There’s a lot of excitement here in Nassau County. Last week’s announcement regarding the redevelopment of Nassau Coliseum has also shined the spotlight once again on what I believe is the single, greatest economic development opportunity Long Island has seen in many years.
That opportunity is Belmont Park.
As you are probably well aware, I have been at the forefront of the redevelopment process at Belmont and I am thrilled with the mixed-use proposal submitted to the state by the New York Cosmos. This breathtaking plan calls for a world-class soccer stadium for the Cosmos team but also includes a hotel, shopping venues, seven restaurants, new community parks, and even a new Long Island Railroad Station.
The best news of all is that this project does not spend one taxpayer dollar in development. Not one.
In this day and age, when municipalities are often held hostage by the whims of sports franchises, I’m pleased to say that we can deliver a first-class sports and entertainment arena that is beautiful and convenient, and won’t pick the taxpayers’ pockets. The commitment to developing over 3,500 full-time jobs will result in more than $130 million in economic output in our communities, and that’s exactly what we need right now.
In a larger sense, this proposal is a huge step forward in keeping our young people on Long Island, curbing the brain drain and sending a message that you can indeed come home after you have finished your education. This type of innovative thinking will encourage like-minded efforts to rebuild Long Island as “America’s first suburb.”
Long Island has always been my home. I love it and want to see it prosper so I’m proud to have been a driving force to move this effort forward with our Governor by instituting the proposal process that attracted the very best and brightest economic developers in the country. Without a doubt, the opportunity to transform Belmont into a first-class destination is at our doorstep and it will be the first step in building a better Long Island for our children.
For too many years our communities have been forgotten in the greater economic development debate at our state capital. Not anymore.
The decision by New York State is imminent and I look forward to working with economic development experts on the greatest opportunity we’ve seen in generations. As details become available, I will be sure to share the good news with you.