September 29, 2017

Venable’s New York real estate team is counsel to the United States Tennis Association in their ongoing $600+ million expansion and renovation

3 min

Venable's New York real estate team is counsel to the United States Tennis Association in the ongoing $600+ million expansion and renovation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, which is expected to be completed in 2018.

This year's US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens marks the last year of the ongoing grounds expansion and renovations before the final element of the five-year project, the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, is unveiled in 2018. A temporary stadium was in place this year, after the original 1964 World's Fair–era stadium building was demolished. Recent US Open tournaments unveiled other elements of the project, including the retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, and the addition of new tournament courts, new promenades and viewing stands, and improved circulation. A team of Venable attorneys – led by partners Gordon Davis and Sue Golden – have been working with the USTA in connection with the renovation and expansion since 2010. The $600+ million project was announced in 2012.

Our attorneys regularly represent not-for-profit entities, such as the USTA, seeking permits, rezoning, variances, and other approvals for new development, alterations and expansion projects, and rehabilitation or restoration activities. For this important project, which has helped accommodate more than 100,000 new spectators at the two-week tournament each year, USTA and Venable had to navigate various approvals and issues with state and city agencies even before the plans were announced. As the Center is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a city park, the USTA leases the land from the city. The necessary lease amendment for the project required state legislation and the city Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP). Venable guided the USTA through ULURP, a City Environmental Quality Review, alienation of park land, numerous public hearings, and renegotiation of its long-term lease. In addition to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, the project was reviewed by the City Planning Commission, the Public Design Commission, seven local community boards, the Queens borough president, the city council, the mayor’s office, the state office of parks, and the state legislature.

Gordon Davis and Sue Golden lead Venable's New York Land Use team. With their colleagues in New York, they have been involved in expansion and redevelopment projects that have shaped the city's cultural and social landscape, including the American Museum of Natural History, the World Trade Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, the new Moynihan Train Hall in the Farley Post Office Building, the Pacific Park public open space in Brooklyn, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Performance Facility at the Time Warner Center.