This ain’t good. Not for folks who live and work downtown. The YMCA just sent a note to its members announcing that it is putting up its building for sale. Apparently it is too expensive to maintain. And more and more offices downtown offer their employees on-site exercise options. As a member of the downtown Y for more than a decade, I have this to say:
Man, we’re talking about shutting down a historic gym. That’s where the Kelly Oubre Jr. incident took place, for goodness’ sake. There’s not another gym downtown with basketball courts like the Y’s. Not to mention the pool. In fact, with 24 Hour Fitness gone, I can’t think of another proper gym downtown besides the Y. This is really, really, really bad news for Dallas. How can you be a world-class city without a single swimming pool and basketball court in your downtown?! They say they are going to look for another location downtown, but I find it hard to imagine how a new location could accommodate a swimming pool and multiple basketball courts.
Zac is also a member. We’ve just had a meeting to discuss the matter. We have a plan. No one is going to buy that building if the place is haunted. Time to Scooby-Doo the joint.
Here’s the letter from Giselle Patterson, executive director, and Curt Hazelbaker, president and CEO:
To our Members:
In keeping with the mission and spirit of the YMCA, we feel it is important to keep you informed about happenings involving your T. Boone Pickens YMCA.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas recently conducted a growth study to determine future plans for both existing and new YMCAs in the area. Specific to the T. Boone Pickens YMCA, the group reviewed the age and size of the building, the cost to maintain it and the changing dynamics of Downtown. An Ad-hoc committee was put together to address the findings of the study. The committee was comprised of members of the T. Boone Pickens Board of Management, YMCA Board of Directors, leadership from Downtown Dallas Inc. and the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce along with Y Staff.
The committee reviewed the cost of previous facility repairs, ongoing maintenance needs, membership trends and changes in Downtown. Specifically, most office and residential buildings are now including wellness centers as tenant amenities. This brings a dynamic that the Y has not experienced previously. Our job as volunteers and staff, is to be good stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with.
After nearly a year of review, the Ad-hoc committee made a recommendation to market a potential sale of the Downtown YMCA property. The recommendation was endorsed by the T. Boone Pickens Board of Management and approved by the YMCA Board of Directors. JLL has been contracted and they will begin marketing on September 23rd. The sale of the building is contingent on the price being right and that we have found a good alternative for a new location.
We believe news media will be interested in the story, so we wanted to tell you, our valued members first. Our primary message to you is the YMCA is not closing and we are committed to staying in the downtown area.
Since 1885, the YMCA has been part of the Dallas community. While locations over 134 years may have changed, the mission of the YMCA and our commitment to our members and the community has remained the same.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Giselle. We will keep you updated on progress. Thank you for your continued support.