Possible buyer offers to buy closing YMCA location
SARASOTA - It was nearly three weeks ago that interim CEO Steve Bourne announced the unexpected closure of two Sarasota YMCA locations.
"This is a really sad day," said Bourne. "It’s a sad day for members, for staff, for volunteers. Unfortunately our membership levels have dropped to a level we just cannot sustain those fitness centers.”
Since that shocking announcement members acted quickly to try and save their beloved Y. Lucia Barrett helped organize the group ‘Save Our Y’ composed of members to fight to keep their fitness center opened.
"The purpose is to go forward with a message of hope and a message of solving problems so that in the end our Y will be able to remain open,” said Barrett.
Now it seems a knight in shining armor has stepped up. According to a report by the Herald Tribune an unidentified buyer has offered to purchase 8.7 acres of the Frank G. Berlin property.
The offer would also leave up to the Y to maintain ownership of the fitness center. The anonymous buyer has also asked the board to give him an answer by Monday morning.
"We have looked out into the community to find out if we can find some donor or some donors or a consortium to come and help us through this period,” said Bourne.
Bourne told Y member at a town hall meeting the organization has not officially put the locations up for sale but has received several offers. Neither he nor the board were available for comment.
‘Save Our Y’ released to SNN the following statement. "A proposal has been submitted to the Sarasota family YMCA, Inc. to keep the current fitness facilities in place without impact on their services. This needs to be acted upon with the utmost urgency.”
Members from 'Save Our Y' and YMCA board will be meeting Monday morning to further discuss the proposal. We'll be sure to keep you up to date on all the latest information.