Turns out the Germantown YWCA is not about to crumble down. Not "imminently" at least.
The historic building, which has suffered various fires, severe vandalism and sat vacant for years deteriorating away, was deemed to be "unsafe" and not the most severe of the building stability categories, "imminently dangerous," Councilwoman Cindy Bass said Thursday.
The building had been deemed imminently dangerous in 2012. Last year, the Redevelopment Authority issued a Request for Proposals for redevelopment of the building. The only proposal submitted was for low-income senior housing, which Bass rejected.
The RDA, subsequently, ordered several inspections of the building. The results came back a few days ago, Bass said.
"I am happy to announce the YWCA is not imminently dangerous," Bass said in a news release Thursday. She is committing $2.2 million of the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative funds reserved for her district, to rehab the Germantown Y. The RDA is providing up to $2.2 million in additional funds for teh rehabilitation of the building.
"We are able to provide the resources to protect and weatherize the property to prevent the building from any further structural deterioration. We will also be able to provide the much needed 'curb appeal' to make the property more marketable, and aid in stabilizing the commercial corridor," Bass said in her statement.
The building at 5820 Germantown Ave., for decades a gathering place for local families, was one of the first racially integrated YMCAs. It was shuttered nearly a decade ago when its previous owner, Germantown Settlement, went bankrupt.
The Redevelopment Authority foreclosed on the building in 2009. It wasn't until September that a request for proposals was issued, in which the city specified it wanted a developer who would restore the building and offer "nonsubsidized affordable housing units."
The only proposal submitted was from the Ken Weinstein in a partnership with Mission First Housing Group, which bid the minimum $65,000 and proposed the low-income senior housing. The authority rejected that.
A new RFP will be issued this spring.
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