Roswell's plans for massive tennis center called off

Thousands sign petition against proposal for new tennis facility in Roswell

ROSWELL, Ga. — UPDATE: The city of Roswell has ended its plans to build a massive tennis center.

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik first broke news of the proposal Thursday morning, after car dealership owner Vernon Krause brought the idea to city leaders.

The proposed Angela Krause Tennis, Pickleball and Fitness Center at Roswell’s Big Creek Park will feature more than 135 tennis courts, including 80 clay courts and an indoor facility. The project would have cost up to $50 million.

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On Sunday, Mayor Lori Henry issued the following statement saying, "We thought the tennis center would have given the east side of Roswell a destination that would draw people from all over the region. We heard a clear message last year from east side residents during the Economic Development Forums that creating a destination place for the east side was a priority and key desire. However, the community has let us know over the past several days that they do not support this project for Big Creek Park. "

The item will be taken off the Monday, August 13, 2018 Mayor and Council agenda.

Vernon Krause said the center would be named after his daughter, Angela, an avid tennis player who died from a rare form of cancer a few years ago.

Earlier this week, Henry told Petchenik the city would lease 60 acres of Big Creek Park to Krause, who would pay for the building and hire management for the facility.

“Big Creek was never meant to be a passive park. However, we just hadn’t had the resources to build on it. So, now we do,” she said. “The entire facility will be available to Roswell residents at the rates we charge for other facilities in town. So, it’s a win-win for Roswell.”

Neighbors in the area said they were fine with the proposal, but think it should go somewhere else.

“We would implore them to find another place to put it,” said Shawn Brunner, owner of Bike Fresh, a mountain bike repair and sales shop.

A city spokesperson sent Petchenik the following statement Friday afternoon:

"This proposed project is in the beginning stages. We informed the public on Thursday morning, Aug. 9 that the proposal would be included on the Monday, Aug. 13 Mayor and Council meeting agenda through press releases to the media and posting the information on our social media pages. The city’s website includes detailed information concerning the proposed project, and the city has heard from many citizens through email and on social media concerning it. We welcome residents to attend the meeting on Monday night if they would like speak in person with the Mayor and Council about this proposal."

In a post on the city's Facebook page, the city of Roswell said, "We have some updated information on the proposed tennis facility Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is on the Mayor and Council meeting agenda, Monday, August 13."

“We want residents to know that the City Attorney is currently adding language to the MOU, requiring a site plan for the facility be approved by Mayor and Council before any construction could begin on the project.”