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North Hempstead to sue over stalled Roslyn Country Club deal

North Hempstead Town Hall on Sept. 1, 2015.

North Hempstead Town Hall on Sept. 1, 2015. Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

The Town of North Hempstead has announced it will begin litigation against the owner of the Roslyn Country Club for breach of contract.

The town board voted 7-0 Tuesday to authorize litigation against Corona Realty Holdings LLC, the owner of the recreational facility in Roslyn Heights that the town agreed to purchase nearly five years ago.

The country club’s owner “refused to move forward” on the agreement that would have allowed the town to buy the club and rehabilitate its former pool and recreation facility, town officials said.

“The community is rightly frustrated by this situation, and we hope that this action will move the situation forward in a positive direction,” said Supervisor Judi Bosworth in a news release. “The residents of Roslyn Country Club deserve a functional pool facility in the community, and the Town will explore all options necessary to accomplish that goal, including this litigation.”

Roslyn Country Club is also a neighborhood with about 700 homes; the residents previously had access to the recreational facility, which has been shuttered for more than a decade.

Town councilman Peter Zuckerman said that Corona Realty had “acted in bad faith and not lived up to the terms of the agreement.” Zuckerman added that the owner refused to complete closing on the town’s proposed sale of the property. He declined to comment further on why the owner had breached the contract and whether pending litigation between Corona Realty and Roslyn Country Club residents was stalling the process.

Town officials told Newsday in December 2016 that under the contract between the town and the country club’s owner, the town could not close on the sale until all litigation was resolved.

The club shut down in 2007 after Corona Realty unsuccessfully sued residents in an attempt to raise the $150 annual club membership fee. Initially, nearly 400 homeowners countersued. Now, only one lawsuit filed by 28 Stirrup Lane LLC remains. The case is in Nassau County First District Court, after being transferred from Nassau State Supreme Court last year. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs and defendants could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Zuckerman said that the goal of the lawsuit is to “facilitate the re-engaging of the contract to purchase this property” and that Corona Realty had been unresponsive to town efforts over the past year.

In December 2016, the town began an appraisal process to potentially condemn the property. Zuckerman said that the appraisal is still ongoing and that condemnation has not been ruled out as an option.

The town board also voted unanimously Tuesday to retain outside counsel to assist with litigation, authorizing a payment not to exceed $15,000 to Uniondale-based Harris Beach PLLC.

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