You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Talks of redeveloping former YMCA site resume as Ann Arbor looks to sell property

By Ryan J. Stanton


The former YMCA property, often referred to as the Y Lot, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and William Street in downtown Ann Arbor on Thursday afternoon.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Three firms are under consideration as the city of Ann Arbor looks to hire a commercial real estate broker to help sell the city-owned property known as the Y Lot.

The city received bids from Colliers International, CBRE and Peter Allen & Associates in response to a recent request for proposals for brokerage services.

City Administrator Steve Powers said he's reviewing the proposals, which were opened last Friday, and will provide an update to the City Council by June 17.


Crews continued to work on building a new Blake Transit Center next to the Y Lot on Thursday afternoon. Hypothetically, a future development on the Y Lot could extend over the transit center as well.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Peter Allen, a local real estate developer and consultant, told Downtown Development Authority officials on Wednesday he thinks the market value of the Y Lot, located at 350 S. Fifth Ave., could be $5 million to $7 million or more depending on how it's configured.

He said the idea of adding air rights on top of the adjacent Blake Transit Center and doing a development that spans both lots — rising above the new transit center being built right now — is very feasible.

"I've already heard interest from boutique hotels, from grocery stores, from certainly ground-level retail — there's a demand," Allen said. "So I think the mix of uses are going to be very consistent with what the Connecting William Street idea came up with."

Jim Chaconas of Colliers International doesn't share Allen's enthusiasm at this point. He said Ann Arbor is not Chicago or New York City.

"We see no new construction going on, so this may take a while," he said of redeveloping the former YMCA site. "The only thing that's being built right now is student high-rises. We still have plenty of office space, so there's nobody rushing to build offices. We still have a high vacancy there."

Chaconas said he still needs to find out what the city wants, and right now there's really not much he can say about the Y Lot's potential.

"Until you market something, you don't know. We don't speculate," he said, going on to add: "All we know is no student housing."

The city acquired the property in 2003 for about $3.5 million. The city eventually demolished the old YMCA building on the site, including 100 units of affordable housing.

The city has a $3.5 million balloon payment due on the property in December after years of interest-only payments. It's one of four sites that are now surface parking lots that the city is considering selling for redevelopment as part of the Connecting William Street initiative led by the DDA.


The Ann Arbor DDA's Connecting William Street plan suggests office or hotel development on the Y Lot, with secondary consideration given to workforce housing. The property sits directly south of the Blake Transit Center.

Ann Arbor DDA

The Y Lot is about 0.82 acres or 35,879 square feet.

Mayor John Hieftje noted the net proceeds from the eventual sale of the property — after the city's debt on the property is paid off — will go toward an affordable housing fund.

"Of major importance to me is I'd like to put away that debt, and it sure seems like we can do it. In fact, the city may even come out ahead on this," he said.

The Ann Arbor Planning Commission voted in March to make the Connecting William Street plan an official city planning document.

The lengthy report produced by the DDA and its consultants, which recommends strategies for improving the William Street corridor and redeveloping five city-owned properties, is now among the official documents city planners will rely on in the course of their work.

The fifth property, in addition to the four surface parking lots, is the first floor of the Fourth and William parking garage, which could be retrofitted for ground-level commercial use, possibly office space.

The plan includes a number of recommendations for the Y Lot, identifying it as a good site for a development that helps generate activity downtown.

"This site is highly visible from Main Street and should stress high-quality architecture, providing a visual connection and iconic presence," the plan states.

Any future development on the site should "seek to bring more people downtown and create synergy with the Blake Transit Center and downtown library," the plan states.

"Any future building on this site, facing three streets, will have a significant impact on the pedestrian environment and should be designed to create a vibrant experience," the plan continues, specifically recommending large floor plate office and hotel uses for the site.


Another view of the Y Lot abutting the Blake Transit Center property, from Fifth Avenue looking west.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The plan also suggests residential development as a secondary use for the site. If either large floor plate office or housing for working professionals are included in future development plans, the DDA has indicated it might be willing to contribute grant dollars.

