The Manhattan Yacht Club could lose control of North Cove Marina as other and larger companies compete for the right to operate the New York site.
The yacht club has been a fixture in New York Harbor since 1994. It offers sailing programs for young students and adults, along with community programming, residents said.
The Battery Park City Authority, owner of the marina, recently put out a request for proposals for operating the expansive marina, populated with numerous high-end yachts and the sailing school.
Michael Fortenbaugh, longtime commodore of the yacht club and a resident of Battery Park City, has a 10-year contract with the authority for control of the marina that expires at the end of the year, according to DNAinfo New York.
“We’ve worked really hard to make the marina the beautiful, successful place it is today,”Fortenbaugh told the publication. “We’re really a home-grown organization —we’re part of the community and want to provide a place for people to learn to love sailing while also bringing in the megayachts.”
“We’re small, but we certainly feel that no other operator will care about the marina and the community the way that we do,”he added.
Several large marina operators, including Suntex Marinas, which runs 22 marinas, as well as Island Global Yachting, have expressed an interest in taking over North Cove. Brookfield Properties, which owns buildings and property surrounding the marina, is also eyeing a bid for the marina, records show.
At a Community Board 1 meeting, Fortenbaugh and his yacht club received an outpouring of gratitude and support from residents. Board members encouraged residents to write letters of support on behalf of Fortenbaugh in his new bid for the marina.
Brookfield declined to comment.
Suntex vice president Ronald TenEyck said his company, which also operates a marina in Battery Park and at Pier 25, would love to get a chance to run North Cove.
The proposals for the marina are due Oct. 24. A spokeswoman for the authority said a new operator will be chosen sometime in December and will take over Jan. 1.