Islanders' new home in Belmont Park draws opposition

Belmont Park will be the new home of the New York Islanders, but residents of the surrounding area say they are torn on the $1.3B project coming to their backyard.

The Empire State Development board voted unanimously on the final environmental impact study which will include the construction of a new hockey arena, shopping mall and train station at Belmont Park. 

In a statement, ESD President and CEO Howard Zemsky said that the project will transform underutilized parking lots into a world-class destination, adding: “We are proud of the open, public process this project has gone through over the last two years, strengthened by the input and support of community members who made their voices heard and helped improve the plan, resulting in today’s positive outcome.”

However, concerns remain for some living near the site.

“Lack of transparency and need,” said Tammie Williams of the Belmont Park Community Coalition. “We have the Nassau Coliseum if you want to renovate there and you just donated to renovate there, then that’s where the Islanders should be. This is not about the Islanders, this is about community first.”

Earlier this week, Floral Park Mayor Dominic Longobardi held a press conference asking for more time to review new information in the final environmental impact study, saying in a statement to FOX 5 NY: “With the approval of this project, many issues raised remain unresolved. Not only for Floral Park, but for our neighboring communities as well.”

“This is not over, and we will take it to court,” Williams said.