After filing for bankruptcy and selling its property, Bay Terrace Country Club has three summers to get itself afloat, its leaders said.
The club’s property at 217-14 24th Ave. and 24-14 Little Neck Blvd. attracted no bidders at an auction Tuesday, which has set the stage for the organization’s lender, A Real Yyz L.P., to move forward with its prior $5.5 million offer.
Once a federal bankruptcy judge approves the arrangement, proceeds from the sale will go toward the roughly $4.35 million the club owes creditors, its attorney, Joel Shafferman, said in court Wednesday. A Real Yyz has agreed to lease the location to Bay Terrace Country Club for the next three summers, according to court documents. During that period, the club will pay $1,000 in rent annually on top of real estate taxes, court papers show.
Maureen Hilsdorf, president of the Board of Governors of the club, said it has grown into a neighborhood institution and intends to continue serving the more than 300 families in its membership for years to come.
"We’re not giving up yet," Hilsdorf said. "The whole community is up in arms about this … Everybody is calling us, saying, ‘You can’t let this go.’"
Established in 1961, the cooperatively owned club boasts views of the Little Neck Bay and offers members access to an Olympic-size pool, paddle and basketball courts, a playground and a cafe, according to court filings.
The organization filed for bankruptcy in May 2018, and once the auction was scheduled, some community leaders said they feared the property would predominantly attract owners looking to change the zoning and construct high-rises.
"We just cannot accommodate the extra congestion, the impact on the infrastructure," said Warren Schreiber, first vice president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. "It would be out of character."
Paul Graziano, a historic preservationist and planner who lives in northeast Queens, said his team was looking very seriously at the property.
"We’ll be monitoring what happens with the property going forward," Graziano said.
Hilsdorf, however, said the lack of bidders boded well for those looking to maintain the community’s character.
"It’s not a buildable property," she said, noting that the club’s property does not extend to the water, as it may appear, and includes Little Neck Boulevard, which is leased from the city.
Evan Newman, an attorney representing A Real Yyz, did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the firm’s plans for the site.