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SAN DIEGO-The Armed Forces YMCA facility is about to embark on a new phase of its 79-year existence Downtown, as developer Barone Galasso & Associates is upgrading the historic building into a 260-room, European-style hotel.

The $4.5-million project is focused mainly on the facility’s interior, with “virtually nothing” planned for the outside of the building, according to Barbara Flammang of Killefer Flammang Architects. The Santa Monica-based firm has been chosen to design the property’s interior renovation, which will involve the creation of a new lobby area, the expansion of an existing restaurant and the elimination of adjoining meeting rooms. The removal of the meeting rooms will allow for the restoration of the facility’s internal patio, which has been covered since the 1940s. Once restored, it will be used as an open dining area and lounge. Other plans aimed at retaining the circa 1924 building’s historic flavor involve dedicating a section of the hotel lobby to the men and women of the Armed Forces, as well as preserving the YMCA sign that currently sits atop the facility. Construction on the project is currently under way.

The YMCA facility is located at 500 W. Broadway. In addition to a hotel, the 85,000-sf property houses support services for military personnel and their families.

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