New Downtown YMCA Could Be On News Journal Site
One year after the first mention of a new YMCA for downtown Pensacola, businessman Quint Studer is out with a new offer to the organization.
Studer – who closed on a 3.4 million dollar deal for the Pensacola News Journal property last week, is offering part of the six acres for the YMCA to replace its 62-year-old facility. No money will change hands; Studer considers it a “donation.”
Once Studer and his partners knew they would be purchasing the PNJ site, they made the offer to the YMCA Board – knowing that the property was already under consideration by the Board.
Last January, Studer and his wife Rishy pledged $5 million toward construction of a new Y at Community Maritime Park. The idea was abandoned in March. The YMCA’s Board cited how property at the park is leased, and extreme confusion within city government.
While not high-profile, work has been ongoing in developing a plan to build a new YMCA somewhere downtown. Williams says it’s been frustrating at times, but the experience has enabled them to regroup
Meanwhile, Quint Studer Daily Convo LLC is moving ahead with the original plan for the land – razing the 55-year-old PNJ building and building mixed-use facilities, including rental housing to go with a number of existing parking lots nearby.
Gannett,which owns the Pensacola News Journal, has signed a lease to remain in the building for another six months while a new location is sought. YMCA Board Chairman Steve Williams says that will give them enough time to hammer out is how to finance the project through fund-raisers, and the five million dollars pledged by the Studers last year which remains on the table.