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Cosmos submit revised Belmont Park soccer stadium plan

The Cosmos have submitted a revised plan for

The Cosmos have submitted a revised plan for a privately funded stadium and mixed-use development; above an aerial view of the proposed arena looking north. Credit: Spectorgroup / Populous / Cameron

The New York Cosmos have proposed a new plan for Belmont Park that would place a retail center and hotel next to a 25,000-seat soccer stadium after the state removed a parcel of land north of Hempstead Turnpike from potential use.

The revised plans include all of the original elements of the Cosmos’ $400 million privately funded proposal.

But a 175-room hotel and nine restaurants, originally slated for a tract of land on Belmont’s western end, would be located adjacent to the stadium inside an expanded retail and entertainment center south of Hempstead Turnpike.

Team officials confirmed they met on Thursday with the Empire State Development Corp., the state’s primary business-aid agency, but declined to comment further.

The retail and entertainment complex, which includes a movie theater, would grow by 120,000 square feet, to nearly 370,000 square feet, compared with the original proposal. The complex also would get an extra story to accommodate the nine restaurants.

Empire State Development spokesman Jason Conwall said the agency “recently requested updated information” from the Cosmos and three other bidders. “We continue to review and consider all responses.”

The agency is considering four bids — by the Cosmos, Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group, the Engel Burman Group of Garden City and Basser-Kaufman of Woodmere, and Related Cos., of Manhattan. Each submitted proposals in February 2013 to develop the state-owned property in Elmont.

Agency officials said in August 2013 that a decision was expected within weeks; in March 2014, a spokesman said a decision would come “soon.”

Last month, the development corporation told the bidders that it was making an 8-acre parcel of land located to the west of the Long Island Rail Road station, off limits to developers.

The development agency said the New York Racing Association, which operates horse racing at Belmont and statewide, was working on a plan for that land.

NYRA officials have declined to discuss their plans for the parcel, but county lawmakers have speculated that it could be the future home of the Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.’s proposed video gambling parlor. OTB officials have declined to comment.

Erik Stover, the Cosmos’ chief operating officer, has said that if the state does not pick a developer by year’s end, he would consider other locations in Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester and New Jersey. The team currently plays its home games at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium.

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