Post Number: 20
|Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:25 pm: || |
What does everyone know about the old YMCA on Clark AVE? It is a few blocks away from my ex-girlfriends house and I was always curious about it, but she seemed pretty unsure about it's history. In 2004 it was obvious that it was no longer a YMCA but it appeared to be occupied... anyone know what's happening there?
Post Number: 751
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 11:08 am: || |
The owner is Peter Kefallinos. See this excerpt from a recent letter by a resident of Hubbard Farms that outlines some of the issues with the YMCA - once a beautiful, vibrant community building. The pool is all Pewabic tile and lovely:
" believe this must be the same Dennis Kefallinos who owns Niki's Pizza in Greektown, and Niki's Lofts, and the Lafayette Lofts, the Iron Steel Lofts on Mt. Elliott & Atwater, the Brooklyn Lofts, and others.
I also believe the Dennis Kefallinos is the same Dennis Kefallinos that Southwest Detroit (swd) community leaders supported 5-6 years ago in the purchase of our historic Western YMCA building at 1601 Clark St. just south of West Vernor because:
1) Dennis promised the community that he would be retrofitting it for residential living lofts and he would work with the community so the gym, pool, handball courts and meeting spaces could be available to the community. SWD community leaders also met Bob Goodfellow, his operations manager when Dennis fed a group of SWD community representatives at his adjacent South of the Border Restaurant adjacent to Niki's Pizza. The SWD community also dialogued with his realtor Sue Wenrick with River Pointe Realty (in Detroit on East Jefferson) who arranged the meeting with Dennis and made sure Dennis the SWD community's support and sealed the deal on the W-YMCA Building.
Unfortunately, Dennis Kefallinos never put a redevelopment along with a financing plan together and implemented that plan for our historic WMCA building, cannot even keep the graffiti off of it or the weeds cut down and grounds cleaned, the building has become a huge eyesore with glass doors and windows broken with partial boards on it, some windows on the upper floors are open letting the weather elements in, etc.,...
When Dennis purchased this building for approximately $450-500,000, this building was still occupied by the YMCA Staff with programs and leased the space they occupied from for a year or more but eventually stopped servicing the neighborhood and closed up shop as the YMCA's have done through many other inner city other neighborhoods. This historic WYMCA building is a gem and had been maintained well all of the years the YMCA controlled it, Dennis has not even maintained the exterior of the building and has created a horrific eyesore in our growing, thriving and redeveloping efforts of our SWD community.
2) The SWD community thought that the Western YMCA Building & our surrounding community would have a better future if Dennis retrofitted the building into residential loft living compared to the YMCA's direction was going to sell the historic building to the Detroit Rescue Mission.
There needs to be legislation in our city and state, that does not allow a property owner to let a property sit vacant, deteriorating and/or prospecting. They must be "prove they are actively in the predevelopment stages or renovating it and if not, then the property must be actively on the open market for sale by a licensed realtor with a for sale sign posted on the building." (end of letter)
So that's some background.
Post Number: 37
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 11:59 am: || |
Another Detroit Tale
Post Number: 131
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 12:30 pm: || |
That about covers it. And it sits, as our city fathers (& mothers) look the other way. Guess SWD should have supported KK instead of Hendrix in the last election. KK has a long memory and has treated SWD as a poor stepchild since he was crowned King Kwame for life.
Post Number: 3255
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 12:56 pm: || |
SWD has always been the poor stepchild...
Y Board members tried to do a backroom deal on this place when they closed it; they were going to transfer ownership (without any consultation of the community, of course) to Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, a group that has a number of poorly run treatment centers for addicts.
Locals swarmed a couple of meetings, fending off another attempt at the Cass-Corridorization of SWD. At the time, the Kefallinos deal seemed like a positive step.
At this point, perhaps the best option would be for a sale to Southwest Solutions, a non-profit group that has done numerous large-building rehab projects in SWD.
Post Number: 1473
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:28 pm: || |
Mr. Kefallinos seems to have his fingers in many pies...
Post Number: 754
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:33 pm: || |
The very best scenario would be that the YMCA would look at its mission and charism and decide that running a YMCA in SW Detroit is a great fit:
"From its start more than 150 years ago, when George Williams founded the YMCA as a substitute Bible study and prayer for life on the streets..."
"alternative to life on the streets" being the operative idea here
I'm of mixed mind about Southwest Solutions. Their beautifully-renovated apartment building on Clark is debris-strewn and the residents' mental and emotional problems are spilling out into the Park. Too many people with problems live in that building with (it appears) little or no social work support.
Post Number: 988
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:46 pm: || |
Dennis is by far the biggest slumlord in Detroit....bar none. If you think the Illitches are bad, someone should do an expose' on the HUNDREDS of buildings he owns, only a few of which are occupied....MANY of them downtown....
Post Number: 132
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:46 pm: || |
Southwest Solutions (Confusions, Delusions) does do a nice job when renovating bricks and mortar, but they should be required by there funders to offer support for their clients who move into those buildings. Not just wave goodbye and head over to the next project.
Post Number: 3257
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:47 pm: || |
Understandable; I just can't see any other group taking on White-Elephant 1920's apt. buildings with lots of small units...These places worked well when our grandparents came here young and fresh-faced and looking for jobs, but today....?
Have you contacted SWS about that building?
Post Number: 3746
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 7:21 pm: || |
The Western YMCA would make the ultimate luxury condo as it has a gym, handball courts, pool and more. What has amazed me is how the neon sign has stayed on continually even though it has been close for so long.
Post Number: 3747
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 7:24 pm: || |
PS: I believe Kefallinos owns another neighborhood stopper, the American aka Fort Wayne Hotel.