OFFICIAL - New Downtown YMCA (former Lyric Theater)

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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zonk
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OFFICIAL - New Downtown YMCA (former Lyric Theater)

Post by zonk » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:47 am


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Re: OFFICIAL - New Downtown YMCA (former Lyric Theater)

Post by KCPowercat » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:02 pm

Heck yes. Gotta be in the loop or north crossroads.

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Re: OFFICIAL - New Downtown YMCA (former Lyric Theater)

Post by FangKC » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:17 pm

This is good news.

I don't know which is my favorite site--probably the 10th and Grand, or East Village sites.

The site at 10th and Grand offers many advantages. It's very close to the proposed streetcar line, and on several bus routes already. An entire block would be available for the YMCA and a parking garage. It's in the very heart of the downtown loop. It's already cleared of buildings. It would be close for several large companies and banks employees' to use. Many downtown workers and residents might benefit from the child development center that the Y offers. It's also close to the downtown library, which might appeal to many parents who could bring kids to the Y and then go to the library in the same trip.

The East Village site would have an entire block to devote to any structure and parking garage for the YMCA. The lots are cleared of buildings already. However, it is further away from the proposed streetcar route on Main.

The site at 11th and Wyandotte seems less likely--mostly because I don't know if they could include the building and parking (assuming a garage would be required for 600 parking spaces). It depends on whether Y patrons could use adjacent garages or not. One advantage is that the Lyric Theater might be used for Y lecture series similar to what the 92nd Street YMCA does in New York City. That is a very popular series that covers a lot of topics. It's also close to the downtown library, which might appeal to many parents who could bring kids to the Y and then go to the library in the same trip. Although, I'd rather see the 11th and Wyandotte used by the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance for their needs--if that pans out.

The Union Station site would be okay. However, it's not as convenient for people living and working inside the Loop who might want to walk there.

The Hospital Hill site seems less likely although there is plenty of room around Truman Medical Center to site a YMCA and the parking. It's also not as close to the proposed streetcar line, and there aren't as many downtown residents living near that site that could walk there. However, per another thread on healthcare of medical workers (being obese), TMC and Children's Mercy staff might benefit from having a YMCA onsite. :D

While I would love to see the Mark Twain Building reused as a YMCA, I don't think it meets the Y's guidelines--namely the three swimming pools.

Not mentioned though are the Copaken-controlled sites at 12th and Grand, and 17th and Broadway; the Whitney Kerr site at Truman and Baltimore; or one of the blocks in the North Loop Kemper parking gulag. :D

The 17th and Broadway site might have the advantage of being able to use the City-owned garage at the Kauffman Center, which would give another use to that garage.

I also think one of the sites to be considered are the parking lots near 16th and Main--north and east of NARA and the Mainmark Building. That site would be right on the proposed streetcar line, and bus routes.

Also not mentioned would be a potential site somewhere in Penn Valley Park. The advantage here would be that the YMCA might be able to have an outdoor pool, as well as outdoor facilities like basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and softball. The Y might be able to work something out with the Parks and Recreation Department. There are already two softball fields there, and they could move the tennis courts if need be. There is also a dedicated place for joggers and walkers already in PVP, which would not be available anywhere else downtown. PVP lost its' city outdoor swimming pool when they put in the I-35 ramps to Southwest Trafficway, and that public pool was never replaced. It would also bring more activity into the park.

I do think that having a much larger downtown YMCA--especially on the proposed streetcar route--would encourage development of more residential and commercial space. It might be a heavily-weighed advantage to maintaining and attracting companies downtown, since the suburbs might not offer those programs. Many companies are facing pressure from their health insurance providers to develop employee healthy living programs to keep medical costs down--that could be offered through the YMCA. Large employers then don't have to hire companies to do that, or staff.

It might attract more retired empty nesters to live downtown who might take advantage of the programs there. Retired professionals have the money to buy condos, and often don't have to take out mortgages to do so. This is a huge advantage for any condo developer because of the 50 percent pre-sold ownership rule mortgage lenders have with condo units.

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Re: OFFICIAL - New Downtown YMCA (former Lyric Theater)

Post by kboish » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:06 pm

This is a great idea! The 10th and grand site seems like the best option to meet, right in the heart of things. East village would be ok if it spurred them on to build out the rest of their plan...other wise i don't like it off by itself. hope this gets the backing it deserves. What a great amenity it would be.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by KC-wildcat » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:16 pm

East village = bad. Downtown workers aren't walking distance.

Put the thing on main or grand. And put it on a surface lot.