The plan specifically recommends providing a pedestrian connection from the development site to the Blake Transit Center at the ground floor, with consideration given to expanding the development footprint and building up and over the new transit center that's now taking shape.

The plan also encourages future developers of the Y Lot to discuss with the DDA the potential for parking at the Fourth and William parking garage or the Library Lane underground garage, and the potential to expand the Library Lane garage beneath the Y Lot.

The city should seek to maximize the purchase price for the site so that the greatest amount of net proceeds can go to affordable housing, the plan states.

Allen said he understands the city expects to have a broker hired by early August. He said he could see his Ann Arbor-based firm working together with Colliers International, which does a large amount of commercial real estate work in downtown Ann Arbor.

"I hope it's a team approach," he said. "I think Jim Chaconas is well-wired to the marketplace, so I've got a number of clients, he's got a whole number of clients. I'm sure between the two of us we'd solve the problem quite quickly and bring some active buyers to the table."

Chaconas is among the most prolific brokers in Ann Arbor, inking deals involving the State Theater, the former Ann Arbor News building, Westgate Shopping Center, the former Borders bookstore and headquarters, and the 601 Forest high-rise now known as Landmark.


The Y Lot is generating $250,000 a year in parking revenues. After subtracting expenses, including nearly $100,000 in payments that go to the city, the lot generated a profit of about $80,000 for the DDA last year, records show.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"You give us a project and we can get it out to the world better than anybody else," he said. "We do 250 to 300 deals a year. Nobody does the kind of volume we do."

Allen most recently helped facilitate the 14-story high-rise project now approved above Pizza House. He connected Pizza House owner Dennis Tice with the Minnesota-based Opus Group, which brought forward a development unanimously approved by the City Council in March.

Asked to describe the kind of buyer he'd like to find for the Y Lot, Allen said a developer like the Opus Group makes sense.

"Somebody that has had experience with mixed-use development," he said. "Somebody that really knows the role of sidewalk retail to excite the sidewalk — and placemaking. And somebody that knows the right combination of hotel, residential ownership, and residential rental. Putting office with hotel doesn't work well. Putting residential with hotel does work well."

Allen said he likes the location of the Y Lot — along the north side of William Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

"A block from Main Street, next to the Blake Transit Center, across from the library, and with a great view of Michigan Stadium — it's one of the anchor sites in town," he said. "It'll be the kickoff of what they do with the whole Connecting William Street idea."

Tim Guest, a senior associate with CBRE in Southfield, could not be reached for comment.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

NO! NO! NO! What happened to having a moratorium and review of the downtown zoning guidelines? Are we possibly going to repeat the disaster that will soon be rising on E. Huron Street?


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Ryan, Thank you for using a picture showing the Y-site parking lot filled with cars as is often the case. Meanwhile, if I understand correctly, the underground library parking lot is rarely more than half filled. Some comments suggest that the Y-site parking lot is not needed since the cars displaced from the Y-site could park in the underground library lot. Many citizens driving to the library area prefer surface parking and that includes myself. Other above ground parking facilities closeby, including the Fourth and Williams Street and the Fourth and Washington Street lots will be crowded and unlikely to handle the increased demand for parking.


Sun, Jun 9, 2013 : 1:35 a.m.

No, Gill, I do not get paid for my postings. I have a lot to say.-:)


Sat, Jun 8, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

Ok, so maybe you are being paid, per internet post, by a nearby hotel or highrise...because you sure are posting vociferously.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

"Hotel and convention center!" Sure. No problem. Just bring private financing and ownership. Build whatever you want, within the zoning law, using only your* money and risk. * "your" is underlined, italicized, bolded, and in full (shouting-intended) caps


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 5:35 p.m.

a2grateful- I have not read of any interest by private investors to purchase or build on the Connect William Street properties and expect that any interest would be made public and even published at Unfortunately, I fear that the DDA will offer incentives in the form of tax payer money or grants as mentioned in the article. Reimbursement, remuneration, forbearance, and grants are financial tools which the DDA has used in the past to reward developers. As of yet I have not read of the financial return to the city for the provided inducements.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

