UPPER EAST SIDE — It may be the last serve for a Tennis club that's monopolized the park land under Queensboro Bridge Park for the past 20 years.
Locals and politicians have long fought to reopen the Queensboro Oval to the public, a space that's been leased to Sutton East Tennis for decades and whose contract with the city is set to expire in August next year.
Now the community might finally get its way, as Parks officials confirmed on Tuesday that they will hold off on putting out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new concessionaire at the location once the lease ends.
"NYC Parks is continuing our open dialogue with community stakeholders, including local elected officials and the Community Board to determine the best way to activate this space for sports and recreational purposes," said Parks spokeswoman Crystal Howard.
In the meantime, the agency will look into the feasibility of converting the space, located at East 59th Street, into a public park and how much it would cost to do so.
Residents first heard of the news from Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver who spoke during a Community Board 8 Parks Committee meeting on Sept. 30, board members said.
The Parks Department will also need to meet with the Department of Transportation about any concerns related to the DOT's access of the bridge overhead, according to members.
Once all avenues are explored, the city will decide whether to put out an RFP for a new operator or to extend its lease with Sutton East Tennis for another one or two years, they said.
Silver said it would likely take three and a half years to open the space as a fully-accessible public park, according to CB8 members.
For almost two decades, Sutton East Tennis has used the 1-acre public park for its tennis bubble, charging players anywhere from $80 to $225 an hour.
Politicians, including Councilman Ben Kallos and Assemblyman Dan Quart, have said reopening the space is dire, considering the lack of green space in the neighborhood.
CB8 chairman Jim Clynes said his goal is to reach 1,000 signatures by Halloween.
The board's parks committee will gather to discuss the issue again on Thursday, Oct. 6. The meeting will be held at the Brick Presbyterian Church on East 92nd Street at 6:30 p.m.