The YMCA of Greater Twin Cities is looking to move its downtown location to Gaviidae Common on Nicollet Mall in hopes of expanding its size and program offerings.
A new location at 651 Nicollet Mall would allow the nonprofit to consolidate its Twin Cities headquarters, currently spread between two different locations, build out a more modern wellness-oriented center and increase its “do-good” activities — such as volunteer training and youth intervention.
The YMCA has not yet finalized a deal. Instead, the organization will take its first public step next week when it goes to the City of Minneapolis for bond financing. Greg Waibel, chief operating officer, on Wednesday declined to say how much the organization is seeking from the city.
By June, he said, the YMCA will decide if it will relocate its fitness facility from 30 S. 9th St. to Gaviidae. The YMCA owns its existing downtown location: a 1990-built structure adjacent to LaSalle Plaza. If the nonprofit can secure city financing and come to an agreement with the property owner, the YMCA would sell the more than 100,000-square-foot portion of the building it owns and occupies.
“We know that Nicollet really is the heart of downtown Minneapolis and this would allow us to serve more people,” Waibel said.
The YMCA is a nonprofit that aims to encourage healthy living, youth development and social responsibility. This move “is a tri-purpose opportunity,” Waibel said, that will amplify the organization’s impact downtown.
While the public process is just beginning, Waibel said they have spent three years researching the move, including market studies, focus groups and consulting with its members.
New York-based Nightingale Properties owns most of Gaviidae Common, but sold about 50,000 square feet on the first two floors last year to Bloomington-based United Properties, which is now being leased by Walgreens and North Memorial Health Care. Nightingale has sliced up the remainder of Gaviidae to sell-off in chunks.
Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767