THURSDAY JULY 26, 2018
Y 2025 – VICTORIA YMCA-YWCA PLANS FOR NEW MODERN FACILITIES
Following a year-long property review, the Board of Directors of the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island (the Y) announced today the sale of their premises at 851 Broughton Street to Vancouver-based Concert Real Estate Corporation (Concert). The sale enables the Y to move forward and pursue opportunities to relocate and build a new, modern Y in partnership with a yet-to-be-determined development partner in Victoria’s downtown core. The Y, a charity and not-for-profit organization, has been providing health, wellness, recreation and family services that are accessible to all families and citizens in Victoria for more than 140 years and has been operating in its current location for more than 50 years.
Concert’s purchase agreement allows the Downtown Y to remain in operation in its current facilities for up to seven years enabling the organization to plan for relocation without business interruption.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Y participants and the Victoria community,” said Christine Gleed, Chair, Board of Directors YWCA-YMCA of Vancouver Island. “For more than a decade, the Board has contemplated the Victoria Y’s aging facilities at 851 Broughton Street. As we look to the future with a desire to remain relevant, viable and accessible to all citizens, we are exploring our options for a new facility in the downtown core. We have an exciting future ahead and a responsible path forward. Our sale agreement allows us to carry on business as usual for the next several years delivering our programs services in Victoria while we engage in meaningful discussions with other like-minded partners to secure a new location where we will build a new modern Downtown Y facility. Victoria is becoming more urban, and we are optimistic about relocation opportunities given the renewal investment taking place in the core. We have received some strong interest to date and now that we have a final sale, we can begin to engage with greater certainty.”
“Concert has a long and proud history in Victoria having built a number of communities in the downtown core,” said Brian McCauley, Concert’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “We were pleased to work closely on this sale with the Y, an organization with whom we have maintained a strong relationship over the years. While our plans for this site are yet to be confirmed, we are committed to thoughtful planning and engagement that reflects Concert’s commitment to be a community-builder.”
“This is an exciting announcement for the resilience and renewal of Victoria’s downtown. The Y and the important services it provides contribute to our community’s health, well-being and inclusiveness. The renewal and evolution of the facility will support Victoria’s long-term sustainability,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
To facilitate the development of a new modern Downtown Y, the City of Victoria has signed a new agreement with the Y to replace a covenant that was placed on the property in 1965 when the City donated a portion of the current site to the Y. Under the agreement, the Y will place $1.89- million with the City to secure the Y’s continued commitment to remain in the downtown core delivering quality health, fitness and recreation services to the citizens of Victoria. Upon the successful relocation of the Downtown Y and the continuation of services, the City of Victoria will return the funds to the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island.
The agreement stipulates that a new Y will be started in the downtown core within eight years. Should the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island not meet this timeline, the City of Victoria will retain the funds to be used for a capital project that relates to recreation and wellness. The amount was derived from an independent appraisal and reflects the current value of the portion of the property originally donated by the City.
City of Victoria and Downtown Y Recognize 50 Years of Collaboration and Cooperation
YMCA/YWCA Vancouver Island has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Victoria. The agreement recognizes a 50 year history of cooperation on the delivery of health and wellness services, and formalizes a commitment to continue to collaborate on the planning and delivery of services for citizens of Victoria and the region. The MOU respects the continued independence of each organization, as well as the complementary benefits to the community. Together, we welcome more than 1-million people annually. As Victoria grows, the needs of our citizens also evolve. We look forward to exploring new opportunities to innovate and cooperate on the delivery of services and programs that will collectively strengthen community well-being, and promote healthy living. The MOU recognizes our distinct business models and does not impact staffing or resourcing.
To the following municipalities for working with the Y and providing support through permissive tax exemption to realise the vision of Healthy People, Strong Communities
City of Langford – Westhills YMCA- YWCA
District of Metchosin and District of Sooke – YMCA-YWCA Camp Thunderbird /Outdoor Centre
City of Victoria – Downtown YMCA-YWCA