Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg City Council okays ceding parking to former YMCA building

The owner of the former YMCA building has a contract to sell it to a music promoter who hopes to create a museum and concert venue.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2012)

The owner of the former YMCA building has a contract to sell it to a music promoter who hopes to create a museum and concert venue.

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council ruled unanimously to give control of roughly a dozen parking spaces adjacent to the historic YMCA at 116 Fifth St. S to the owner of the building once it is renovated. The hope is that the additional parking will make the 1926 building more attractive to someone who will spend big bucks to refurbish it.

"Now I know I have at least 25 spaces if you add those to what's already there," said Phil Powell, who owns the building and made the parking request of the city. "Twenty five spaces is really meaningful. If you get employees to park off-site that could be enough for a boutique hotel or an area to stick school buses in front of a museum."

Powell has been trying to sell the YMCA for several years and the lack of parking has been a concern for most interested parties. It is currently under contract to Thomas Nestor, a local music promoter who wants to convert it to a museum, concert venue and youth music center. He has received personal loans from three individuals for a $20,000 down payment and monthly installments of $8,000.

Nestor, who was also pleased with the council's parking decision, said he is in talks with donors and investors who are interested in investing significantly more money to partner with him to redevelop and save the building.

Powell said he's all for Nestor buying and saving the property. But in case he can't come up with the funds, he has a handful of other potential buyers who said they would be more interested with more parking. He will now reach out to them before asking the city for a permit to demolish the building as he did late last year. That would be a last resort if all else fails, he said.

"No one has come to me and said 'if you get 25 parking spaces we will sign a contract,' " Powell said. "But at least this opens the door to more possibilities."

Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at

St. Petersburg City Council okays ceding parking to former YMCA building 02/09/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 4:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Girl says her mom asked for forgiveness before stabbing her


    ATLANTA — Everyone was asleep when Isabel Martinez began stabbing her children and then fatally stabbed her husband as he tried seek help, her daughter told a child welfare caseworker.

    In a  July 7 file photo, Isabel Martinez gestures towards news cameras during her first court appearance, in Lawrenceville , Ga. Martinez is charged with killing four of her children and their father. [AP Photo/John Bazemore, File]
  2. McCain says 'I'll be back soon' as he battles brain cancer


    WASHINGTON — Battling brain cancer, Sen. John McCain on Thursday promised to return to work, making a good-natured dig at his Republican and Democratic colleagues who were jolted by news of the six-term lawmaker's diagnosis.

    Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor after a blood clot was removed. [Associated Press]
  3. Fire on neighbor's porch leads to charges against Holiday man


    HOLIDAY — A Holiday man was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he torched the front porch of his neighbor, who he insisted was holding his daughter hostage.

    Dan Fry, 63, of Holiday was arrested Wednesday on a charge of first-degree arson. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]
  4. Port Richey man solicited sex from 13-year-old, Pasco authorities say


    PORT RICHEY — A Port Richey man was arrested Wednesday after Pasco County authorities say he solicited sex from a 13-year-old boy on the gay male dating app Grindr.

    Shawn Daly, 43, of Port Richey was charged with solicitation for sexual conduct with a child over a computer. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]