Full Cost to Taxpayers and MTA/LIRR of Belmont Park, Queens Redevelopment Project Needs To Be Disclosed

In December 2017,  Governor Cuomo and the Empire State Development Corporation announced that after a competitive selection process, the State would award state land adjacent to the Belmont horse racing track to a real estate development partnership, New York Arena Partners, to build a 18,000 seat arena for the NY Islanders, a hotel, retail mall, public open space and parking lots. As part of the deal, the Governor and ESD also said the Long Island Railroad would increase service to the Belmont Park Station, which is on a spur and only served by LIRR on the days of major races. Among other things, Reinvent Albany is concerned that expanded LIRR service could be expensive and a bad investment for the MTA and state taxpayers. Below is the testimony that Reinvent Albany submitted to the Empire State Development Authority in which we ask ESD to “Ensure that scoping documents estimate the full cost to state and local taxpayers, and the value to the businesses building the project, of each development scenario and each part of each scenario.”