USTA Looks To Distance Its Flushing Meadows Project From Other Land Proposals
The USTA “hopes to expand its Queens facility by less than an acre into Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but is seeking to distance itself from other contentious projects planned for the borough’s largest greenspace," according to Joe Anuta of the Queens TIMES LEDGER. The USTA is “currently in the process of trying to acquire 0.68 acres of parkland and include it in its lease, which would basically take away the space occupied by three lanes of an internal roadway and pedestrian path used by the city Parks Department and parkgoers.” The association "hopes to finish the approval process to acquire the sliver of parkland by the latter part of 2014.” Development in the park has “come under increasing scrutiny in the last few months, with the news that the Willets Point redevelopment project would place a mall on what is technically parkland -- now a Citi Field parking lot -- and the proposed Major League Soccer stadium in place of a nearby fountain.” National Tennis Center Managing Dir Dan Zausner said, “I think it is important for us not to be confused with those other projects. We have a very strong proven track record.” Anuta notes cities like Abu Dhabi, Madrid and Shanghai also are "building facilities that will put them on par with the current grand slam venues.” Zausner: “In five to 10 years, it’s not unthinkable that a player could choose between playing in some tournament much closer to home and getting paid much more of a guarantee than having to come to New York and work his way through two weeks of matches to get to that final round and make the big payday. These are real legitimate concerns for us” (Queens TIMES LEDGER, 10/27).