Will this be the beginning of the end of the Islanders hunt for a new arena?
Details about the much-anticipated state’s request for proposal to develop Belmont Park emerged late Sunday night, via Newsday, and now all eyes are on the Islanders awaiting their expected bid for the site. The Islanders have been linked to the site for quite some time and in April NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the Islanders would submit a proposal for the site.
Proposals to develop the land at Belmont park will be due by September 28 and the development site includes two parcels of property. One is an eight acre parcel adjacent to the LIRR station and the other is 28 acres of land south on Hempstead Turnpike.
Here is more on the RFP from Newsday:
All bid proposals, the RFP states, must be “complementary” to the existing racetrack, maximize economic benefit to the state, use environmentally friendly design practices, feature “meaningful” participation from minority, women and veteran-owned businesses, provide jobs for area residents and benefit the surrounding neighborhoods of Elmont and Floral Park.
“Respondents must list community amenities that will be included in the project as well as a detailed plan for community outreach,” the RFP states. “Given the sites are adjacent to an existing residential community, it is important to detail how the project will be integrated into the surrounding fabric.”
The Islanders have been doing their due diligence ahead of the RFP release and have already had renderings for an arena drawn up, according to Newsday. The Islanders are also being advised by sports arena development company, Oak View Group. The company is backed by Madison Square Garden and was selected in June to renovate Key Arena in Seattle in a bid to bring the NBA and NHL to the city.
A photo of the Islanders has also been featured on Oak View Group’s website where it discusses the company’s consulting services.
A potential partnership could be in place between the Islanders and Sterling Project Development, which is run by the owners of the New York Mets, on developing the Belmont site, according to Newsday.
The Islanders are currently in the process of renegotiating their current lease at Barclays Center. The team and/or arena can opt out of the agreement in January and discontent between the two sides has been palpable through their first two years together.
Earlier this month politicians from Nassau and Suffolk County held a press conference in front of the renovated Nassau Coliseum in a public bid to try to get the Islanders to return to the arena.
When the Islanders will unveil their bid to the public is unknown, but marked the next step in the Islanders ongoing arena saga. The bid will be far from a slam dunk win for the team and their is still a long process ahead if theirs is selected.