Come on KCMO, don't screw this up.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by Pork Chop » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:47 pm

KC-wildcat wrote:East village = bad. Downtown workers aren't walking distance.

Put the thing on main or grand. And put it on a surface lot.

Come on KCMO, don't screw this up.
I live in the East Village and I would have to agree, put it on Main or Grand and that will benefit downtown more than just trying to spur growth in the east.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by taxi » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:45 pm

Fer cryin out loud, does anyone walk to the Y? And if they did, couldn't they walk an extra few blocks? EV isn't really any different than Main or Grand, for convenience, except the value of land is slightly lower. Every young Christian man is going to drive there, anyway.

Even a shitty golfer, like myself, could stand at 10th and Grand and hit a ball into the EV. Meaning, it is still very close. EV needs a jumpstart, much more than 10th and Grand. It makes more sense to locate this where it will make a bigger difference in improving the neighborhood.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by loftguy » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:30 pm

taxi wrote:Fer cryin out loud, does anyone walk to the Y? And if they did, couldn't they walk an extra few blocks? EV isn't really any different than Main or Grand, for convenience, except the value of land is slightly lower. Every young Christian man is going to drive there, anyway.

Even a shitty golfer, like myself, could stand at 10th and Grand and hit a ball into the EV. Meaning, it is still very close. EV needs a jumpstart, much more than 10th and Grand. It makes more sense to locate this where it will make a bigger difference in improving the neighborhood.

Do we have to spell it out for you Taxi?

You expect decent people to go over there? It's too close to where the scary people are. Is that clear enough for you?

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by Pork Chop » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:07 pm

loftguy wrote:
taxi wrote:Fer cryin out loud, does anyone walk to the Y? And if they did, couldn't they walk an extra few blocks? EV isn't really any different than Main or Grand, for convenience, except the value of land is slightly lower. Every young Christian man is going to drive there, anyway.

Even a shitty golfer, like myself, could stand at 10th and Grand and hit a ball into the EV. Meaning, it is still very close. EV needs a jumpstart, much more than 10th and Grand. It makes more sense to locate this where it will make a bigger difference in improving the neighborhood.

Do we have to spell it out for you Taxi?

You expect decent people to go over there? It's too close to where the scary people are. Is that clear enough for you?
It's mainly to do with where would building the YMCA have the most economic impact for the city. I am no expert, but I would have to say that main or grand would. That's the most central area for most of the employees DT. Besides the "scary" people will be there as well. ;-)

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by mykem » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:23 pm

I think the perfect location would be at the corner of 13th and Grand accross the street from the Sprint Center.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by KC-wildcat » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:22 pm

Density.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by smh » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:34 am

KC-wildcat wrote:Density.
Shhhhh! You'll jinx it.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by kboish » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:17 am

Doesn't 10th and grand have an office tower planned for that block? It would be great to see a spec tower (or occupied tower) go up on top of a new YMCA. They could share a parking garage.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by KCMax » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:28 am

Awesome news.

What would you do with the old Y in Quality Hill? I always loved that building.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by FangKC » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:29 am

Maybe the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance could use it.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by FangKC » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:30 am

kboish wrote:Doesn't 10th and grand have an office tower planned for that block? It would be great to see a spec tower (or occupied tower) go up on top of a new YMCA. They could share a parking garage.
I don't know of anything planned for that block.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by KCPowercat » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:54 am

If this is built on east side or crossroads I could see the qh YMCA remaining. Lots of daytime workers walk to it.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by loftguy » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:00 pm

There is a quote in the KC Star article, stating that "Y's" are seen as an anchor in other communities.

I can recognize value in this development, but an anchor taking a prime site on Grand Blvd.? Someone enlighten me.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by KC-wildcat » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:38 pm

KCMax wrote:Awesome news.

What would you do with the old Y in Quality Hill? I always loved that building.
Residential would make sense.

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Re: New Downtown YMCA

Post by Midtownkid » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:54 pm

I understand why people want to see that on Grand, near the P&L, but I don't agree. Imagine the city in a few years, assuming the economy and retail bounce back a bit. We would much rather see lots or retail along Grand than a stinky YMCA. Just put it a block or two over...away from the main avenues of DT. Maybe it could be built within the Argyle Building somehow? Further up Grand, closer to the old Fed Reserve or between the Library District and Quality Hill on a massive surface lot maybe?

Exciting news in any case. Hope the old Y in Quality Hill can find a new use fast! It's a beautiful building, shouldn't be too hard.

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