LIRR station sought for Belmont Park project amid opposition
Empire State Development (ESD), which is overseeing the $1.18 billion plan to build a retail and entertainment complex at Belmont Park in Nassau County, will expand its environmental review of the project to look into adding a full-time Long Island Rail Road station at the site, Newsday reported. The proposed transit line would be part of the LIRR’s main line, but no decision has yet been made as to where it will be located. ESD officials vowed that the review will finish by June. The development team behind the project, New York Arena Partners, lauded the potential transit addition. The new station could appease some opponents of the project who fear it will bring an influx of traffic to the area…
Several dozen Elmont residents split up in separate groups Saturday to talk about what is wrong with Elmont Road Park and what new amenities they want. Similar words came up to describe the park: “neglected,” “eyesore” and “awful.”
New York Arena Partners, which includes the New York Islanders, has agreed to pay the millions of dollars to renovate the 7-acre park as part of a planned project at nearby Belmont Park that would include a 19,000-seat arena, 435,000 square feet of retail and a 250-room hotel.
Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing the project, convened Saturday’s community workshop on the park with the Islanders and the Town of Hempstead.
Holly Leicht, executive vice president for real estate at the agency, told participants their comments would help shape the plan for the park.
“What you say today — you’re going to get tangible outcomes down the road,” she said.
Mattson Kokura, 35, of Elmont, said the park is so “dilapidated” that he and his wife often drive their two sons, ages 3 and 5, to Hempstead Lake State Park rather than use the aging playground and other features at their neighborhood park.
Jon Johnson, who like Kokura sits on a community advisory board for the project convened by Empire State Development, said during one of the group sessions that a new baseball field with lights “would be huge for these kids” because the park’s ballfield could no longer be used because of regular flooding. He and others also called for a new multipurpose field for soccer, football and other sports….