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Riverside YMCA Project Approved

On Thursday, January 10, 2013, the Downtown Development Review Board (DDRB) voted to give final approval to the design of the proposed Riverside YMCA development in Brooklyn. Here is a look at what will be constructed.

Published January 11, 2013 in Development      57 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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Located at 221 Riverside Avenue, the proposed YMCA building is conceptually designed as a three story, 85,000 square feet structure.   The 60 foot high building will include a splash pool over a storm water vault and park facing the riverwalk.

Adjacent to the Northbank Riverwalk, the building will replace the existing YMCA complex along Riverside Avenue, which will be demolished and replaced with a surface parking lot.  In the long term, the YMCA anticipates the future development of a mixed use structure and parking garage on the surface parking lot site.


Floor Plan Layouts









Site Plans


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Master Site Plan


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57 Comments

Noone

January 11, 2013, 04:49:17 AM
very nice.
So what is the next step?

Traveller

January 11, 2013, 08:07:18 AM
I assume the second floor will have some weight equipment and not just 7,000 cardio machines.  8)

johnny_simpatico

January 11, 2013, 08:19:14 AM
You can be sure the lobby will have a lovely framed print of blond Jesus and a gigantic flat-panel television tuned to Fox News.

fsujax

January 11, 2013, 08:22:25 AM
no one is forcing you to go there johnny.

tufsu1

January 11, 2013, 08:40:08 AM
You can be sure the lobby will have a lovely framed print of blond Jesus and a gigantic flat-panel television tuned to Fox News.

well it is a Christian organization after all....and having been a member at that YMCA before, I can assure you that the stations on the TV in the lobby can be changed

If_I_Loved_you

January 11, 2013, 09:12:13 AM
You can be sure the lobby will have a lovely framed print of blond Jesus and a gigantic flat-panel television tuned to Fox News.
Years ago when I went to the YMCA I never saw any photo of Jesus or even a cross? And Fox News on the TV's is just about everywhere you go.  ;)

Tacachale

January 11, 2013, 09:27:21 AM
Nice site plan. Obviously that huge surface parking lot is not optimal. Though considering what's happening in Brooklyn right now, it's possible we won't be waiting as long for that street side development as we might be elsewhere.

Dog Walker

January 11, 2013, 11:10:09 AM
It's The Y!  You don't have to be young, a man, or Christian, just Associated.

That building is going to be spectacular from the Riverwalk and flooded with sunshine in the mornings.

Jason

January 11, 2013, 11:23:52 AM
The view from the running track will be amazing too! 

I'm really hoping they're able to lock down funding on this development very soon.  Brooklyn is on the verge of becoming a serious boomtown.

funwithteeth

January 11, 2013, 11:34:51 AM
You can be sure the lobby will have a lovely framed print of blond Jesus and a gigantic flat-panel television tuned to Fox News.

Speaking as both a member of the YMCA and an atheist, I'm wondering how insecure you have to be to let some painting bother you, or that perhaps just one of the many TVs they have is tuned to a channel you don't like.

5PointsGuy

January 11, 2013, 11:54:46 AM
Wow, Riverside Avenue is shaping up to be quite the urban corridor. Also, the concept drawing looks amazing. I might have to pony up for a membership when the new building is complete.

Roger904

January 11, 2013, 02:47:10 PM
The floor plans don't show the Metro offices that are slated to be relocated from Mandarin

urbaknight

January 11, 2013, 04:48:46 PM
I just hope they can develop the Riverside ave part of the parking lot into that mix use building they've been talking about. But I'm all for parking between the two buildings. People have to park somewhere, until/unless JTA can improve on their part of this whole thing.

Ocklawaha

January 11, 2013, 10:35:35 PM
Holy Crap Batman, I might even be tempted to join up and get fit... Um... Well... maybe not, but it does look very cool.  Actually Libby and I were long time members of the Y in Central Florida - once upon a time.

