Planning for a New York Islanders arena at Belmont Park is moving along as scheduled, meaning that construction could begin as early as next spring.
Back in December, a bid from a contingent that includes the Islanders, Oak View Group, and Sterling Project Development was chosen by Empire State Development to redevelop land at Belmont Park. The proposal calls for a new 18,000-seat arena that will host the Islanders and other events, along with a mix of amenities that includes a hotel, retail, public space, offices, a movie theater, and more.
Plans have been taking shape since that bid was selected, and an update presented on Monday indicates that the ongoing planning process is on schedule. A crucial environmental review process began earlier this year, and a final impact statement could be wrapped up by the second quarter of next year. More from Newsday:
The environmental review process at Belmont, which began this year, is “working toward completing” a draft environmental impact statement by the end of the year, said Thomas Conoscenti, ESD vice president for real estate and development.
Conoscenti added that he expects the final environmental impact statement to be done “by the second quarter 2019,” which begins April 1.
ESD, the state agency responsible for economic growth, provided the Belmont update at a meeting of the state’s Franchise Oversight Board, which monitors the New York Racing Association.
Technically, FOB owns the land at Belmont and, after the environmental review process, must approve the plan so ESD can lease the land to the Islanders’ group. FOB consists of five members appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The earliest that the Belmont Park arena has been expected to open is the 2021-22 NHL season. Starting with the 2018-19 campaign, the Islanders are expected to split home games between Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for a period of three seasons. The Barclays Center has been the team’s home since 2015, while the Coliseum hosted the club from 1972-2015 and reopened last year after undergoing an extensive renovation.
Rendering courtesy New York Islanders.
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