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Volume 26 No. 62
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Islanders' Belmont Arena Project Heading To Final Approval Stages

Long Island residents, politicians and business leaders "expressed both strong support and opposition" to the Islanders’ $1.3B Belmont arena project as state agency Empire State Development "moved the proposal into the final approval stages," according to Jim Baumbach of NEWSDAY. The three hours of commentary yesterday from 50 people "occurred at an otherwise standard meeting of the state agency coordinating the project." Islanders co-Owner Jon Ledecky said, "We understand their concerns. The plan put forth today is better for their input." The ESD board meeting occurred just an hour after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a Long Island Rail Road station "would be built on the railroad's Main Line as part of the project to help alleviate traffic concerns raised by the community." Most local politicians "expressed support for the Islanders’ plans." ESD officials said that there "will be a 15-day public comment period before its board of directors votes on the project." The project also needs "approvals from the Franchise Oversight Board and Public Authorities Control Board before groundbreaking can occur." ESD said that it "expects to receive approvals this month" (NEWSDAY, 7/9).

ALL ABOARD: New York Arena Partners, the development group seeking to build the arena on state land at Belmont, has "agreed to pay" $97M of the $105M to build the Long Island Rail Road station. On Long Island, Robert Brodsky writes the expanded LIRR service, which has been discussed for years, is "considered critical to the success of the proposed 19,000-seat arena" (NEWSDAY, 7/9).