State seeking bids to develop land around Belmont Park

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ELMONT -

The state is seeking bids for plans to develop land around Belmont Park, and hockey fans are hoping it could clear the way for a new home for the New York Islanders.

The state is accepting proposals to develop 43 underused acres of land. All bids must include plans to enhance the existing racetrack.

East Elmont Civic Association member Pat Nicolosi is pulling for the site to become an arena or entertainment complex. 

MORE ON THIS STORY: Read more at Newsday.com

"If the Islanders don't get this, they're leaving the state and that would be devastating," Nicolosi says.

Some residents say tax revenue from such a project would help bolster schools and services like fire and police departments.

Other homeowners, like Matthew Sexton, aren't sold on the idea. "I want to see smart development, not big development," he says.

Sexton says having a technology-based industry at the site would create high-paying jobs, something he believes an entertainment complex cannot offer. He adds that homeowners could see a decline in their property values if an arena is constructed there.

Developers now have about two months to submit proposals for the site.

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