It took a few years, but after an extensive search throughout San Francisco a new location has been found for Bay Club SF Tennis’ temporary indoor tennis club: 2600 Geneva Ave (aka the Cow Palace).
In 2015, after learning that there were plans for Bay Club SF Tennis to be demolished to build an office and residential complex, club members formed a nonprofit -- San Franciscans for Sports and Recreation (SFFSR) -- to advocate for the replacement of the tennis courts that would be lost. They successfully negotiated with the developer of the 5th and Brannan site, Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE), to include an indoor tennis club in the plans for the redeveloped site. In addition, Alexandria committed to build 12 temporary indoor courts, somewhere in SF city limits, before the three-to-four-year construction phase began.
The site of the temporary club is currently a parking lot for the Cow Palace and located on the southern edge of the city (in fact, the site cuts across SF and Daly City lines and is owned by the California Department of Food and Agriculture). Construction is expected to take three to four months and may begin soon, although exact dates are unknown due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Alexandria has committed to completing the Geneva courts facility before demolishing the existing Bay Club SF Tennis site.
Members of San Franciscans for Sports and Recreation, ARE, and Bay Club considered more than 20 locations for the interim courts.
“Over the last few years, we have gone through an exhaustive search of existing tennis courts in San Francisco that could potentially be covered as well as any available land where new indoor courts could be built,” said Seth Socolow, Executive Director of SFFSR. “We’re delighted that we ended up with a single site where 12 indoor courts can be built, as it allows for the preservation of the tennis community that has been playing in SOMA for 46 years, as well as USTA League matches and tournaments.”
The design of the new facility will be similar to the Bay Club’s Broadway indoor tennis club in Burlingame. The Geneva facility will include 12 indoor courts, locker rooms, a 1000-square-foot lounge, and multipurpose areas. It will also include free secured parking for members.
There will be no outdoor courts at either the temporary facility or the new club at the redeveloped 5th and Brannan site. As a compromise, Alexandria gave $864,000 to San Franciscans for Sports and Recreation to resurface public tennis courts in San Francisco. To date, 17 courts in seven locations have been resurfaced and $400,000 has been donated to the Campaign for Golden Gate Park Tennis Center.
It is expected that after the new tennis club at the 5th and Brannan site is open, the temporary indoor tennis facility will be removed.
See August 2019 story about the project on the Tennis Coalition website
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