NYC Parks drops idea to purchase defunct City Island private marina for concession

The Stuyvesant Yacht Club is on the eastern end of Centre Street.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

City Island concerns about the possibility of a public marina in their community have been erased.

NYC Parks Department had expressed interest in purchasing the Stuyvesant Yacht Club in 2015 after its membership was unable to meet pressing financial obligations.

The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy damaged member’s boats that were in dry dock.

As a result, the marina had a steep drop in membership which caused a dramatic loss in revenue, severely affecting the club’s prosperity.

Parks had been in conversation with the private club’s board about acquiring the three parcels of land where the private marina was located for nine decades.

In a recent development, sources confirm the yacht club on Centre Street will not be sold to Parks after the City Island Civic Association and local residents objected to the plan.

“While NYC Parks worked with Stuyvesant Yacht Club to explore the possibility of making this property part of Parks’ portfolio of public marinas, the club voted in favor of a private land sale,” stated a Parks spokesman.

CICA wrote two letters to the Parks Department explaining that certain stipulations would be needed for the community to accept a public facility, and filed Freedom of Information Law requests, retrieving files and e-mails on the matter, said John Doyle, CICA corresponding secretary.

“The civic and our elected officials really served as watch dogs on this,” said Doyle, “I think this is an example of people coming together to keep a watchful eye on things and letting the agencies know that there were serious concerns on this.”

“I am a believer in public access to the waterfront, but there are more appropriate places,” said Doyle, adding that a public marina would have changed the character of the quiet residential street.

It is unclear what the future use of the property will be at this point, sources said.

Since the club’s new owner is a private individual, the only opportunity the civic group will have to review any future plans would be if there is an application to change the zoning, stated Barbara Dolensek, CICA vice president.

“Should he have to change the zoning, we are going to hear about it in due course, I am sure” she stated.

Centre Street resident Michael Prohaska said that it is his understanding that the Stuyvesant has been sold to a current resident on the block.

He said he was happy with the outcome because he believed something was going to happen to the yacht club property, and he did not feel that NYC Parks was transparent regarding their plans.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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