Gym News

Downtown Dallas YMCA puts building up for sale to fend off competition

Downtown Dallas YMCA puts building up for sale to fend off competition

YMCA downtown Dallas
The YMCA has been downtown in one form or another since 1885. Courtesy photo

The downtown Dallas location of the YMCA, located at 601 N. Akard St., at the corner of Ross Avenue, is being put up for sale.

In a letter to members sent on September 11, executive director Giselle Patterson and president/CEO Curt Hazelbaker shared that the organization had determined after a year-long study that a sale of the current location was the best option.

The decision came after an evaluation of the facility's age and size; the cost to maintain it; and competition from other new workout facilities downtown.

In a statement, the Y said that a property company would begin marketing the building on September 23. "The sale of the building is contingent on the price being right and that we have found a good alternative for a new location," it said.

However, the Y emphasized that it would maintain a downtown presence.

"Our primary message is the YMCA is not closing," the statement said. "We are committed to honoring and maintaining the T. Boone Pickens namesake and having a YMCA presence in the downtown Dallas area."

The mission of the study was to consider future prospects for all YMCA facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth. YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas has more than 20 facilities across the area, from McKinney to Waxahachie.

A separate committee was formed to evaluate the downtown facility, comprised of members of the T. Boone Pickens Board of Management, YMCA Board of Directors, Downtown Dallas Inc., the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Y staff.

The committee reviewed factors such as the cost of repairs, maintenance needs, membership trends, and the fact that new residential buildings these days come with their own in-house gyms.

"Specifically, most office and residential buildings are now including wellness centers as tenant amenities," the letter said. "This brings a dynamic that the Y has not experienced previously."

A competitive dynamic. There was a time when the Y was one of the only workout facilities in downtown Dallas.

The Y underwent a huge renovation in the late 2000s with an upgraded yoga and pilates room, renovated locker rooms, expanded children's area, 10,000-square-foot cardio and weight center, new elevator system, and renovation of the parking garages, with the help of a $5 million gift from T. Boone Pickens, after whom the gym was subsequently named in 2009.

It has a pool, basketball court, more than 80 exercise classes a week, complimentary towel service, whirlpool, steam room, and sauna. It also offers affordable rates that are pro-rated by age.

Coincidentally, the Y sent out the letter on September 11, the same day that Pickens passed away.

"Since 1885, the YMCA has been part of the Dallas community," the letter said. "While locations over 134 years may have changed, the mission of the YMCA and our commitment to our members and the community has remained the same."