Bangor Y finishes first phase of renovation; old YMCA building attracting interest

Posted Sept. 02, 2011, at 7:46 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — As a major renovation project at the former Bangor YWCA building on Second Street shifts from one phase to another, the former Bangor YMCA building on Hammond Street is drawing interest from potential buyers.

“We just redid our entire child care facility at the new facility,” said Bangor Y CEO Michael Seile of the Second Street building, where the YMCA and YWCA were merged last year. “So we’re done Phase I and now can eye Phase II with expansion toward Sanford Street.”

That expansion will include a new entrance and welcome center, land fitness studios, expanded locker rooms, a basketball court and new workout space.

“At this time, we don’t know when we’ll start Phase II,” said Seile. “We’re still in the early stages of planning. At the very least, we’ll be coming up with a timeline over the next year and we’ll have to start a fundraising campaign.”

Thursday was opening day for the Y’s new child care facility, which is more child-friendly with an emphasis on quality over quantity.

“It doesn’t increase our day care capacity, but parents and kids were ecstatic with the way it came out,” Seile said. “We’ve removed all carpets and invested in a creative curriculum and training our staff with that. Incorporating more exercise.”

The facility’s capacity is 120 children (kindergarten through fifth-grade) for the before- and after-school program and 45 for the full day care facility for children ages 18 months to 5 years.

The second phase of the Y’s renovation will increase its current space at the 17 Second St. location from 45,000 square feet to 69,000.

In December 2010, the YWCA and YMCA in Bangor merged and moved into the Second Street facility.

The old Bangor YMCA building at 127 Hammond St., listed for sale at $750,000 on loopnet.com, has 51,000 square feet of space.

“It’s been on the market two months and we’ve already shown it to several interested parties,” said Seile. “There may be a potential offer on the table within a week or so.”

Dan Sykes, who bought the former Whig and Courier and the four-story building it fronted in July 2010, initially was one of the most interested parties, but after touring the building, he indicated Friday he no longer has interest.

Seile said the building has a lot of strong selling points, from its location in the downtown development district, established parking, and the fact that the “square box portion” of the building doesn’t contain load-bearing walls, allowing more flexibility for building alteration.

“After the major expansion that took place in 1959, that part of the building is flexible for reuse,” Seile said. “The gym and workout facility do present some challenges for architects.”

The property is listed with Epstein Commercial Real Estate.

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