The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is exploring a new potential downtown site in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The YMCA's site evaluation of the potential location at South Sixth Street and Nicollet Mall - Gaviidae Commons - will extend until early June, according to Wednesday's media release from the Y. YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities spokesperson Joan Schimml told Club Industry that its current downtown location on Ninth Street and LaSalle Avenue will be put on the market if it moves forward with the Gaviidae Commons location.
“Based on the market studies, focus groups and discussions we have been conducting, the YMCA continues to explore a concept for a new Y location that would allow us to better serve residents and the community; provide convening space for community partners, nonprofits and social good entrepreneurs; and [offer] collaborative work space for the Y team members to continue to develop innovative and impactful programs and services,” YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities President and CEO Glen Gunderson said in a statement. “We are intrigued by this potential downtown location, and we now have the opportunity to perform a thorough evaluation of the site.”
Gaviidae Commons is located less than one mile from the Y's current downtown location and is mostly owned by New York real estate investment firm Nightengale Properties. The Commons includes 184,000 square feet of retail space, 70,000 square feet of office space, a 481-stall parking garage and five skyway connections to other downtown buildings, according to a property description on the Nightengale Properties website. Current tenants at the building include Walgreens and North Memorial Health Care.
“We know that Nicollet really is the heart of downtown Minneapolis, and this would allow us to serve more people,” YMCA of Greater Minneapolis Chief Operating Officer Greg Waibel told the Star Tribune.
The Y is expected to begin the process of seeking bond financing from the city of Minneapolis next week, according to the Star Tribune report.
The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities hired real-estate firm CBRE last year to explore alternative locations and to evaluate its current location. The Y's current facility has fitness studios, cardio equipment, resistance training machines, free weights, a track and racquetball courts. It also has an indoor lap pool, whirlpool, a basketball court and child care facilities.
"We are currently determining what programs and services best meet the needs of the growing and dynamic downtown community based on what we have learned through market studies, focus groups and discussions we have been conducting over the last three years," Schimml told Club Industry. "In the evaluation process, we will determine how best we can provide state-of-the-art fitness and wellness programs and services; social responsibility programs and community outreach services; gathering spaces for community groups; and collaborative and innovative work space for Y employees."