It's been a week since I've seen the words "affordable housing" in Thank goodness, I was getting worried that our city leaders were starting to lean to the right. How about concentrating on education, roads and blight before we start giving things away. There is plenty of affordable housing in surrounding towns.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

The Collier's representative's comments about a high vacancy rate for office space is interesting. Here's a quote about Ann Arbor office space from Collier's first quarter 2013 newsletter: "Ann Arbor is another bright spot with very low vacancy rates on a downward trend." Which is it?


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

If several 12-story and 14-story office and commercial buildings were constructed on the Connect William Street properties what companies do you know will want to occupy them? What is the demand for office and commercial space and how was it determined?


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Wouldn't it have been nice if this lot could have been incorporated into the transit center? Imagine a transit center big enough for all the bus lines, so they didn't park in the street? And Greyhound, and a cab stand. . .none of which precludes developing something above, which I agree is decades away.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

I thought that they would have enough room to park all of the buses off the street when the transit center is complete? Is this not the case?

Catherine Bosma

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Hotel and convention center! Campus Inn is sorely outdated and not everyone wants to have conferences and meetings at the U, the NCRC or the hotels at Briarwood. It's downtown people! I don't want the city to pay or it but I think it's sorely needed.


Sat, Jun 8, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Veracity, you sound like you either own a hotel downtown or one of the residential high-rises; or being paid by one of the groups to pew pew any other rivals.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

It is not viable despite your wishes. Read Chuck Skelton's feasibility study which essentially killed the Valiant Partners proposal for a 15-story luxury hotel and 26,000 square foot conference center. If having a hotel downtown is so desirable then major hotel chains with deep pockets like Hilton and Marriott would not shun downtown Ann Arbor for Briarwood Circle nor would Holiday Inn plan construction at Zeeb Road. These hotel icons know how to evaluate hotel prospects and want to build where they will gain the most profits. They are essentially saying that they see no value for building a hotel downtown. Why should we?


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

I actually agree.. Some sort of amenity to bring working/business people to that area...


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

"Jim Chaconas of Colliers International doesn't share Allen's enthusiasm at this point. He said Ann Arbor is not Chicago or New York City." "We see no new construction going on, so this may take a while," he said of redeveloping the former YMCA site. "The only thing that's being built right now is student high-rises. We still have plenty of office space, so there's nobody rushing to build offices. We still have a high vacancy there." At least one person has the voice of sanity. AA is NOT Chicago, New York, Portland, or any other large urban area. It's a small midwestern city with a university. The lot is next to the bus station and across from a huge parking structure. Not exactly an area with pedestrian traffic. Lots of homeless hang out by the library, across the street. Hardly a place for a hotel.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Listgen to the public and make it a park, not another stupid high rise.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

1. Mixed use is vital... You want people traffic at all times of the day... Interesting things to look at, at the ground floor level..... 2. The guy who talked about a sense of place seems to understand the idea of how the right combination of retail/residential/office space could positively impact the area... It really is an amazing piece of real estate that if developed well, could make that area thrive...Right now, it's the most unattractive downtown area.. 3. Some sort of progressive vision is key... Namely because the area is flanked by a public library and the blake transit center ... (Brace yourselves because this is not politically correct-)---. Besides the Delonis Center these two places attract the poorest and neediest of our city. This is fine.. People who are poor and/or addicted are humans too and need amenities to raise themselves upwards and onwards in life. However, catering to this population does not make for a vibrant or healthy city. After all, people should aspire upwards and be inspired to move in the direction of prosperity, health, and happiness. What I am suggesting is that the lot needs some above average architecture streetscape/vision/plan to counter balance the rather boring, uninspired, design of the Library and Blake (yes, the new one too) and the indigent population that it attracts. After all, many people voted down the new library because in their minds, their hard earned tax dollars would be spent on giving poor people a sweet new building to hang out in all day... As far as affordable housing - Allowing Garage Apartments is vital to giving poor people an opportunity to help themselves or at least live with dignity. Garage Apartments are currently ILLEGAL in Ann Arbor... Imagine if you could add a small kitchenette or bathroom into your unused garage and rent it out for a few hundred dollars to someone in recovery while they helped pay your mortgage.. It's a WIN WIN.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

