NYCFC’s Architects Visited Belmont Site

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The architectural firm and facility management team that designed New York City FC‘s soon-to-be completed training facility in Orangeburg, N.Y., visited Belmont Park in Elmont last week, state documents show.

David Hodge, a partner with the Rafael Viñoly Architects firm and John Stemp, the managing director of Proleisure, are listed as having attended a site visit hosted by the Empire State Development Corporation on Aug. 17. The visit was held for anyone who would potentially be interested in submitting a proposal to develop the site. Interested parties have until Sept. 28 to submit bids.

Rafael Viñoly and Proleisure have long-standing relationships with City Football Group and NYCFC. The firms designed the City Football Academy in Manchester, England, and the training center in Rockland County that will be completed next year. New York City did contact the development corporation during the first request for proposal process but never submitted a bid. The New York Cosmos did submit a bid 2012 before it was ultimately rejected last year.

The ESD re-sent a request for proposals on July 31 of this year. The New York Islanders through the Oak View Group and Sterling Project Development are interested in submitting a bid and have the backing of local elected officials eager to get the team to return to Nassau County. The Blumenfield Development Corporation is also considering to submit a bid to develop the site for retail purposes.

The site is outside New York City limits and is divided into two parcels. The larger parcel sits on 28 acres on Hempstead Turnpike directly east of the Cross Island Parkway in Elmont. A smaller, eight-acre parcel is across the street adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road station and within feet of the Belmont Park grandstand. A tunnel connects the two parcels. According to the RFP, developers are being encouraged to submit proposals that can be for sports and entertainment use. ESD said it will not consider any bid that involves residential use.

Requests for comment from NYCFC, Rafael Viñoly and Stemp have not been returned.