LIRR station sought for $1B Belmont Park project as opposition mounts

April 08, 2019 03:02PM

Empire State Development (ESD), which is overseeing the $1.18 billion plan to build a retail and entertainment complex at Belmont Park in Nassau County, will expand its environmental review of the project to look into adding a full-time Long Island Rail Road station at the site, Newsday reported. The proposed transit line would be part of the LIRR’s main line, but no decision has yet been made as to where it will be located. ESD officials vowed that the review will finish by June. The development team behind the project, New York Arena Partners, lauded the potential transit addition. The new station could appease some opponents of the project who fear it will bring an influx of traffic to the area. Earlier this month, Newsday reported that the California-based Crux Group had launched Elmont Against the Megamall, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping the Belmont Park development. In a sign of its potential firepower, the group has partnered with Mercury Public Affairs lobbyist Michael McKeon, who once worked for New York Gov. George Pataki. So far, the initiative has $650,000 in the bank, funds that Newsday reported it received from another out-of-state entity, Virginia-based Citizens for Responsible Community. Elmont Against the Megamall has already taken $482,000 of that sum and given it to the Crux Group, according to Newsday, which noted that the nonprofit does have four local residents on its board in Kevin Barnes, Tony Bhatti, Will Cook and Grisselle Gonzalez. [Newsday]