Steve- To your points: 1. I agree but how will the Connect William Street accomplish this? No specifics are provided as to what stores will be located where along William Street or Ashley. Believe me, what happens at the ground floor level of the proposed 14-story and 12-story buildings is of little interest to the DDA, despite their brief, off-hand comments regarding walk-ability and need for attractive windows. 2. Well, I guess attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. I would rather stand in front of the Ann Arbor library and view an open expanse west to at least Fourth Street than to stare across the street at a 14-story concrete tower and no longer be able to see the sun in the late afternoon. By the way, how attractive are the many recently built highrise student residence buildings? Do you believe that out-of-town visitors will come to admire their appearances? 3. The library bond referendum was defeated because citizens are satisfied with their present library and could not justify spending $66 million to replace it, especially when libraries are being redefined by technological advances. However, nothing in the plans for a new library were predicated on any specific services to the homeless. Your "solution" for the homeless, that is let them share garages with cars, is heartless and I doubt that you are serious in advising your plan. Dealing with the homeless is complicated but putting cots in either the library or garages is not the answer.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

The Connecting William Street plan will provide a developer with a guide and allow the chosen broker to find the appropriate developer. Otherwise, the only direction for development is Jack Eaton's gang of plastic ice rink fans. Let's make progress and bring something productive to that valuable downtown corner.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

Good for you, StraightTalk! And what profitable enterprises can you bring to Ann Arbor to occupy the new buildings? Who will occupy the 12-story and 14-story buildings? We could use a 800 room residential facility to accommodate our homeless. But, wait! That will not work because few homeless (do I dare to say?) can afford the $2500 per month rental fees needed to meet construction loan debt payments. Maybe the DDA will float bonds to subsidize the homeless. Afterall, the DDA is paying $400,000 to Village Green to have four of its City Apartment units designated as "affordable housing." Or perhaps off hand you know of 800 families with incomes over $90,000 who are anxious to move into new downtown apartments. Perhaps you know of large corporations which are anxiously awaiting to occupy a 14-story office building off William Street or Ashley Street. Please tell us who you have in mind. Or maybe you know of a similarly large commercial operation wishing to transfer or establish operations in a 12-story building built on one of the remaining Connect William Street properties not being successfully developed for residential and office use as per your assurances. I dream too, StraightTalk, but decisions should be made while awake and in reality.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

I'm glad to see this moving forward. Developing this site will fill an unsightly hole, and generate more tax revenue than the small profit com parking. No reason or the city to hold onto this property much longer.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

Oh? And what enterprise do you anticipate will operate on that property? And did you say how much profit that enterprise will achieve or, more important to Ann Arbor citizens, how much TIF revenue it will generate for the city? I wish that the saying, "If you build it they will come," will describe what happens with any building constructed on the Y-site. Unfortunately, in the realm of reality that does not usually happen. Why risk a functional and profitable business (i.e., a parking lot) for uncertainty and the possibility of losing all revenue if the development fails. Let's not lose a profitable enterprise because of speculative building. This is Ann Arbor and not Las Vegas.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Ryan: So AFTER the costs of the demolition and the interest-only payments, the lot gave a $80,000 yearly profit? I just want to make sure we're talking actual profit here, not jsut revenue.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

