DOB Clears Asphalt Green to Open, but No Opening Date is Set

Battery Park City's community center, operated by Asphalt Green, was originally slated to open in November 2011.


The opening of Battery Park City’s long-delayed community center is now out of the Department of Building’s hands—but the day when residents will access the center’s pools and basketball courts is still uncertain.

According to documents obtained by Community Board 1 this week, the Battery Park City Authority was issued a temporary certificate of occupancy for the space on Oct. 3.

The Authority had said for months that permitting issues were causing delays at the 60,000 square-feet recreational and fitness space. Then, last month, it revealed that it was in the midst of ongoing contract negotiations with the space’s selected operator, Asphalt Green.

“As of right now we know the permits are in place for occupancy,” board chair Catherine McVay Hughes said. “That's all.”

Spokesmen for Asphalt Green did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Matt Monahan, spokesman for the Battery Park City Authority, could not be immediately reached for comment but, in a voicemail message, confirmed that the center had received a temporary certificate of occupancy.

While contract negotiations continue, many in the community are becoming increasingly impatient over the nearly year-long delay.

More than 50 people attended a rally on  Thursday calling for the center to open, along with a “change of direction for the Battery Park City community center, including a complete revision of the contract.”

Organizers of the rally also called for the the Authority to sign a memorandum of understanding written by the community board that outlines what kinds of community services the center’s operator would provide.

Another group of Battery Park City residents, calling on the Battery Park City Authority to open the center immediately with Asphalt Green as its operator, is planning to meet on Sunday on the ballfield terrace to “help frustrated community members understand the issues.” They also plan to attend the monthly Community Board meeting on Oct. 23. (The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton Street.)

The center’s facilities, including a pool and basketball court, is a “dangling carrot for all who walk by,” Jamie Propp wrote on the “about us” section of the Facebook page “BPC Rally to Open Asphalt Green.”

“We want to know what is going on and we want Asphalt Green to open expeditiously,” Propp wrote.