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LI officials propose Belmont, Heartland as Amazon HQ sites

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley, announced a plan for Amazon to build its second headquarters at the airport.  The $5 billion dollar project could bring up to 50,000 jobs to Long Island. (Credit: James Carbone)

Belmont Park in Nassau and the Heartland Town Square site in Suffolk are county officials’ top picks as potential local sites for Amazon’s planned second headquarters.

County Executives Ed Mangano and Steve Bellone Thursday identified one site in each county that will be submitted for consideration as part of a statewide effort to attract Amazon to New York.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine also said the town would propose the 500-acre Calabro Airport in Shirley as a potential site.

All three officials made their announcements at a media conference at the Long Island Association trade group in Melville. Romaine had announced his proposal Wednesday and at a separate press event earlier Thursday at the airport.

Empire State Development, the state’s primary business aid agency, is coordinating efforts to compete for the online shopping giant’s proposed second North American headquarters — a $5 billion-plus campus that Seattle-based Amazon has said could employ up to 50,000.

Dozens of cities across the country including Chicago, Dallas and San Diego have already said they will go after the project. Proposals are due at Amazon by Oct. 19.

ESD officials last week encouraged Island officials, along with leaders from New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley, to “identify our best sites,” LIA president Kevin Law said. He said the state aid agency is working with “corporate relocation specialists” to vet the locations before narrowing its selections and submitting “a proposal to Amazon with multiple sites.”

ESD did not respond to requests for comment.

Amazon announced earlier this month it was accepting proposals for its project. The company said it encouraged “states, provinces and metro areas to coordinate with relevant jurisdictions to submit one [proposal] for your metropolitan statistical area.”

Mangano said county officials “looked at several sites” including the Nassau Hub before deciding to recommend the 430-acre Belmont parcel in Elmont.

The announcement came the same day the New York Islanders said they have submitted a proposal to create a sports and entertainment destination at Belmont Park, which is owned by the state. At least two other proposals for the property were submitted by the state’s 2 p.m. Thursday deadline.

Bellone said the 450-acre Heartland tract, site of the former Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center in Brentwood, “is shovel ready.”

For years, Heartland owner and developer Jerry Wolkoff has proposed a massive mixed-use development for that site. In July, the Islip Town Board approved zoning changes and the first phase of Wolkoff’s plan.

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