By Steve Mosco
Condos could soon replace courts at a historic tennis stadium in Forest Hills, a source said.
According to a source close to the situation who asked not to be identified, the West Side Tennis Club has singled out a developer’s plan from a pool of four proposals to build low-rise condos on some of the clay courts within the stadium. The club accepted request for proposals for projects on the grounds last year, with the stipulation that any developer would have to keep the storied stadium’s existing façade.
Any deal agreed upon by the developer and the stadium committee would be subject to a two-thirds vote approval by club members and the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation would also have to OK the deal, the source said.
The West Side Tennis Club did not return requests for comment and the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation chose not to comment at this time on any possible deal.
Club officials had reached a deal with developer Cord Meyer in 2010 to demolish the stadium and build condos, but the deal failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority vote from club members.
Michael Perlman, president of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, said his organization would not support any plan that would raze the existing stadium.
“Rego-Forest Preservation Council supports the preservation and restoration of the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, and we won’t back any plan that features alterations and demolition,” he said. “We haven’t seen the new low-rise condo plan, so we are unsure if we would support that.”
The city Landmarks Preservation Commission last year considered landmarking the stadium, which played host to the first US Open in 1923, but upkeep for the arena would be too costly to return its to landmark status. The commission cited water damage and crumbling concrete as the main reasons for the structure’s ineligibility.
The stadium hosted the US Open until 1978, when the event shifted to Flushing Meadows and during its history, the stadium held concerts by iconic musical acts The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and many others.