NEW YORK CITY—New York State’s Empire State Development Corp. has issued a Request for Proposals to redevelop up to 43 acres at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.
The two parcels both are currently vacant and underutilized parking lots. The goal of the RFP is to strengthen Nassau County-based Belmont Park as a premier destination for entertainment, sports, recreation, retail and hospitality.
Site A contains a total of approximately eight acres, bordered on the south by Hempstead Turnpike and adjacent to the Cross Island Parkway. Site B contains a total of approximately 28 acres and is located south of the Hempstead Turnpike.
Respondents may also propose an alternative, which includes Sites A and B and land adjacent to Site A, north of Hempstead Turnpike. Additional land adjacent to Site A would total no more than seven acres additional acres. Respondents who wish to submit an alternative development proposal must also submit a proposal for the sites, state officials say.
An optional site visit is scheduled for Aug. 17 and the proposal due date is Sept. 28th at 2 p.m.
“Belmont Park represents an exciting and much-anticipated development opportunity on Long Island,” says ESD president, CEO, and commissioner Howard Zemsky. “We encourage respondents to submit creative proposals that stimulate vibrant community and economic growth in the region.”
The current zoning for each site is residential. The selected designated developer would have to seek a zoning override for the new uses planned for their development.
According to ESD’s RFP, “Development of each site must be complementary to horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering. Respondents are encouraged to include proposals for the development of entertainment, sports, recreation, hospitality and retail uses.” ESD stated that proposals for residential development, video lottery terminals, table games, pari-mutuel and simulcast wagering, or horse racing will not be considered.
The sites are currently owned by the State of New York, acting by and through the New York State Franchise Oversight Board, and are leased through a long-term ground lease to the New York Racing Association, which is set to expire on Sept.12, 2033. The RFP notes that New York State has the ability to sever Sites A and B from the ground lease.
Each site will be offered to the Designated Developer through a long-term lease granted by the FOB. Respondents are requested to specify the term of lease and other terms of the ground lease and lease necessary to permit financing of the proposed project on each site.
Belmont Park is a major thoroughbred horseracing facility that first opened in 1905 and has been home to the storied Belmont Stakes. The park was completely redeveloped in 1964-1968. The grandstand is one of the largest in thoroughbred racing, with seating for 33,000 and a total capacity of more than 100,000. Races are currently run at Belmont from the end of April through mid-July and again from early September through October (the “Fall Meet”). From mid-July through August and from November through April (a period of seven-and-a-half months in total), there are no races at the track.
Belmont Park is located within Elmont, an unincorporated hamlet in Nassau County in the Town of Hempstead. The hamlet is approximately 3.4 square miles and has approximately 30,000 residents. Belmont Park is also bordered on the north by the incorporated village of Floral Park and is near the Queens border and Cambria Heights.