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Public meeting Sunday on Belmont Park plans

The Islanders and NYCFC soccer club will outline their visions for the property after Blumenfeld Development Group bowed out of the bidding.

An aerial view over Belmont Park in Elmont

An aerial view over Belmont Park in Elmont on May 30, 2015. Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

The New York Islanders and New York City FC soccer club — the two remaining bidders seeking to redevelop Belmont Park — will outline their visions for the Elmont property during a public meeting Sunday.

A third bidder, Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group, announced Monday that it was withdrawing its bid to build a retail and entertainment center. The company cited the state’s “extraordinary requirements” that “appear to create a selection process that has been predetermined.”

Ed Blumenfeld, president of the Blumenfeld Development Group, previously has bid twice on the Belmont property.

“Collectively, the development community has already spent well over a million dollars in submitting previous proposals that addressed the myriad specifications of the state’s economic development agency,” Blumenfeld said.

“Now, unusual and rather aggressive financial terms and conditions dictate to us that pursuing this opportunity further is not an effective use of BDG resources,” he said.

The Dec. 10 meeting at Elmont High School will be the first opportunity for members of the public to hear from the bidders since proposals were submitted to Empire State Development on Sept. 28.

The 4:30 p.m. meeting is hosted by state Sens. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) and Leroy Comrie (D-Queens) and Assembs. Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) and Clyde Vanel (D-Cambria Heights).

The two bidders will have 15 minutes to make a presentation on its plans and answer pre-submitted written questions from the public. Renderings of the projects will be available, Kaminsky said,

“The potential to build at Belmont is incredible and the community’s input in this process is vital,” Kaminsky said. “That is why we are hosting a listening session so that all bidders can engage with the community and clarify any points that their presentations have not made clear.”

The Islanders, who are in their third season playing home hockey games at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, are engaged in negotiations over modifying their 25-year license agreement.

The team, which declined to comment Monday, has until Jan. 30 to opt out of the agreement. The team is contractually obligated to play in Brooklyn through next season.

NYCFC, a soccer club partially owned by the New York Yankees, wants to build a 26,000-seat soccer-specific stadium.

“We are actively pursuing a number of possible stadium sites and Belmont is one of them,” an NYCFC representative said in a statement.

ESD, the state’s primary business development agency, has provided no timeline for picking a winner for the Belmont development.

“Belmont Park represents an opportunity for vibrant community and economic growth in the region and we’re currently reviewing proposals for the site,” said ESD spokeswoman Amy Varghese.

With Jim Baumbach

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