A town meeting saw two plans proposed for the Roslyn Heights, N.Y., facility that would transform the shuttered property into a special park district. The costs of the plans range from $7.5 million for seasonal use to $15 million for year-round use.
A plan to transform Roslyn Country Club’s recreation facilities as a special park district has been met with support from residents, the New Hyde Park (N.Y.) Island Now reported.
The first plan proposed for the Roslyn Heights, N.Y., property calls for a facility renovation for seasonal use at a cost of $7.5 million to $7.75 million. The second plan calls for all-seasons use that includes covered tennis courts at a cost of $15 million, the Island Now reported.
“I argue and continue to argue that with interest rates where they are, this is the time to invest,” Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman said.
Town Councilman Thomas Dwyer, who represents Roslyn Heights on the town board, said the plan includes offering park memberships to 400 to 500 town residents outside the Roslyn Heights development to “subsidize operational expenses,” with any shortfall to be covered by the resident members, the Island Now reported.
Resident members would pay an average of $800-$1,000 in taxes to cover the cost of renovating the park facilities under the basic plan, including an upgrade to the existing pool and resurfacing the seven tennis courts. The “all-seasons” plan would include the indoor tennis courts and a grill area and other amenities that would cost residents an average of $1,500-$1,600 in taxes.
Dwyer said the indoor tennis courts would enable a “break-even or better than break-even scenario” based on conversations he’d had with “experts” who run such facilities. Kaiman said there was a “decent chance” that operation costs would be covered by the outside memberships and tennis court fees, the Island Now reported.
After the meeting, Kaiman said annual operation costs of the basic plan would be $700,000 annually. If the tennis courts were enclosed, he said the town would seek a deal with a tennis academy to operate and maintain them in a profit-sharing arrangement, the Island Now reported.
Kaiman said the meeting’s purpose was not to poll residents on their preferences, but to “get a sense” of the community’s feelings.
Leslie Faber, an elderly resident, said he had no interest in the recreational facilities and feels those who are going to use them should pay for them.
“I feel imposed upon to subsidize the recreational needs of other people,” Faber said.
Kaiman said there “might be some kind of accommodation” made for the elderly residents who want to opt out of the plan, perhaps through selling their membership. Other concerns about the plan were parking space, conditions of the park, and whether membership fees would cover the costs of needed improvements, a burden that could fall on taxpayers, the Island Now reported.
Under the special district plan, the club’s owner, Manouchehr Malekan, would continue to own and operate the Royalton at Roslyn Country Club, a catering facility. Malekan closed the facilities after he and residents failed to reach an agreement on annual membership fees several years ago.
“I think we can all agree that doing this is better than keeping the club closed,” said Roslyn Country Club resident Jason Schwartz.
Malekan said that if the town does nothing, he would want to develop the property. However, the 638 lawsuits filed by residents against him over their easement rights when he closed the facilities must be dropped for sale of the property to the town to occur.
“The litigation has to end for this to happen,” Kaiman said.
C&RB has reported on Roslyn Country Club’s ongoing development.