New York Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky says he remains optimistic about beginning construction soon on the team’s planned new arena at Belmont Park.
“We’re looking forward to breaking ground this summer,” he told Newsday. “That’s the best way to put it.”
Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency co-ordinating the project, acknowledged on June 27 that the next step in the timeline — the release of the final environmental impact statement — will be delayed from its original time of June 30.
ESD spokesman Jack Sterne said in a statement that the environmental report will be released in July, which won’t affect the construction timeline. The release of the final environmental report is the final step before the project begins the approval stage and construction can begin.
“We know that Long Islanders feel passionately about this project, and we are in the process of scheduling a board meeting in July specifically to release the Final Environmental Impact Statement,” Sterne said. “Fans, community members and local leaders can rest assured that at this time, we do not expect any major effect on the arena’s scheduled opening.”
Ledecky said he didn’t have a target date for the groundbreaking and insisted there was no significant holdup in the timeline.
“No hitches,” Ledecky he told the newspaper. “Full steam ahead.”
The project includes a 250-room hotel and 435,000 sq. ft. of retail. Residents have expressed concerned about traffic volumes in an already-congested area. Newsday reports that ESD is considering building a full-time Long Island Rail Road station to the main line, north of Belmont.