HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The head of the YMCA of Honolulu said Friday that the organization is putting its entire 1.77-acre Central YMCA property up for sale.
The property, located on Atkinson Drive near Ala Moana Center, was originally built in 1951. Health and fitness facilities at the location have been closed since early 2015.
YMCA officials say the sale is a significant departure from the initial plans for the property.
In 2014, the board of directors approved a partial land sale and the rebuilding of a brand-new facility at the Central property.
But an apparent “disagreement” with the developer forced the organization to abandon that plan.
The two parties reached a settlement agreement, and the board made the decision to put the property up for sale.
“The decision to sell the entire Central property was a difficult one and one that the Board of Directors made only after extensive research and deliberation,” said Michael Broderick, the organizations president and chief executive.
“The decision to sell was based on the high costs associated with continued operations and maintenance, and unaffordable renovations of a Central Y building originally built in 1951.”
Broderick also cited ‘significant’ changes in the surrounding communities since the original Central YMCA was built, noting that many nearby condominiums have their own fitness centers.
Because of its prime location, experts believe the property could go for anywhere between $15 million to $25 million.
Real estate analyst Stephany Sofos says a hotel would make the most sense there.
“You’ve got mountain views, you’ve got ocean views, you’re right across from the shopping center, and you’re one mile from Waikiki. That area needs to be upgraded. It just needs to be re-gentrified and it hasn’t been for so long,” said Sofos.
Broderick says proceeds from the sale will go towards either expanding or relocating the Kaimuki-Waialae YMCA branch.
He says he hopes to move Central Y’s 11 employees to other locations, and says they’ll do their best to accommodate the needy families currently living in their residential facility.
“It’s going to take awhile for this sale to occur and for this sale to close, so none of those residents are going to be immediately out on the streets. We also hope eventually we can bring some of them over to our Nuuanu residence and accommodate them that way,” said Broderick.