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City okays lease for Next, YMCA for $1 a year

By Lisa Brody

After the city of Birmingham purchased the YMCA building at 400 E. Lincoln in early June for $2 million, Birmingham city commissioners unanimously approved a three-year lease agreement in the amount of $1 a year, allowing the YMCA to continue to provide their services at the property.

The city purchased the YMCA building and its land for the future home of Birmingham's senior service organization, Next, and for the ongoing services provided by the YMCA. Next is paying $500,000 towards the purchase price.

The purchase agreement calls for a three-year transition period during which the lease agreements will be entered into between the city and the YMCA. The YMCA will continue to offer services and have a responsibility for maintenance of the building and land during that timeframe. Renovations and other processes will also take place during the three-year period. This three year transition period will allow time for the future planning, financing, and necessary renovations to provide a permanent home for Next, and to allow for a continued presence of the YMCA.

When Next moves into the building, the organization will occupy about 75 percent of the square footage while the YMCA will occupy the other 25 percent.

In addition to the $1/year lease agreement, the YMCA will pay for all utilities and maintenance during the three-year period. According to city manager Jana Ecker and city attorney Mary Kucharek, that will allow the city to recover a substantial portion of the building operation and maintenance costs over the next three years as plans are finalized for the design and renovations needed to establish a senior center/recreation center. All costs related to the pool will be covered by the YMCA.


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