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Eisenhower Ice Center Breaks Ground, Proposed Soccer Arena at Belmont

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

A look at the proposed New York Cosmos soccer stadium at Belmont Park. Credit: New York Cosmos
A look at the proposed New York Cosmos soccer stadium at Belmont Park. Credit: New York Cosmos
The groundbreaking for the new privately financed “Twin Rinks” sports complex and recreation center was held at Eisenhower Park Thursday afternoon.

The $15 million project is being funded by Chris and Peter Ferraro, former New York Rangers and United States Olympians who were also only the second set of twins in NHL history to play on the same team during the same season. Also contributing to the project are Joel Friedman of Clearview Capital Management, LLC, and Ronald Friedman of Silverman Acampora, LLP. Their consultant, Richard 'Big Daddy' Selgado of Coastal Advisors, was on hand for the groundbreaking as well.

The facility, which is slated to be finished by the fall, will have two NHL regulation-size hockey rinks inside and a rink outside for skating lessons, youth player development programs, tournaments and more.

The facility will also include four NBA/NCAA regulation-size basketball courts, a full sized turf field for lacrosse and soccer, a handball wall and an outdoor rollerblading path.

Click here to read more about the "Twin Rinks" project.

Soccer Stadium Proposed for Belmont Park

The New York Cosmos (North American Soccer League) announced earlier this week that they have submitted a privately-funded economic development proposal to the State of New York to build a world-class 25,000-seat professional soccer stadium near Belmont Racetrack.

According to a release, "Elmont Town Crossing will involve transforming two sections of Belmont Park into a vibrant entertainment complex, with a 'Restaurant Row' of nine new eateries, nearly 250,000 square feet of retail space, a 175-room hotel and the development of a brand-new 4.3 acre public park for the residential community."

The proposed development, which will be privately-funded, was formally delivered to the Empire State Development Corporation on Jan. 11 and is expected to cost more than $400 million.

The Cosmos estimate that the project would create more than 500 construction jobs and more than 3,000 full-time permanent jobs. The release states "Construction alone would generate more than $500 million, concentrated in Nassau County, plus more than $200 million in revenue annually upon completion."

Elmont Crossings will feature new transportation improvements, including improved access, enhanced parking options and better circulation for vehicles and pedestrians, according to a release. "These improvements will complement existing connections to the Cross Island Parkway and public transportation links such as the Long Island Rail Road, MTA bus and Nassau Intercounty Express (NICE) bus."

If approved, shovels will break ground in 2014 and the stadium is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, with the field being installed and stadium opening in spring 2016. Retail establishments are expected to open in the fall of 2015.

Redistricting Proposals Discussed

The North and Central Merrick Civic Association invited several guest speakers to address residents Tuesday night on the ins-and-outs of redistricting and how the public can get involved in the process.

“Any kind of legislature or congress that a state has, has to do this every 10 years,” said Brian Paul of Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization. “It’s whenever there’s a new census. There are 19 legislators and the task is to divide the county into 19 equal pieces based on population.

Paul went over the differences between the three redistricting maps currently on the table, each submitted by a distinctly different party to the Nassau Legislature — the Democratic map, the Republican map and an alternative, nonpartisan map recently submitted by the Nassau United Redistricting Coalition.

“The Democrats took the existing districts and tried to change as little as possible, legally speaking,” Paul said. “The Republican plan is pretty much an outright partisan gerrymander. They’re trying to get as many Republicans in the legislature as possible with this plan. There’s no attention paid to keeping logical community groupings together.”

“The Common Cause plan is to start with the existing districts, but try to improve them as much as possible based on town boundaries and community interests,” Paul added. “In plain English, common sense districts.”

Click here to read more about what was said at the meeting.

Free Legal Clinic Opens Its Doors for Businesses Impacted by Sandy

County Executive Ed Mangano announced this week that the Nassau Business Recovery Task Force and the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University have joined to establish a legal clinic that will offer free assistance to local small businesses recovering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Through this faculty-supervised experiential learning program, second- and third-year law students will offer transactional legal assistance, such as drafting and negotiating contracts, and on a wide range of legal issues that have arisen in Sandy’s wake, such as leases and renovations.

The clinic opens its doors on Jan. 11 and, initially will be staffed by six students, who will attend a weekly a seminar taught by Haber as well as do hands-on legal work.

Small businesses interested in these legal services, including nonprofits and community groups, should contact Kathleen Conti at or 516-463-5934 or Kathleen.A.Conti@hofstra.edu for further information or to apply.

Since the Nassau Business Recovery Task Force was established, hundreds of calls have been received on its hotline: (516) 571-1745. Businesses in need of assistance also can email LEADS@NassauIDA.org or visit www.nassaubackinbusiness.org.

Mangano Announces Receipients of Free Veteran's Wedding Contest

Marine Sgt. Ryan Donnelly and his fiancée, Army veteran Tina McGrory, were announced as the winners of Nassau’s Free Wedding for a Veteran Contest earlier this week.

Donnelly and McGrory will receive, free of charge, a bridal gown, reception for up to 50 people, hotel rooms for the couple and their out of town guests, flowers, DJ, video and photo services and party favors.

Sgt. Donnelly served in three tours of duty, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. During his last deployment to Iraq in 2005, his Humvee was struck by an IED. After weeks of infection, his right leg was amputated above the knee. He received the Purple Heart.

1_Good_Guy January 19, 2013 at 09:11 AM
Can you say Cross Island Parkway traffic NIGHTMARE!
Jonathan Kaplan January 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM
The Cosmos project is very ambitious, I hope it works out, but sounds too grandiose for a team that hasn't even proved itself in the minor leagues.
GcSupporter#2 January 19, 2013 at 04:15 PM
The soccer stadium is the best idea I have heard in a while. The Cosmos may be a small club but the international club and national team games that will be held there will bring a lot of people and money in. Both the mets and Yankees saw their biggest attendance numbers from soccer games. Franklin field holds dozens of games a year as well as national and international rugby. Could do very well.
BSM January 19, 2013 at 05:47 PM
I wonder how the residents of the areas surrounding Belmont feel about the increased traffic. Despite the blurb regarding improved transportation you can't widen any of the existing roads without disrupting traffic, businesses and homes. And other than the construction jobs the others will just be more minimum wage jobs - no significant boost to the economy.

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