Labor: Time to decide on Cosmos stadium plan

New York CosmosAfter more than three years of inaction, the head of New York State’s AFL-CIO is asking that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration decide on Belmont Track-area redevelopment that includes a New York Cosmos stadium plan.

We can now measure in years the time between now and the submission by the Cosmos of a stadium plan in response to an RFP issued by the Empire State Development Corp. In April 2014 we wrote about the stadium proposal, with indications that some sort of decision be forthcoming. The plan, a $400-million privately financed Cosmos proposal for the Elmont Park site under control of the Empire State Development Corp., includes retail, restaurants, a 175-room hotel and park land, all next to a 25,000-seat stadium on a 36-acre site last used as a parking lot.

Since then: the sound of crickets chirping. And despite an economic climate that favors large projects, the Empire State Development Corp. has been silent about this redevelopment plan — a situation that caught the attention of AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento, per Politico New York:

“I respectfully request you act as swiftly as possible in approving this project and by doing so, assure the local community and the team itself that New York is committed to the Cosmos,” wrote Cilento to Empire State Development president Howard Zemsky.

It’s not clear whether a letter will do much to prod Zemsky and other state officials. But it is unusual that the state would solicit bids on such a high-profile project and then take absolutely no action — acceptance, denial — on the proposals.

RELATED STORIES: Cosmos renew push for new stadium, development; No news on the new New York Cosmos stadium front; With no MLS, Cosmos to map future; As NASL season begins, Cosmos stadium plan in limbo

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