The price for which the former Y-site can be sold will depend on how much value can be created through development. The Connect William Street plan has a 14-story building being constructed. It does not seem to matter to the DDA and certain members of City Council have no idea as to what should occupy the structure once built. No doubt that a costly residential building will require premium prices for condos to be sold or high rental rates for apartments. Could such a building attract 500 wealthy new residents to downtown Ann Arbor? If a new highrise were constructed for office or commercial use, would enough interest be generated to fully occupy such a large building? Again, at this time the DDA and City Council members have no idea if there will be any office or commercial interest in the building. Speculative building, as the development of the Y-site will certainly be, brings no guarantees that the DDA and the city will gain any financial benefits. TIF revenue depends on successful business operations following construction and, at this time, there is no certainty that any developer will operate the property profitably. Meanwhile, the Y-site is operating successfully as a parking lot bringing in $250,000 income yearly. The revenue being generated now can probably service any debt restructuring necessary to replace the balloon payment needed by December. Thus refinancing will eliminate any financial urgency to get rid of the property. Certainly the sale of the Y-site should await reconsideration of D1 zoning and hopefully City Council and the Planning Commission will begin zoning deliberations soon.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

"Risk takers are the ones who reap the rewards...." No, Steve, that statement is not true and would not apply to the situation at hand. Developers are always the winners when they get governmental approval to build large buildings. Once permits are in hand, the developer can obtain financing from which they take fees (1% or 2% or more) "off the top" before a single dime is spent on construction. Furthermore, developers do not usually have "skin" in the game, meaning that they do not put their own money at risk by investing long term in the enterprise operating the building. If the business operation goes bankrupt the developer has his money already and, in fact, has likely moved on to another project and another juicy fee.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

Speculation is the whole underpinning of great American cities... If someone can only imagine a parking lot then they have no vision... Risk takers are the ones who reap the rewards... not the people who say 'lets stay safe because this beautiful parking lot is safe and secure and generates some $. That's just not good enough for this city....

Steve Bean

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Here's a fun question for you all to kick around: Why haven't the $80,000 annual net from the parking lot gone to pay off principal on the loan?

Steve Bean

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

"$80,000 would not be much help in paying the debt" That's a rationalization, Leah. Are you making excuses for city council? Don't you wonder the same, or do you really think that applying the profit to paying off the principal would have been inappropriate or otherwise a poor choice? By the way, I didn't presume that the DDA was responsible, but thanks for clearing that up.

Leah Gunn

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

The DDA pays the city 17% of its gross revenue under the current parking contract. This payment amounted to over $3.2 million last year. It goes directly to the city's General Fund, so they are able to use it however they wish. It is not restricted to use in the downtown. The DDA also picked up the expense of buliding the permeable suface lot, along with the gates and pay station used to operate it. $80,000 would not be much help in paying the debt, which is not the DDA's, but the city's. The DDA is voluntarily helping to pay the debt, and also paid for the demolition of the old building.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

As you probably know, the DDA's parking fund was on the verge of deficit in 2011, so I don't know that they had a lot of extra cash to do that. But good question.

Steve Bean

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

"Mayor John Hieftje noted the net proceeds from the eventual sale of the property — after the city's debt on the property is paid off — will go toward an affordable housing fund." That's counting chickens before they're hatched. The prospect for net proceeds at this point is very iffy. They better get it sold quickly or decide how the city can pay it off and make good use of it. Real estate prices won't levitate for long. The parking lot at least generates revenue, part of which goes to the city (most of it to the DDA). But then that use competes with the underground structure. Maybe Peter's enthusiasm will realize its potential, but I would go with Chaconas' realism at this point.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

I too hope that they don't go with a pie in the sky broker. Pick the one that will move the property for the highest price. And make sure the zoning is right BEFORE putting the property on the market.

