A historic Queens stadium might once again serve up tennis.
Reports have revealed the latest bid to save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is coming from Stadium Arts Alliance, a nonprofit that wants to redesign the site and convert it into a space for tennis, concerts, art shows and possibly minor league hockey.
The nonprofit is one of the groups that submitted a proposal to the West Side Tennis Stadium’s Request for Proposals – which ended on November 4.
Besides the Stadium Arts Alliance’s proposal, Cord Meyer proposed a new plan for condos, and other proposals also involved demolition for residential development. This is the second redevelopment plan proposed by Cord Meyer, the first of which was voted down in October of 2010.
Since that vote failed, the West Side Tennis Club voted out Kenneth Parker, the club’s president who was in favor of condo development, in favor of new president Roland Meier.
For any proposal to materialize, it would be subject to a review by the Stadium Committee, and in 2012, it would need to pass by a 2/3 vote of the West Side Tennis Club’s voting-eligible members, followed by approval of the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation.
Michael Perlman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council said that a creative revitalization of the property would serve the surrounding community – and the history of the stadium.
“I feel that mixed-use creative revitalization and restoration for our country’s first concrete tennis stadium, and home to firsts in the tennis and music world, will convey historic pride, create jobs, and be a boost to our quality of life, character, property values, and local business, as well as become a 21st-century family destination,” he said. “We will support any plan that preserves and restores the stadium, while sensitively adapting it for mixed-use incentives involving tennis and/or other sports, concerts, and music and art festivals.”
The Stadium Arts Alliance is comprised of developer and president Kevin McCabe and chairman John Banks. McCabe is the founding partner and chief executive of the Aviator Sports & Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field, and John Banks is the vice president of government relations for Con Edison and a New York Public Library and MTA board member.
Neither McCabe nor Banks returned The Courier’s requests for comment.