|11-21-2006, 06:45 AM||#1|
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Portland, Maine
YWCA up for SALE
Building that housed YWCA up for auction
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By TUX TURKEL, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The former YWCA building at 87 Spring St. in Portland is being offered for sale at public auction next month.
The auction is set for Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. on the site.
The offering is drawing interest from developers and area institutions, according to Tranzon Auction Properties of Portland, which is handling the public sale.
The building is adjacent to the Portland Museum of Art and other downtown cultural attractions, and across the street from the Holiday Inn by the Bay and its active conference facilities. The structure could be rehabilitated to continue its social service function, or to take advantage of its swimming pool and fitness area. It could be reconfigured for office, museum or housing space. Or it might be torn down to reuse the .87-acre site, which is bounded on one side by Oak Street.
Marketing of the property has just begun, but potential bidders ranging from real estate speculators to cultural institutions are calling for more information, the auction company said Monday.
"We've got serious individuals who are paying close attention to this asset," said Thomas Saturley, Tranzon's president.
The YWCA of Greater Portland announced in August that it would be closing this fall, after several years of struggling with deficits and the cost of maintaining its 46-year-old headquarters. It has since terminated operations. Earlier in the year, the YWCA had listed the property with CB Richard Ellis/The Boulos Co. The asking price was $4.9 million, according to Greg Boulos.
But the agency was unable to reach a timely deal with interested parties, Boulos said. He suggested teaming up with Tranzon, because an auction has the potential to bring a quicker sale.
The auction process also has emerged as the best hope of getting top dollar to repay creditors, according to Roger Clement, an attorney representing the YWCA. The agency has $1 million outstanding on the building's mortgage. It also owns roughly $2.5 million for goods and services.
Any surplus from the sale is expected to go to institutions or ventures that share the YWCA's mission, Clement said. Because the agency is going out of business, the board of directors will likely consult with the state's attorney general before making a final decision, he said.
The main part of the 30,691-square-foot building was built in 1960. A one-story addition that houses a heated pool was added in 1966. The property also contains a fitness area, 53 rooms on the top two floors, office space and a courtyard.
The city has valued the property for tax purposes at $4.897 million. The land is valued at $2.24 million; the building at $2.65 million.
The fact that the land is worth roughly as much as the building speaks to the value of the prime downtown location, Saturley said. The building's value, he said, hinges on what a potential buyer wants to do with it.
In addition to the art museum, the property is also adjacent to the Children's Museum of Maine and the Portland Conservatory of Music. Those institutions, as well as the Holiday Inn, need more parking at busy times, according to Janis Beitzer, executive director of Portland's Downtown District. She'd like to see the YWCA structure demolished and replaced with something that combines expanded museum space and parking.
"I see that space as critical," Beitzer said. "It would be great to see it as a cultural and arts corner."
The property's location is also appreciated by city officials.
Lee Urban, Portland's planning and development director, said the proximity to the Holiday Inn, the Cumberland County Civic Center, Maine College of Art and other attractions make the building's reuse important to how that area evolves. Urban said he'd personally like to see the building renovated -- not torn down. The pool, fitness area and dorm rooms might interest a school, he suggested.
Tranzon is requesting a $100,000 deposit from the buyer and seeking a closing within 45 days of the auction.
Staff Writer Tux Turkel can be contacted at 791-6462 or:
|11-21-2006, 08:31 PM||#5|
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Portland, Maine
im actually really into art, i just dont try to act all stuck up like i know something other people dont about inner beauty of abstract images or some bs like that. and i would work somewhere else but the economy is such that i can only sell insurance or do this job, now that im no longer in school. sooo....fart.
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