The fate of the house-style former gas station at 422 E. Broadway will be on hold for another month after the executive director from the Waukesha Family YMCA agreed to delay the request to remove a local landmark designation from the property.
While no written offers have been made on the property, a “truly 11th hour” interest in the property has been expressed, said Chris Becker, executive director of the Waukesha Family YMCA, during Wednesday’s Landmarks Commission meeting.
“There has not been significant interest from the developer or business community to purchase that property because they didn’t see any business viability with the (limited square footage and landmarks designation),” Becker said.
A few members on the Landmarks Commission made remarks that implied they feel the asking price for the building is too high. The Waukesha Family YMCA purchased the property in 2010 for $152,500 and the asking price is $159,900. The Waukesha Family YMCA
A realtor working with the non-profit agency shown the property to and spoken with some people who were interested in the property and those people “felt that they were somewhat handcuffed” because of the landmarks designation, Becker told the Landmarks Commission.
Becker said the asking price is up for negotiation but that can’t be negotiated until the YMCA receives a written offer for the property.
“It is just that – an asking price,” Becker said.
But Waukesha resident Mary Emery who fought to get the property that is owned by the Waukesha Family YMCA designated as a local landmark after the Waukesha Family YMCA purchased the property and plans came out that the Waukesha Family YMCA intended to demolish the property also said there may be a need to put $30,000 worth of repairs to the building.
“We really have had people look at the building,” Emery said. They are reluctant because it is overpriced.”
Emery reportedly has about 500 signatures of people who want to save the former gas station. The Waukesha Preservation Alliance also is working to raise money to help save the gas station.
When the Waukesha Family YMCA unsuccessfully appealed the local landmarks, the Board of Appeals encouraged the Landmarks Commission to allow the building to be relocated. Becker said Wednesday night that would be the Waukesha Family YMCA’s preference as it would like to level the surrounding buildings for either residential facilities or parking and green space.
The Waukesha Family YMCA is still willing to donate the building, Becker said.
Meanwhile, Alderman Duane Paulson questioned the commission about the Landmarks Commission’s role in working with the Waukesha Family YMCA to find an interested person willing to purchase the building and take care of the maintenance of the landmark.
“All we heard tonight was what the Y did,” Paulson said. “… What is the Landmarks Commission going to do about it?”