A one-of-a-kind property has hit the market in Denver’s Central Business District where high-rise offices, hotels and old warehouses have dominated the hot property roster in recent years.

The latest “for sale” sign – with an asking price of nearly $8.5 million – is hanging on the 94-year-old Central Branch of the YMCA. The six-story, 173,078-sf building sits on about a full acre at the intersection of 16th Ave. and Lincoln St., one of the CBD’s busiest crossroads. Charlie Woolley, head of the Denver-based St. Charles Town Co. listing agent, told GlobeSt.com the decision has been made “in an effort to better serve its members.”

The YMCA can simply can no longer to afford to maintain the property, and wants to find a site better suited for its 2,600 members, says Michele Foster, also of St. Charles Town Co. The facility serves more than 12,000 people a year through programs, including health and wellness, aerobics and aquatics. “The YMCA is committed to staying downtown,” she emphasizes.

Consideration will not only be given to the price, but buyers who are willing to suggest options for the YMCA’s relocation, says Woolley. The YMCA is interested in a leaseback arrangement for a portion of building. “However, the seller will consider all offers,” says Woolley.

The neo-classical building, which opened in 1906 at the site, is historically significant in that James Naismith, father of basketball, served as the facility’s first physical director. The main building is eligible for historic designation by Denver and the National Trust. It is complemented by a 1958 addition; the YMCA owns 81,431 sf of development rights for the site.

The YMCA complex contains 189 residential rooms, two gymnasiums, track, exercise rooms, locker rooms racquet/handball courts, offices and health center. Most likely, the building will be stripped of its gyms and pool upon sale because they do not represent the best and highest use, say brokers. The property is flanked by office high-rises and a quick easy walk to the Brown Palace Hotel.

Woolley says he has fielded inquiries from about 200 prospective buyers, primarily interested in converting the YMCA into offices, rental units or condominiums. Consideration also is being given to developing the site for a hotel.

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