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Is Belmont RFP a done deal for the Islanders?

Long Island Business News editor Joe Dowd writes, Bet the ranch, Isles skating to Belmont. His argument is that the request for proposals (RFP, also below) from Empire State Development "specifically calls for Belmont to become 'a premier destination for entertainment, sports, recreation, retail and hospitality.' The state is not seeking proposals that include housing or tech jobs, items advocated by the local community."

The overall site (not helpfully marked), from the RFP
"Who gains the most from such an arrangement?" he asks, suggesting that Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan would gain from competing with Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum, as would MSG Network, owned by Dolan, which broadcasts the Islanders, as would "Scott Malkin, the Islanders’ owner, or his brother, Anthony, a major developer of retail and commercial properties."

And all "are major financial backers of Gov. Andrew Cuomo."

Yes, but so are a lot of people. And I'm still not sure how another arena would make financial sense. Also below is the 2008 Elmont Community Vision Plan, which was part of the RFP.

The summary

From the RFP:

The Project site is comprised of two parcels, Site A and Site B, totaling approximately 36 acres (each “Site” or collectively the “Sites”). The Sites are located entirely within Nassau County. Site A contains a total of approximately 8 acres. It is adjacent to the western end of the Belmont Park clubhouse and is bordered to the west by the Belmont Park spur of the Long Island Railroad, with five tracks and four platforms.

Site B contains a total of approximately 28 acres. The properties surrounding the eastern side of Site B are single- family residences, and generally street-front retail, gasoline service stations and automobile repair shops along Hempstead Turnpike.

Respondents must include a development proposal for Site A and Site B. In addition, Respondents may also propose an alternative development that includes the Sites and land adjacent to Site A, north of Hempstead Turnpike, totaling up to 15 acres, inclusive of Site A (“Alternative”).

The Sites or the Alternative will be offered through a long-term lease granted by the FOB to a Qualifying Organization (as defined on page 11, below).

Development of each Site must be complementary to horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering. Respondents are encouraged to include proposals for the development of entertainment, sports, recreation, hospitality, and retail uses. Proposals for residential development, video lottery terminals, table games, pari-mutuel and simulcast wagering, or horse racing will not be considered.
Questions for the public

From the RFP:
In addition, Respondents should include a brief summary that explains at a high-level how the team would approach the financing of the Project, including reference to any expected incentives or tax credit programs. If a Proposal is made contingent on receiving financing or incentives, the Respondent should include proposed terms for such financing in their Proposal.
In other words, how much public assistance would the bidders be requesting.



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