CRE Midwest

YMCA of Metro Chicago hires Colliers International to market former Rich Port YMCA property

The YMCA of Metro Chicago has hired Colliers International’s Jack Rosenberg, principal; Vernon Schultz, executive vice president; and Michael Senner, executive vice president, to issue RFPs to real estate developers for innovative, market-based plans to develop the former Rich Port YMCA property at 31 E. Odgen Ave. in La Grange.

The YMCA of Metro Chicago has hired Colliers International’s Jack Rosenberg, principal; Vernon Schultz, executive vice president; and Michael Senner, executive vice president, to issue RFPs to real estate developers for innovative, market-based plans to develop the former Rich Port YMCA property at 31 E. Odgen Ave. in La Grange.

The Y is testing the current real estate market with a call for developers to come forward with creative options for a mixed-use development — encouraging proposals that include a new YMCA. The Y is seeking ideas from qualified firms on how to best serve the La Grange community going forward.

“We know the real estate market is starting to come back, after being hit hard by the Great Recession,” said YMCA of Metro Chicago CEO Richard Malone. “We want to find a feasible project that makes productive use of the space for the people of La Grange.”

The Y is seeking development ideas that might include a fitness center that could also serve as a base for the community programs that the YMCA now offers through Lyons Township High School, the Willow Springs Park District, the Village of Brookfield and other area partners.

For more than 10 years, the YMCA of Metro Chicago has been working with the La Grange community to develop potential sources of capital to build a new, permanent facility. After concluding in 2006 that it was more feasible to build a new facility than to renovate the Rich Port site, the Y tried selling the property to raise funds for the new facility. The economic downturn stalled those plans. A renewed fundraising effort has not identified a lead donor necessary to capitalize a new building. However, efforts will continue during the RFP process to seek potential community support for proposed development options.

The YMCA continues to meet and work closely with Village of La Grange officials and will engage the community as discussions move forward.

“We’re grateful for the support of our local board, members and partners, and remain hopeful that the recent uptick in the real estate market will provide the impetus to get our long-term plans for La Grange back on track,” Malone said.