Potential Belmont Park developer the Blumenfeld Development Group presented its vision for the south lot of the racetrack to the community on May 18 at the Elmont Library. The company’s plan would make a Costco an anchor retailer, with recreation facilities, a community center, restaurants and other retail space spread throughout the 28 acres of state-owned land.
“[Our plan] creates a lot of high-quality jobs,” said Vice President Brad Blumenfeld, who presented the plan with his father, Edward, the company’s president. “It creates a great park that’s going to be vibrant for the community. It’s a game changer, a total game changer.”
In the fall of 2012, the Empire State Development Corporation sent out a request for proposals for developing the park’s north and south parcels. Four developers responded in February 2013, and six months later, state officials said that a decision would be made within weeks. Two and a half years later, the development corporation removed the north lot from consideration, contacted the developers and asked for updated bids, but it has yet to reach a decision.
“We are re-engaging respondents in order to obtain the best possible deal for the state,” Empire State spokesman Jason Conwell said in a statement.
Though no timetable has been offered by the state, Blumenfeld is optimistic about its chances of landing the bid. “The state has been very tight to the vest,” Brad Blumenfeld said. “I speak to their representative frequently, and he just doesn’t have any movement. It’s bizarre.”
The Blumenfeld plan is in line with the Elmont Vision Plan, a proposal that residents created for the development of Hempstead Turnpike in 2006. At the time, residents said they wanted to see a business district that would serve as the hub for the community. Blumenfeld officials say they believe their proposal is in residents’ best interests, and would not only provide an economic boost for the area, but transform Elmont and Hempstead Turnpike into a “gateway” destination.