Terrace on the Park operators want to upgrade the facility and are looking to get a new lease on the popular and historic Flushing Meadows-Corona Park catering hall to do so.
Their contract with the city’s Parks Department expires next March, officials said.
The department has issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 52-11 111th Street site.
“While the current concessionaire has invested more than $8 million in capital improvements, exceeding the requirements of their license agreement, it is clear that additional infrastructure investments are needed,” a Parks spokesperson said.
George Makkos, co-owner of Terrace on the Park, said they have invested $12 million so far to better the catering hall.
But the 100,000-square-foot building needs “millions” of dollars more in capital improvements which cannot be done under the looming lease expiration date, Makkos said.
“Given the size and complexity of the building, the money that we will need to spend will never be recovered in the time, in the lease that we have left,” he said.
Makkos said he and co-owner Jimmy Kaloidis want to retain and upgrade the catering hall.
“We’re trying to extend the lease for a new term so we can spend what’s needed and a lot more to bring the building to a state which is sufficient so it can compete in the wedding and corporate banquet business as it should,” he said.
The city must launch a procedural public bidding process.
“It’s a huge building. Everything becomes a big deal,” Makkos said. “A simple remodeling could cost a million dollars.”
The proposal process is competitive but open to any entities, including the current concessionaire, the Parks Department said.
Terrace on the Park was built for the 1964 World’s Fair and has been a catering hall for nearly 50 years.
The current contract was scheduled to expire in March 2020 but was amended to expire in March 2014, officials said.
A Parks Department spokesperson said the change is not related to any development proposals at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
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