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Islanders arena developers want to improve nearby parks

The Hempstead Town Board granted the developers behind

The Hempstead Town Board granted the developers behind the proposed Islanders arena in Elmont access to Elmont Road Park and Hendrickson Avenue Park so they could make improvements. Credit: Google Inc.

The Hempstead Town Board granted the developers behind the proposed Islanders arena in Elmont access to two nearby parks to study possible improvements there.

The upgrades at Elmont Road Park and Hendrickson Avenue Park would be a community benefit accompanying the new 19,000-seat arena, 435,000 square feet of retail and 250-room hotel that New York Arena Partners has proposed at nearby Belmont Park, which is owned by New York State.

The town board on May 21 approved the access agreement in a 6-0 vote after amending it to revise the estimated cost of the developer-funded upgrades from “approximately” to “at least $1.5 million.” Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney was absent.

Supervisor Laura Gillen called the access agreement at the meeting “a first step to that process to deliver a potential real benefit to the community in the event the Belmont project does go forward.”

The access agreement allows New York Arena Partners to inventory security cameras and lighting at the parks and conduct land, soil and groundwater surveys, among other preparations, according to the agreement.

Councilman Bruce Blakeman said at the meeting he is opposed to the Belmont project but supports the access agreement if it will bring investment to town parks.

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