Jack Eaton

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

I am concerned by the reliance on the failed Connecting William Street study. When City Council passed its resolution asking the DDA to engage the public in a process to learn what residents wanted to do with 5 City owned properties in the downtown area, the Council expressly resolved that the study would be the basis for making changes to the Downtown Master Plan. The DDA called its process the Connecting Williams Street (CWS) study. When the DDA presented the CWS recommendations to the Council, the Council demonstrated a clear disinterest in using the plan as a means to amend the Downtown Plan. The CWS recommendations were then presented to our Planning Commission. The Planning Commission, in apparent recognition of the chilly reception the CWS plan had received from Council, did not propose incorporating any part of the CWS recommendations into the Downtown Plan. Instead, Planning Commission accepted the CWS study as a "resource document" for future use. Even the designation of the study as a resource was flawed because the Planning Commission failed to give proper notice of the public hearing on the CWS study. The CWS process was so fundamentally flawed that the recommendations were not accepted for inclusion in the Master Plan. Let's not now pretend that the CWS recommendations have any real value. The old Y lot is a public asset. We should either put it to public use or we should sell it for the highest price possible. It may be wise to revisit the zoning on the property before we decide to sell it. Given the Council's practice of waiting until something unfortunate has been proposed before addressing zoning issues, I encourage a frank discussion about what could be built with the D-1 zoning that applied to this property before we sell it.

4 Real

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Jack, Thank you for pointing out many reasons why I won't vote for you in August. You continue to fail to see the big picture and to remain in favor of the obstructionists in town. This area is the center of the City, not a wooded lot near your neighborhood home.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

How about a giant underground parking garage that will handle the overflow from the other giant underground garage?

Leah Gunn

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

A developer, if wished, could easily build added underground parking places to the "Y" lot because the wall facing Fifth Avenue in the Library Lane structure can be removed to allow access, thereby not requiring added ramping, which takes away parking spaces. The underground garage is reaching its capacity, way ahead of what was anticipated when it was built.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Can we please get the council to re-examine the D1 zoning, as promised long ago, before this goes to market? Also no tax dollars, via DDA or tax incentive, for private development. If Ann Arbor is as hot a market as claimed, then hold out for the best price, no giveaways. This makes the DDA $80K a year, but the city owes the balloon payment? How does that work? We should be sitting on these properties as a city investment for as long as possible, without the DDA push for more revenue, these last 4 "Connecting William Street" properties would happily sit vacant, gaining value and serving a public use as parking or open space. Once is is sold, it is gone forever, what's the rush?

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Yes, they definitely are starting to rise.

Steve Bean

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

A minor tweak to that, Ryan: interest rates are low and rising.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

It's possible the city could refinance prior to December if it doesn't sell the property, and of course interest rates are pretty low right now.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

The city's total interest through the maturity of the note is expected to be $727,692, while the DDA will have contributed $634,557. Of the $3.5 million principal payment due in December, $2.075 million is the city's responsibility and $1.425 million is the DDA's responsibility.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:24 a.m.

Aw, c'mon... an empty spot that won't be filled with a 14 story building? Let's get going you guys... better yet, since it is undeveloped now and already a parking lot, now is the time to just cede it to UoM so that they can build something on it later, without taxes of course. How about "Metro Quad", for students who want to live near campus but closer to the bars of downtown?


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

johnnya2, If preachers and postal workers were making 150-600k per year I'd agree with you.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 12:38 p.m.

Interesting, I wonder how much it pays in taxes NOW. Oh that's right ZERO. How much were paid by the YMCa when they owned it? ZERO. How much die sthe YMCA pay for the piece of real estate at 400 West Washington? ZERO AGAIN. This whole stupid argument about the U not paying taxes is silly., If you want non-profits and state owned enttities to pay taxes, then make them ALL pay it. Every church., every Sec of state office, US POST office., city hall. court and even jail.

Dog Guy

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:04 a.m.

"The Former YMCA Property" has no marketing pizzazz. The commercial real estate broker should suggest a name with vitality and glamour such as "Water Street Redevelopment Area" or "Omniscient Council Money Pit".


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

Might I suggest "Mortuary View Apartments"? "Crony Corners" ? How about "Blind Spot Lanes"? This last one only good if they continue to allow no-setback 14 story zoning.


Fri, Jun 7, 2013 : 10:15 a.m.

There will me major interest for "pie in the sky." Which broker will be selling with that tactic? Avoid that one. Also, make sure financing is private, and not from taxpayer funds. We are not a bank. We do not want the risk of failed and defaulted "pie in the sky."