tennis, pickleball, additional revenue to town, more recreation, 500 free programs for seniors and disabled residents, scholarships
watch link to discussion
INDOOR/OUTDOOR TENNIS FACILITY PROPOSAL FOR AF VETERAN PARK
Sportime vendor presents proposal for building/operating robust racket sports program --including pickleball
Additional revenue to town, more recreation programs, 500 free programs for seniors, disabled, scholarships offered
Introduced by Parks Commissioner Gerard Byrne, Sportime president Claude Okin made a presentation to the board during recently at a work session on draft plans for an all-season indoor-outdoor tennis facility at AF Veteran Park in Ardsley at last.
You can watch this portion of the Town Work session on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRI2LqBcbp0; a PDF of the presentation is attached.
Plans for a tennis facility at the park have been in the works for 19 years, says Bryne, with Sportime now returning again as the winner in a second call for lease proposals after the legal path has been cleared. Sportime is a large regional company with many successful facilities they have built and operate, including the biggest tennis facility in NYC at Randall’s Island, and two in Westchester at Lake Isle, Eastchester, and Harbor Island, Mamaroneck. Byrne has been searching for a way to make a facility for many years but things were put on hold with the state’s “Finneran Law,” barring residents from outside the unincorporated part of the town from using its tennis courts. Sportime had previously proposed a lease agreement in 2005, but backed out after learning that anyone would be excluded. In 2012, the state Assembly and Senate unanimously approved home rule legislation to exempt the town from the Finneran Law, paving the way for the town to build a tennis bubble for residents and nonresidents. The project has now expanded to include, at a build cost for Sportime of $10-$12M:
● A bank of hard surface courts on the south side of the Building Envelope, featuring four (4) DecoTurf, hard surface, tennis courts and six (6) DecoTurf hard surface pickleball courts, within a single 40,967 square foot air structure during the indoor season, and lighted for the outdoor season.
● A bank of six (6) Har Tru, soft surface tennis courts, constructed utilizing the latest HyQ subsurface irrigation technology, contained within a single 38,904 square foot air structure during the indoor season, and lighted for the outdoor season.
● A 8,964 square foot fabric frame structure, with removable sides, connected to the clubhouse, featuring four (4) indoor/outdoor pickleball courts, and convertible to other sports and sports training uses. In the alternative, a bubble containing those same uses.
● A 7,080 square foot clubhouse on two levels, providing viewing into both air structures from a spacious, elevated, main level viewing lounge/lobby. Also included on on the main level will be an entry vestibule/mudroom, a large, open, reception desk, with integrated work spaces, two private, unisex, ADA accessible bathrooms, a small retail area “pro shop”, a small cafe/vending area adjacent to the lounge area, with a service counter, a classroom/meeting room, locker rooms, and two enclosed office areas featuring multiple workstations. The lower level of the clubhouse will feature revolving door, airlock, access to the courts/bubbles, a clear span, functional training/fitness room, men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, and mechanical and storage spaces, including a maintenance airlock that will allow vehicular and supply access into the court areas when they are pressurized.
Unincorporated Greenburgh residents would partake of a 10% discount on membership and program fees. There would also be 500 free program hours offered annually from Sportime to include people with disabilities, seniors, and under-resourced youth. Sportime would also make a commitment to fund annually $250,000 worth of full and part-time program scholarships.
Sportime would fund the build and operate the program, giving back fees to the town that could amount to $6M during the first 15 year lease that would go back into the town parks fund.
Tennis is seeing a huge resurgence in the country, with pickleball the fastest growing sport in the world. There’s a great interest in more and improved facilities – including soft surfaces – in Greenburgh.
Next steps involve adding to the home rule legislation a clear definition of a tennis facility (that includes pickleball), a public presentation/hearing perhaps in June, with a resolution agreement anticipated for August.
I think this is a very exciting initiative with many positives for our community. The more recreation activities we offer our residents - the more desirable Greenburgh will be. People looking to move to the suburbs will be attracted to Greenburgh for our convenient and exceptional recreation and sports programs offered by both the town and the private sector. I am also very impressed by Sporttime's desire to provide Greenburgh residents with discounts and to offer hundreds of free programs to those who have disabilities and to seniors. Thier offer to provide full and part time program scholarships sets a positive example for others.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor