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USTA Reaches Deal to Replace Parkland for Tennis Center Expansion

By Tom Liddy | May 7, 2013 1:54pm
 Arthur Ashe Stadium at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Arthur Ashe Stadium at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
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Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

NEW YORK CITY — A deal has been struck to replace a piece of parkland that the USTA wants to use as part of its planned renovation of the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, officials said.

The tiny 0.68-acre strip, which is largely a paved road, has been a major source of contention within the community ever since plans for the renovation were announced. The USTA, which controls 42 acres of parkland, plans to build a new stadium as well as parking garages.

In exchange for the parcel, the community will receive two others in return, totaling 1.56 acres, east of David Dinkins circle, according to the USTA.

“Today’s announcement is welcome news and shows just how much we value every acre of parkland here in Queens,” said borough president Helen Marshall. “My support for the USTA proposal was conditioned on the need to replace any alienated land in our borough’s flagship park.”

The replacement parkland consists of two pieces of land that were leased to the USTA in 1993, including open space and five tennis courts that the tennis association would maintain.

"At the outset of the project, the city suggested that park improvements would result in a more meaningful degree of public benefit than an in-kind replacement for the 0.68 acres that is proposed for alienation," said Daniel Zausner, COO of the National Tennis Center.

"However, understanding that every inch of parkland is precious and after seeking input and recommendations from the local Queens communities and elected officials, the USTA, in consultation with the Parks Department, decided it was in the best interest of all parties to propose a parkland swap.”

However, the USTA said that it would be able to use the courts during the U.S. Open and "possibly other major tennis events."