Ocklawaha

January 11, 2013, 10:37:41 PM
After thought, just for the appearances, sure would be cool to get three or four high rises somewhere between CSX - BCBS - Park Street and River.  It would make the downtown skyline look absolutely first tier.

vicupstate

January 12, 2013, 08:15:30 AM
Nice design.  Jax will go from one of the most outdated Y facilities to one of the nicest with this new building.  I hope the future Riverside facing part is more than 5 or 6 stories though.  It would be an ideal place for a high rise with office and residential.  It will be a long time before the market can support that, but it would be worth waiting for something great.

urbaknight

January 14, 2013, 02:52:35 PM
Nice design.  Jax will go from one of the most outdated Y facilities to one of the nicest with this new building.  I hope the future Riverside facing part is more than 5 or 6 stories though.  It would be an ideal place for a high rise with office and residential.  It will be a long time before the market can support that, but it would be worth waiting for something great.


Amen to that!

DSG

January 20, 2013, 01:42:51 PM
Aside from the Zoning/Development scheme ideas which have been hotly debated in other threads, I think the architectural design needs fresh vision. It is not a nice design. This looks like a building that would have gone in other cities about 20 years ago. What is it with Jacksonville?
Honestly, the top hat thing over the rotunda will be completely lost on anyone on the river or Riverwalk. But it will make a nice big sign for the helicopters and blimps that fly on gameday! Seriously, spend the money on more sophisticated materials or sunshading or something.
The design is right in its orientation to the river, but beyond that I don't see anything architecturally noteworthy. Just bla. Good architecture would make this city a cool place to live, becoming part of the package that attracts new talent and money.

Charles Hunter

January 20, 2013, 01:54:47 PM
Don't forget the logo being visible on Google and other aerial maps.

ubben

January 20, 2013, 11:19:44 PM
You can be sure the lobby will have a lovely framed print of blond Jesus and a gigantic flat-panel television tuned to Fox News.

Don't forget about the giant Bible on the pedestal right on the gym floor. Like you're supposed to read about how you'll be punished if you eat shrimp or pork right between tricep sets. I've been a member of Y's in other cities and never seen such kooky attempts of conversion therapy. That First Baptist Church must be run by very insecure nut jobs. And the architectural drawings of the new Y? YAWN! Looks like something you'd see built in Macon.

tufsu1

January 21, 2013, 08:25:46 AM
Many YMCA chapters around the country decided a few years ago to put more emphassis on Christian principles (that's what the C stands for you know)...in the case of northeast Florida, that meant hagning pictures of Jesus at the entrance and having visible bibles.

also note that the Y is not run by First Baptist

funwithteeth

January 21, 2013, 10:47:01 AM
Again, this whinging on the 'C' part is strange. What about the 'Y' and the 'M'? ubben, did you know that you don't have to be Young or Male to be a member?

Ocklawaha

January 21, 2013, 04:18:39 PM
You can be sure the lobby will have a lovely framed print of blond Jesus and a gigantic flat-panel television tuned to Fox News.

Don't forget about the giant Bible on the pedestal right on the gym floor. Like you're supposed to read about how you'll be punished if you eat shrimp or pork right between tricep sets. I've been a member of Y's in other cities and never seen such kooky attempts of conversion therapy. That First Baptist Church must be run by very insecure nut jobs. And the architectural drawings of the new Y? YAWN! Looks like something you'd see built in Macon.

Your understanding of the Christian scripture or principals is no doubt exceeded only by your knowledge of First Baptist. The Bible is pretty clear about 'food rules,' in a 'New Testament' era (see below). Of course I'm assuming you are more open minded then the members of FBC you so readily condemn.

