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The Ward Downtown YMCA previously operated in a century-old building.
SBJ file
The Ward Downtown YMCA previously operated in a century-old building.

Bank submits offer for downtown YMCA building

Posted online

Last edited 2:26 p.m., April 12, 2023

A Rolla bank has offered to buy the downtown Springfield YMCA building after an auction of the property last month.

Phelps County Bank officials confirmed the company submitted a $2.05 million offer for the 417 S. Jefferson Ave. building.

"If the buying process goes like we hope, Phelps County Bank will finalize the purchase in May," CEO Dominic DeLuca said in a statement. "And then the exciting work begins. The renovation of this building will be a significant project, but we are up to the challenge. Our headquarters in downtown Rolla was constructed as a hotel in the early 1930s. Phelps County Bank has an affinity for preserving older buildings and maintaining their historic character.”

Linda Goff, spokesperson for Phelps County Bank, said via email the building would be used for a branch and that the company hopes "to grow into the space and use this location as our regional hub."

The 110-year-old building housed Ozarks Regional YMCA's Ward Downtown branch through the end of last month, when it closed. The YMCA originally listed the property on the market last summer at $4.5 million, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The auction website at Crexi.com for the property states the "property is under contract" and "sold subject to seller approval." Ozarks Regional YMCA CEO Kathryn Custer said via email the nonprofit is under contract to close on the sale by May 1.

Constructed in 1913, the Italianate brick structure that houses the Ward Downtown YMCA comprises 62,000 square feet, including a 1971 addition. Its cost to build in 1913 was $100,000, the equivalent of $3 million today, SBJ previously reported.

"We’ve had a decline in membership and a decline in usage for the past 10 years," Custer told SBJ last year. "It is a large, five-story building, and the needs that we have moving forward don’t match the space that we’re in.”

Ozarks Regional YMCA ranked No. 2 this year on SBJ's list of the area's largest charitable nonprofits. The organization reported 930 local employees and a fiscal 2023 operating budget of $9.7 million.

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