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Allan

Detroit: Downtown YMCA to Break Ground Oct 30th

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YMCA preps Detroit ground

Oct. 30 ceremony marks its return to downtown

October 7, 2003

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and other civic leaders will break ground later this month for construction of Detroit's long-awaited new$30-million downtown YMCA.

Scheduled to open to the public in late 2005, the new Y will offer a multipurpose swimming facility; a center for youth music, dance, drama and art programs; a child-care center; facilities for aerobics classes and general workouts, and much more.

The 85,000-square-foot, four-story, glass-and-steel Y will be "like no other Y in the country and Canada. It'll be a great addition," said Joanna Satterlee, director of communications for the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.

YMCA officials have scheduled a groundbreaking for 11 a.m. Oct. 30 at the site of the new Y, a parking lot on Broadway south of John R.

Located a block south of the Detroit Opera House and not far from Comerica Park, Ford Field, and the new Compuware Corp. headquarters, the YMCA will serve as another of the new anchors of Detroit's redeveloping downtown. It is expected to add some much-needed activity in its area as the city prepares to host Super Bowl XL in February 2006 in Ford Field.

The glass and masonry building is designed by Detroit-based SmithGroup architects. Barton Malow Co., a Southfield-based contractor, will build it.

The new building will mark the YMCA's return to downtown. A demolition company razed the 90-year-old YMCA at Adams and Witherell in late 1997 and early 1998 to make way for construction of Comerica Park.

Plans to start construction of a new Y as early as three years ago were delayed in part by fund-raising difficulties. Officials now say the money for the Y is being raised through a combination of public contributions and the issuance of tax-exempt bonds authorized by the city.

Among the amenities at the new Y:

The Boll Theater, fully equipped to showcase lectures, performances and exhibits with an emphasis on youth-education programs and performances.

A child development center introducing a "play-to-learn" curriculum that moves beyond basic child care into child development programs.

Fitness and sports centers, featuring state-of-the-art equipment and sound and audio-visual equipment.

YMCA Center for the Performing and Literary Arts, a center for educational programs in music, dance, drama and art geared to adults and children.

Ford Family Resource Center, a multipurpose facility that includes the Center for Healthier Children, Youth and Teens; the Center for Healthy Aging; work site health promotion programs, and the Family Development and Well-Being Center.

The new Y is part of a broader $70-million building program that saw two other new YMCAs open recently, one in Milford in mid-2002 and one in Auburn Hills last month.

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER at 313-222-5173 or [email protected]

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yipee skipee

just giving the burbanites who work downtown another reason to stay/move downtown

pretty soon detroit's going to reach a terminal velocity, by that i mean they'll have all the amenities, that burbanites like to drive to.....

and that's not forgetting what detroit a city as a whole can provide over any suburb

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just giving the burbanites who work downtown another reason to stay/move downtown

Yep. This is yet another step in the downtown revitalization. The downtown renaissance is now in full swing :). This is what Detroit has been waiting for. Businesses are starting to move downtown. It'll be a few years before Detroit sees its first major retailer downtown, but it's only a question of time. At one time I heard that retailers look for a downtown population of 10,000 and 50,000 office workers. Right now downtown has just over 5,000 people and 55,000 office workers downtown, so the city is well on its way to reaching the threshold of 10,000 residents that retailers look for. They are already building a Borders and a Hardrock Cafe downtown, and hopefully more businesses will follow. I just wish we could convince more companies to relocate to downtown Detroit like Compuware did.

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does anyone remember if it was karmanos' idea, or archers?

i'm still peeved about borg waner moving to the burbs.....then again they have that huge tech site in auburn hills

and magic johnson was on the radio today talking about opening a theater complex....furthermore MJ is a franchisee for TFIG's and starbucks, so those would possibly follow too

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and magic johnson was on the radio today talking about opening a theater complex....furthermore MJ is a franchisee for TFIG's and starbucks, so those would possibly follow too

That's good news. It'd be great if we could see those in the city.

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people may criticize, "i hate those chains" or "they are a threat to mom and pop stores"

but institutions (yes i just said institution to describe a starbucks) such as those are key icons to outsiders (whether suburbanites or visitors) that detroit is certainly a livable, vibrant city

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I would have to agree some of those "institutions" are better than the mom and pop stores and they also empolye more people.

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as long as detroit doesn't go crazy with with chains and such....possibly ala las vegas strip or times square......but then again beggars cant be choosers

then again, i don't think detroit tourism industry will ever be on par with those tourist traps

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