Church. Acts 10:12-15
New International Version (NIV)
12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 

What God hath cleansed - What God has pronounced or declared pure. If God has commanded you to do a thing, it is not impure or wrong. Perhaps Peter would suppose that the design of this vision was to instruct him that the distinction between clean and unclean food, as recognized by the Jews, was about to be abolished, Acts 10:17. But the result showed that it had a higher and more important design. It was to show him that they who had been esteemed by the Jews as unclean or profane - the entire Gentile world - might now be admitted to similar privileges with the Jews. The end result is that Christians may eat anything while our Jewish brethren continue following the laws of the Torah.

thelakelander

February 06, 2013, 03:10:38 PM
Quote
New Riverside Y project gets $2 million Coggin family donation

Luther Coggin, founder of Coggin Automotive Group, and his wife, Blanche, have donated $2 million for the new Riverside YMCA, which is to be under construction later this year.

full article: http://jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2013-02-06/story/new-riverside-y-project-gets-2-million-coggin-family#ixzz2K9Sqd1go

Jason

February 06, 2013, 04:30:59 PM
^ Woo Hoo!

funwithteeth

February 06, 2013, 04:58:54 PM
Someone should give Yates money to buy a new hot-water heater.

Jason

February 06, 2013, 06:01:32 PM
Why would yates need to heat hot water?  :-)

funwithteeth

February 06, 2013, 06:06:05 PM
To make it extra hot.

blfair

February 08, 2013, 02:58:38 PM
I canceled my membership when they let their last good personal trainer walk out the door. They are in desperate need of a new facility however, anything would be an improvement. I'm sure their membership will grow dramatically when this comes to fruition.

TheCat

December 04, 2013, 11:33:22 AM
From Michelle Moore, Communication Director of YMCA:

"Just making sure you are aware of the new Winston Y groundbreaking event tonight. It begins at 4:30pm at Yates on the lawn by the river. Mayor Brown and Councilman Jones will be there, along with our leadership donors including Wayne and Delores Weaver and Florida Blue’s CEO. Mr. Winston will also speak. We have more than 200 RSVPs that include members, donors and community leaders."


thelakelander

December 04, 2013, 11:47:14 AM
Hopefully, they can sell off the surface lot they'll be building along Riverside, sooner rather than later.  That corridor should look completely different in two years or so.

Dapperdan

December 04, 2013, 01:39:44 PM
I still don't like how the building seems to be facing the wrong way, but it is what it is.

hightowerlover

December 04, 2013, 04:28:13 PM
I think it's a good looking building from the front and back.  Do I think the building is more attractive from the side facing the water, sure.  But why would you want a wide sweeping view of the street when you have a waterfront view?

Bativac

February 19, 2014, 06:11:33 PM
My wife is a trainer at a local YMCA, and she swears up and down that the word from the regional director is that YMCA has failed to obtain financing for this project. I'm telling her she's nuts - I can pull up news articles showing how much money has been donated for the new facility - but word from her boss, and his boss (etc) is that they're stuck until they can get a loan to build the facility. Has anybody hear heard anything one way or the other? I'm at the Yates YMCA a couple times a week, and I can't say I've noticed anything going on over there. But I could be wrong.

jcjohnpaint

February 19, 2014, 06:23:19 PM
I was there the other day and asked one of the managers.  They said the project is stalled due to parking issues.  They have to issue so many permits because they are going to be losing a lot of spaces until the new building goes up.

urbaknight

February 22, 2014, 11:11:36 AM
Parking parking parking it's always about parking! Here's a solution, IMPROVE MASS TRANSIT!!!

jaxjaguar

May 27, 2014, 01:54:11 PM
Anyone know when construction will begin? I saw they moved the sign recently, but it doesn't look like construction will begin anytime soon based on activity...

Badfinger

May 27, 2014, 04:40:08 PM
My wife is a trainer at a local YMCA, and she swears up and down that the word from the regional director is that YMCA has failed to obtain financing for this project. I'm telling her she's nuts - I can pull up news articles showing how much money has been donated for the new facility - but word from her boss, and his boss (etc) is that they're stuck until they can get a loan to build the facility. Has anybody hear heard anything one way or the other? I'm at the Yates YMCA a couple times a week, and I can't say I've noticed anything going on over there. But I could be wrong.
Your wife is correct.

The project has stalled due to two primary donors pulling their support once they learned that the plan was not to fully fund the project through donations but to use raised funds to gain financing instead.

