YMCA working on deal to buy old call center building

Updated: Dec. 5, 2019 at 5:38 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The former Concentrix call center building in downtown Watertown could become home to the YMCA’s new community and aquatic center.

The YMCA has reached an informal deal with the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency to buy part of the building. The JCIDA currently owns the property.

“It’s the middle of the city and it’s an opportunity to make it into something really really special for downtown Watertown. Lots of parking, really accessible and it lets people when they come downtown and come to the Y actually be able to cross right there and get on Court Street and do other things in the downtown. It just really is the perfect location,” said YMCA Chief Executive Officer Denise Young.

Under the proposal, the Y would buy around 60,000 square feet in the building for $500,000.

JCIDA Chief Executive Officer Don Alexander said the informal agreement would see the Y take over about three-quarters of the building.

“This would be an absolutely amazing game changer for all of the things that are happening in our community,” said Alexander.

He said the Y’s board will vote on the deal when it meets December 17. After that, he expects both parties to reach a memorandum of understanding within a month.

As for the remaining 15,000 square feet in the building, Alexander said the JCIDA is in discussions with two other parties for the space.

Plans for the $16 million center would include two pools, a running track, and multipurpose court.

The Y had been searching for a location for the center for a couple of years.

The Concentrix call center closed its Watertown location over the summer, leaving the building empty.

Alexander said the agency had a lot of interest and other offers for the building, but says it wanted to focus on what would bring the most benefit to the community.

“The board felt that this was a transformational project, we could be key to making it happen so therefore we’re going to move forward with it," he said.

Under the informal deal, the Y would have to come up with a $50,000 down payment.

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