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Asphalt Green Slated to Open by Dec. 1

BATTERY PARK CITY — The delays that have stalled the opening of the Asphalt Green community center for nearly a year will soon come to an end, officials said.

Battery Park City Authority chairman Dennis Mehiel announced in a statement Tuesday that the authority will "try" to open the 52,000-square-foot complex at 212 North End Ave. on December 1. 

"It is a matter of weeks and not months before the community center will open," said Matthew Monahan, a spokesperson for the authority.

After Mehiel’s announcement, Anthony Notaro, chairman of Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee, said at a meeting Tuesday night that the board needed to work on bettering its communication with the BPCA moving forward.

“We’re out of sync with the authority,” Notaro said. “Now the focus needs to be on a relationship between us, the Battery Park City Authority and the operator" of Asphalt Green.

Community Board 1 revealed at an executive committee meeting October 18 that the authority obtained fire safety and occupancy permits from the city earlier this month, clearing the way for the $55 million community center to open. 

Notaro said the complex was first envisioned in February 2001 when CB1, the Battery Park City Authority and elected officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to open a community center.

Since then several changes have occurred, including the authority’s decision in 2008 to replace the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy with Asphalt Green to execute the project.

A series of delays then continued to push back the opening date, which was slated for November 2011.

Frustrated residents who pre-purchased memberships to the club, created petitions and held rallies to pressure the BPCA posted on Twitter Tuesday that they are pleased with the news

Jamie Propp, a Battery Park City resident who helped organize protests to pressure the authority, said at the Community Board 1 meeting Tuesday night that he was happy with the results.

 “We were frustrated residents of Battery Park City who decided to try to organize the community and learn a little bit more because we were frustrated by the long delays in opening,” Propp said.

“We hope that now that things are going in the right direction and it looks like there’s a date, we hope the community board doesn’t try to broadside the process and move forward.”