Pottsburg

May 27, 2014, 06:17:06 PM
I have heard the same from 2 different YMCA employees. One is on the administration/hr side of things. She said they missed the bank loan by 2 points. Whatever that means.

jaxjaguar

May 28, 2014, 07:58:25 AM
My wife is a trainer at a local YMCA, and she swears up and down that the word from the regional director is that YMCA has failed to obtain financing for this project. I'm telling her she's nuts - I can pull up news articles showing how much money has been donated for the new facility - but word from her boss, and his boss (etc) is that they're stuck until they can get a loan to build the facility. Has anybody hear heard anything one way or the other? I'm at the Yates YMCA a couple times a week, and I can't say I've noticed anything going on over there. But I could be wrong.
Your wife is correct.

The project has stalled due to two primary donors pulling their support once they learned that the plan was not to fully fund the project through donations but to use raised funds to gain financing instead.

I don't understand the logic behind pulling support if the Y needed financing as well... Not building will only negatively impact the area / the perception of that Y.

Bativac

May 28, 2014, 09:15:05 AM
My wife is a trainer at a local YMCA, and she swears up and down that the word from the regional director is that YMCA has failed to obtain financing for this project. I'm telling her she's nuts - I can pull up news articles showing how much money has been donated for the new facility - but word from her boss, and his boss (etc) is that they're stuck until they can get a loan to build the facility. Has anybody hear heard anything one way or the other? I'm at the Yates YMCA a couple times a week, and I can't say I've noticed anything going on over there. But I could be wrong.
Your wife is correct.

The project has stalled due to two primary donors pulling their support once they learned that the plan was not to fully fund the project through donations but to use raised funds to gain financing instead.

It's a shame this project is indefinitely stalled. It's a bigger shame that I have to tell my wife she's right about something.

jaxinatl

May 28, 2014, 05:44:53 PM
With them being a nonprofit and the outrageous monthly fees and fee they charge for a weekly membership there shouldnt be a financial issue.

Buforddawg

June 01, 2014, 06:10:49 PM
Yet another disappointment for Jacksonville.  So two "Big" donors pulled their donations because the Y was going for financing.  So what was the Y planning to do with the donations?

1. Use in combination with the financing to build the new facility, in which case makes it looks like the "big" donations weren't very big.
2. Use the money to fund operations?  I could see why the donors would pull out then, misuse of funds that were to be specifically used for building the facility.

edjax

June 01, 2014, 07:31:01 PM
Per an article in the T-U a few days ago indicated that the full amount to build the project had not yet been donated and the loan that is being sought was a bridge loan to allow construction to begin prior to collecting domnations to cover the full cost. The article also indicated that they have NOT lost any donors. 

jaxbuilder

June 01, 2014, 09:35:34 PM
That seems too bad . It would have been and awesome addition to to The Riverfront. I hope they work it out soon because YATES is falling apart fast !

thelakelander

June 01, 2014, 09:45:23 PM
Delays happen. Doesn't seem like much to worry about to me. It will just take longer than originally anticipated.

Buforddawg

June 01, 2014, 11:07:20 PM
Per an article in the T-U a few days ago indicated that the full amount to build the project had not yet been donated and the loan that is being sought was a bridge loan to allow construction to begin prior to collecting domnations to cover the full cost. The article also indicated that they have NOT lost any donors.

The gap loan  makes sense and I hope that they haven't lost any donors. 

urbaknight

June 02, 2014, 01:20:21 PM
I'll bet anything(exept for my soul) that this priject is dead. They should use whatever funding they still have and just renovate the existing building. Way to go Jacksonville, typical outcome.

edjax

June 02, 2014, 02:01:00 PM
Way to go Urbanknignt, typical comment. So now you want them to renovate the existing building and on another thread where you declared it dead you wanted them to sell the property so some Yankee could build one of those tall pretty shiny buildings you yearn for all the time.

funwithteeth

June 02, 2014, 02:14:22 PM
I'd also like to see proof how the city government—who I assume he means when he blames Jacksonville—when funding fell through when one private company was trying to get money from another private company. Which is something that happens all the time everywhere.

