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point


Pointing Out

Cuomo and the 3 I’s

With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announcing plans for a trade trip to Ireland — declaring his intention on St. Patrick’s Day — he ticks off the second box of a uniquely New York tradition.

Politicians wanting to run for higher office, and especially national office, must mind the Three I’s — Ireland, Israel and Italy.

Cuomo went to Israel early this month. Last year at this time, he said he was planning to visit Italy (and China); those trips never materialized. Meanwhile, no date has been set for Cuomo’s visit to Ireland. However, he declared that it would be New York’s first trade mission with that country.

Count this as the fourth decade of speculation about a Gov. Cuomo courting the Three I’s to position himself to run for the presidency. Mario Cuomo spent a week in Rome in 1992, and visited again the following year with wife Matilda to promote shared health research, trade and tourism.

In September 1992, the elder Cuomo planted a tree in Israel for a friend. He didn’t visit Ireland, but he did push for a bill that would divest state pension money from a dozen companies doing business with the repressive government of Northern Ireland.

As Cuomo-the-son solidifies his travel plans, he can win the ethnic travel hat trick.

Anne Michaud

This is The Point, the editorial board’s daily newsletter about New York politics. Click here to subscribe.