This shouldn’t be shocking to anybody familiar with the state and age of the buildings on the corner of South Park and Sackville Street, but word from the YMCA Board of Directors and Management team is that they are in planning stages for a new downtown complex alongside CBC/Radio Canada. This is in the early stages and includes about two years of market research, site reviewing and consultation. In what appears to be just the beginning of “a long and multi faceted process”:
Today, we are in the preliminary stages of clearly understanding the potential development opportunities on the joint parcel of land and the implications for a new YMCA. To this end, the YMCA and CBC/Radio Canada will be submitting a joint development application to HRM at the end of January 2009.
There is no need to panic just yet about temporary closures, because the Halifax Regional Municipality still has to hear and approve such a development (up to 18 months away) plus involving the development community and most likely countless consultations. This appears to include South Park YMCA building (built in 1951), the CBC Radio Building and the adjouning parking lots.
Why is The YMCA collaborating with the CBC/Radio Canada?
In addition to being neighbours with joint properties that may have greater potential as one piece of land, The YMCA and CBC share a common mission and mandate to serve the whole community for public good. This shared purpose heightens the potential positive outcome for this community if a collaborative development could take place.
I couldn’t see much talk about this joint venture online, but it looks like $1,642.57 was spent on meetings involving Michel Saint-Cyr, President, Real Estate Division and meetings with CBC Regional Director Andrew Cochran, the YMCA, Halifax Films and Port Authority last August.