It is not every day that gym-goers can pair workouts with a 90-minute stone massage and complimentary shoeshine, or follow a game of tennis with a margarita and a view of Manhattan's skyline. But members of a new racquet club in Queens are aiming to do just that.
Perched on the rooftop of the 1930s-era Swingline Stapler building in Long Island City is CityView Racquet Club, one of a handful of public tennis and squash clubs in New York. CityView, which opened last week, has seven Har-Tru tennis courts, three singles squash courts, and one of the city's few doubles hardball courts. The 80,000-square-foot facility also offers fitness machines, a spa, and a lounge.
"There hasn't been a new tennis club built in New York City within the past 20 years," the club's manager, Michael Del Prete, said.
The tennis club, which took two years to build and cost $12 million, already has 200 members and has a goal of 500. Gaining entrance is not cheap: Peak all-access membership costs $400 a month, plus a $1,500 initiation fee. By contrast, the Sports Club/LA, on East 61st Street in Manhattan, charges $310 a month at the high end.
In addition to its other amenities, CityView offers private lessons, as well as racquet stringing and customizing from John McEnroe's and Maria Sharapova's stringer. It also features city views from every room: Members can admire Manhattan skyscrapers from the squash courts, the top-floor lounge, the saunas, and even the men's urinals.
CityView is "creating an entirely new standard of opulence and service for athletic clubs in the New York metropolitan area," said Mr. Del Prete, who was president of a Westchester country club before joining the new racquet club.
Although CityView is one of the few new squash clubs in the city, offering airy, brightly colored courts, competitors said they are not overly concerned.
"It is in Long Island City," the head squash pro at the Sports Club/LA, Eddie Kapur, said. "We are more centrally located."
Mr. Kapur, whose squash facility is the city's largest, with five courts, also cited CityView's high membership costs as a deterrent. Still, although many in Long Island City will not be able to afford the membership fees — the median income in the neighborhood is $38,300, according to the most recent survey from New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy — a new crop of residents has moved into the more than 40 new residential complexes built in the area over the last few years.
The club is "affordable to your avid tennis or squash player," Mr. Del Prete said.
A broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman who works almost exclusively in Long Island City, Rick Rosa, said he welcomes the new club and expects that it will serve the burgeoning community of young professionals who are moving in from Manhattan in search of cheaper rent. "There's a lot more room for growth" in the area, he said.
The neighborhood is "a mixed community with individuals at various income levels," the president of the Long Island City Business Development Corp., Gayle Baron, said. "We want Long Island City to be a 24/7 environment, not just a nine-to-five community. The more growth you have, the more you end up with a dynamic, economically healthy area."