The dilapidated public tennis courts on Hilton Head’s south end are closer to being fixed up, though those plans could be scrapped for a new park.
The town’s Public Facilities Committee on Monday unanimously approved recommending to Town Council that the tennis courts next to the Cordillo Courts condominium complex be redeveloped, but that staff also look into the possibility of investing money into the immediate area rather than fixing the existing courts.
Committee member Tom Lennox, who also serves on Town Council, made the motion asking town staff to explore finding out whether it would make more financial sense for the town to invest in the Cordillo Tennis Courts, or in a new property altogether and sell the courts, which split the condominium complex.
Although conceptual approval was given for redevelopment of the cracked and paint-stained courts, Lennox said afterward that staff would be looking into the possibility of creating a new public park in the town-owned parcel across the street along Cordillo Parkway.
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The proposed improvements to the courts include adding a community building, and making the four courts accommodate youth tennis and pickleball in addition to adult tennis.
Charles Cousins, town director of community development, said during Monday’s meeting it would cost about $265,000 to refurbish the courts.
During the meeting, concerns were raised about the redevelopment plans.
“I caution that it could be less than satisfactory for all parties because parking is going to be a concern; the size of the building you could actually fit there is going to be a concern,” said town manager Steve Riley. “We talked about this as youth tennis; we talked about this as pickleball, and I fear we’re going to have more expectations and more users than we’re actually going to be able to accommodate here.”
The courts were purchased by the town in 2002 from Van Der Meer Tennis, according to Beaufort County property records. Riley said during Monday’s meeting the town paid $250,000 for the courts.
James Ackerman, board president of Cordillo Courts, asked Town Council in September to clean up the courts or to sell the approximately 1.5-acre property to someone who would do it.
Narendra Sharma, founder and chairman of Neighborhood Outreach Connection, a nonprofit aimed at fighting poverty and improving the quality of life of Beaufort County residents, previously said the town is not solely to blame for the poor conditions of the courts, and that property owners should do more to improve the area. The NOC currently operates out of three condos at Cordillo Courts, he said.