TheCat

June 02, 2014, 02:20:32 PM
YMCA Official Response about development. They are open to questions from anyone and are aware of this thread.

Quote
Hello, Arash.
 
At the end of 2013, we shared news about our ongoing commitment to serving the downtown and Riverside communities with the building of the new Winston Family YMCA on Riverside Avenue. Financing for a project the size and scope of this one is a complex matter, and unfortunately, we were not able to reach consensus with our lender on certain terms of the loan agreement after working with them for several months. As a result, we immediately began working to identify another lending partner to help us make the project a reality. The project is certainly not dead.
 
Rest assured that we remain committed to building this new Y for the Riverside community and the underserved neighborhoods surrounding it downtown. We remain optimistic despite this temporary delay and are eager to commence work.
 
 
NIKOS WESTMORELAND, APR
Vice President of Communications

simms3

June 02, 2014, 05:13:57 PM
Way to go Urbanknignt, typical comment. So now you want them to renovate the existing building and on another thread where you declared it dead you wanted them to sell the property so some Yankee could build one of those tall pretty shiny buildings you yearn for all the time.

Typical.  lol

I'd also like to see proof how the city government—who I assume he means when he blames Jacksonville—when funding fell through when one private company was trying to get money from another private company. Which is something that happens all the time everywhere.

I agree, nothing to do with City of Jacksonville.  Honestly, I don't think a non-profit Y taking up prime riverfront land is even a good thing for the city.  It's not highest and best use and doesn't translate into highest amount of tax dollars available to city coffers.

Unfortunately, if they are seeking a bridge loan to commence construction before full funding is available, then I think this is dead in the water.  We aren't talking a high credit organization here with a large balance sheet and liquid assets; we are talking receiving financing in the hopes that more donors come to the table for this one small non-profit gym.  Talk about a high interest loan, if it even exists!

If an organization doesn't have the backing or wherewithal to open a line of credit (a much larger scale type of bridge loan situation...used for similar reasons, like my firm uses an unsecured LoC to close on acquisitions before financing is in place), then it probably can't receive a bridge.

I would be afraid to be a minor donor for these reasons, as well, though if I had a ton of money, it would be an amazing opportunity to give back to seal the deal and receive naming rights, etc etc.  Where is that big fish donor?

Buforddawg

June 02, 2014, 09:25:54 PM
I take back my negative comments on the Y's delayed construction.  I was relying on faulty information given earlier in this thread - Donors pulled out.   I think the VP of Communications needs to have chat with the staff and tell them to stop giving out the wrong information to friends and/or the general public.  All questions about the project should go to the communications department.  That's how it is where I work, loose lips and you get fired.

It's easy to get excited when a new project is announce, but equally disappointing when the new project gets delayed or worse, falls through. 

Hopefully the Y can reach an equitable deal with a new lender and get this project going.

vicupstate

June 03, 2014, 04:53:17 AM
While a beautiful facility, I agree with Simms that they should build elsewhere. It should have either gone across Riverside Ave., or been part of a mixed use mid or high rise.   

tufsu1

June 03, 2014, 08:40:27 AM
While a beautiful facility, I agree with Simms that they should build elsewhere. It should have either gone across Riverside Ave., or been part of a mixed use mid or high rise.   

at one time, the Y was considering moving off the river and putting their existing property up for sale.  Their members said that one of the reasons they like the facility is its location on the river.  As such, the new design takes advantage of riverfront views with large picture windows looking out from the workout area.

MEGATRON

June 03, 2014, 09:05:48 AM
I'd love to see the Y move more inland and sell the riverfront property to the highest bidder such that it can better fund construction of a new facility.  Perhaps the City could give the Y the park space across from the Humane Society on Forest Street then convert the former incinerator property adjacent to McCoy's Creek to a public park.
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