North Hempstead officials have hired Cameron Engineering & Associates for design, bidding and engineering work and construction management of tennis courts for the proposed $14.2 million Roslyn Country Club renovation project.
The town board voted 7-0 on March 31 to approve a $789,000 contract with the Woodbury firm.
Councilman Peter Zuckerman called the contract another step toward rebuilding the closed country club. But construction can't start until the town buys the property. And the purchase can't proceed until lawsuits filed by Roslyn Country Club residents are settled.
"We cannot move forward with any construction until we take title, but we have asked the engineers to prepare the bid document for the tennis courts so that we will be ready to go as soon as we own the property," Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said.
The country club, built in the 1950s, closed in 2007 after Corona Realty Holdings owner Manochehr Malekan sued community residents in an attempt to scuttle easement rights from 1959. The easements gave residents access to the pool and tennis courts for a $100 annual fee.
After the court ruled in favor of the residents, Malekan closed the country club. About 400 residents of the country club neighborhood then sued Malekan and Corona Realty Holdings, arguing that the club's closure violated their rights, including the easements. Actions against Malekan have been dismissed but not those against the company.
Todd Zarin, president of the Roslyn Country Club Civic Association, said all but two residents appear ready to drop their lawsuits to regain access.
The town plans to purchase a 7.2-acre portion of the roughly 10-acre property to create a special park district. In addition to the tennis courts, a new main pool, clubhouse, decking, food court, basketball court and playground would be built. Construction is expected to begin this year if the town is able to purchase the land, with completion targeted for 2017.
Mineola-based Corona Realty Holdings LLC would continue to own the remaining property that includes a catering facility.
North Hempstead plans to purchase the 7.2 acres with $2 million from its general fund, and the renovations would be paid for with a $12.2 million bond.