On July 24, the City Council reached a $500 million agreement with the USTA over a plan to lease an additional 0.68 acres of land to expand the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
While some residents showed concern over the project’s $10.05 million agreement for public safety improvements and community outreach, members of the congregation put their faith in the councilwoman’s deal with the USTA, which generates $750 million in annual revenues.
Jose Fernandez, a Corona resident and frequenter visitor of the park, asked Ferreras to ensure the park would be kept open and for additional information about the deal with the city.
“I don’t want my park to be destroyed to make a soccer stadium or anything,” Fernandez said. “When I come home from work, I’m always stressed and for my family the park is our free time.”
Ferraras assured the deal with the USTA would benefit the community through a number of outreach programs, including quarterly presentations at community boards, bi-monthly newsletters for upcoming events, jobs fairs, high school graduations and more.
“The USTA was something that we all were fighting for to ensure they would bring back the right resouces,” Ferreras said.
Other community outreach programs include local business kiosk availability, health events, summer movie screenings and adaptive tennis programs with the USTA and the disabled.
The expansion will begin in January 2014 and will take an estimated 10 years to complete. Ferreras said the USTA made more concessions to the community than originally anticipated.
“What we got was actually more than they (USTA) wanted to give,” she said.