Some local groups have expressed concerns that Asphalt Green’s programs will compete with existing community centers and sports leagues and could put them out of business.
But Carol Tweedy, executive director of Asphalt Green, an Upper East Side fitness nonprofit, told community leaders Monday night that they had no reason to worry.
“We don’t believe our presence will have a negative impact on anyone,” Tweedy said at a Community Board 1 meeting. “If we thought that was the case, we wouldn’t be here.”
Asphalt Green will not run youth baseball or soccer leagues, since the neighborhood already has the Downtown Little League and Downtown Soccer League, said Paul Weiss, senior program director at Asphalt Green. Instead, Asphalt Green will supplement the leagues with camps and clinics, he said.
Asphalt Green will compete more directly with Manhattan Youth’s Downtown Community Center, which opened two years ago several blocks away.
But Tweedy said that while both community centers will offer swimming programs, for example, Asphalt Green would make its classes distinctive enough to attract a different audience.
Tweedy also pointed to the Downtown Alliance’s recent study of lower Manhattan’s growing population and said there is enough room for everyone.
Asphalt Green’s 50,000-square-foot Battery Park City center, which is in the base of Milstein Properties’ Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green condo towers on North End Avenue, could open as soon as September 2011, Tweedy said.
The center will feature a six-lane, competition-length pool, a smaller warm-water pool with an adjustable floor, a full-court gym, a 156-seat theater, a culinary center, a juice bar, a computer lab, dance studios and classrooms.
Asphalt Green will run the center’s athletic programs and will bring in outside groups to run the cultural programs.
Tweedy wants as many types of people as possible to use the facility and said the culinary center, for example, could offer mommy-and-me classes, wine tastings for young professionals and cooking lessons with celebrity chefs for adults.
Several neighborhood residents at Monday’s meeting worried that the programs would be too expensive. Family membership could cost as much as $2,400 a year, according to preliminary plans.
Tweedy said Asphalt Green would offer reduced-fee classes for seniors and would consider expanding its scholarship program for children.
Community Board 1 is collecting suggestions from local residents and workers about what they want to see at the center. Those who have ideas can e-mail Anthony Notaro.
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