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Jackson YMCA secures four downtown properties

The Y has raised close to $22 million towards the construction of a downtown YMCA and healthy living campus.
Jackson YMCA announced it secured four properties adjacent to the existing YMCA facility and...
Jackson YMCA announced it secured four properties adjacent to the existing YMCA facility and parking lot.(Jackson YMCA)
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 10:38 AM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - Monday the Jackson YMCA announced it secured four properties adjacent to the existing YMCA facility and parking lot.

The property closings provide the YMCA the additional square footage it requires to build a new facility on the expanded footprint. The YMCA’s new facility will be built on the northeast end of the current Y parking lot.

The current facility will be razed upon completion of the new Y and that footprint will be repurposed for parking. The property acquisitions expand the Y campus to 3.5 acres on the edge of residential and downtown Jackson.

The Y has raised close to $22 million towards the construction of a downtown YMCA and healthy living campus.

Jackson YMCA CEO Shawna Tello praised the Jackson families and organizations involved in the transactions for supporting the Y’s mission and seeing the potential in its capital project.

“When we met with our neighbors, they were very supportive of our plans to expand our impact and work collaboratively,” said Tello. “Each property owner, once we shared our vision with them, embraced the idea and made the transactions as smooth as possible.”

Jackson YMCA secures four downtown properties
Jackson YMCA secures four downtown properties(Jackson YMCA)

The current Y facility is located on the southwest end of the YMCA property. As outlined in the image, the expanded Y property is encompassed within the broken white line. The current facility is outlined by a white dashed line. Corresponding to the letters on the parcel map, the YMCA has acquired:

A: 121 W. Wesley Street: A portion of the current parking lot previously owned by Trinity Lutheran Church. The church has owned space since the 1970s. The Congregation at a recent special Voter’s Meeting agreed to sell for a nominal amount a small parcel of land to complete the footprint needed for the new Y building. The Congregation overwhelmingly approved the project saying it “looks forward to having a front-row seat while the new YMCA facility is being built.”

Trinity Lutheran Church Council President Steve Lazaroff said Trinity and the Y share many values including strengthening the community through collaboration with others, and they look forward to immediate improvements in the neighborhood and partnering in the future to enhance downtown.

B: 116 W. Franklin Street: Ruben Marquez purchased the four-unit apartment building nearly four decades ago in 1981. Born and raised in Jackson and now, currently residing in Spring Arbor, Ruben said he has built many memories in the apartment building. “I raised my kids there until my daughter was in sixth grade,” said Ruben, a licensed builder and certified inspector. “We occupied two of the units, so we had three bedrooms and quite a lot of space.” After the completion of the sale, Ruben donated $20,000 to the Y to support the capital campaign.

C: 105 W. Wesley Street: The building was donated to the YMCA by Alfred Bruey. Alfred owned the building for 25 years and, until recently, also owned another building on nearby Mechanic St. Alfred, who still lives in Jackson, raised his family here. His son Don said that, once they understood the scope of the Y project, making the decision to donate the property was easy. “We are all aware of the Y’s contribution to the community. Contributing our property was a great way to help the Y continue and expand the good work they do,” Don said.

D: 400 S. Mechanic Street (located on the corner of W. Wesley St.): The property was donated by Ron and Jane (McCauley) Hamara, with the building donated by Tom Leonard. Jane, whose family has many ties to Jackson, said “Donating the land to the YMCA was one way we could give back to a community that has been so good to our family.”

The YMCA will continue to work with the campaign’s major donors and partners, obtaining additional financial support to close the project’s funding gap.

The Y plans to begin demolition of the structures in June.

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