The West Side Tennis Club elected a new president Friday, the same day a request for proposals was due to develop land within the club’s tennis stadium.
In a three-way race, the club voted at a private meeting to elect Roland Meier, who will replace Kenneth Parker, president of the club for three years, a source from the group said.
Meier, who won by a “substantial margin,” according to the source, also defeated club member Jack Morris.
Meier, who runs a logistics company in Forest Hills, could not be reached for comment.
The election took place the same day the request for proposals for the storied West Side Tennis Stadium were due. The city Landmarks Preservation Commission considered landmarking the stadium, which played host to the first US Open in 1923, but upkeep for the arena is costly.
Parker reached an agreement with developer Cord Meyer to raze the stadium and build condos, but the plan was voted down by the board last year.
Half of the membership supported Cord Meyer’s plan, less than the two-thirds majority required to approve it.
Those against the proposal voted it down because they believed the club would not get enough money out of the deal. Others said they hoped the US Open, now played at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, would return to the club.
The RFP only allows for plans that would keep the stadium’s existing facade with development limited to the clay courts.
A member of the club doubted the Cord Meyer agreement was what led to Meier’s election.
“I don’t think the stadium had anything to do with it,” the source said. “On occasion, people want change.”
Anthony Colletti, of Cord Meyer, said the company submitted another bid and proposed condos for the area.
“We’re skeptical that anything’s going to happen,” Colletti said, referring to the two-thirds vote required to approve a plan.
Another vote on the stadium’s future is not expected soon.
First, the club’s stadium committee has to review the proposals and report their findings to the membership.
A club member said they were hopeful “there will be four or five or six bids” this time around.
The tennis club would not say how many bids it received or who the bidders were, but an employee of one developer who considered submitting a bid said their firm decided against it.
“These people have so many demands and they want the stadium to remain,” the employee said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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