Saturday, January 20, 2018
Business

Hearing on historic St. Petersburg YMCA building is postponed

ST. PETERSBURG — The Friday hearing to determine if the historic downtown YMCA can be demolished has been delayed until next year.

Phil Powell, owner of the 1925 building, asked that it be postponed while he awaits the City Council's January ruling on his request that public parking spaces be ceded to his property.

"It would add about 14 spaces, which isn't a lot but it's more than it has now," Powell said. A potential buyer who considered the building a while ago is now seriously interested again if it had additional parking, Powell said. After the city agreed to consider assigning more parking along Fifth Street and Second Avenue S to the building, Powell contacted several people who had thought about buying it but didn't because it has only nine parking spaces.

Local music promoter Thomas Nestor already has a contract and deposit on the building but needs to raise more money to make future payments. The next one is due Saturday.

Powell said if Nestor's deal falls through he hopes this other party who wants to renovate the Mediterranean-style structure will buy the building. He has a third party, an unnamed bank, that wants to buy it and tear it down. To make that sale happen, Powell must get permission from the city to raze it by convincing officials it is not economically feasible to rehabilitate.

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