Bath gets 2 proposals for former YMCA property

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BATH — The city has received two residential development proposals for the vacant former YMCA lot at 26 Summer St.

Residences, professional and corporate offices, and businesses such as restaurants and ice cream parlors were among desired uses listed in Bath’s six-page request for proposals.

The city opened the bids Tuesday, but didn’t reveal some information, including the identities of the bidders.

That could be available after the City Council discusses the bids in executive session Wednesday, March 1, Scott LaFlamme, the city’s economic development director, said Wednesday.

“We’re going to try to make it as public as possible from there,” LaFlamme said.

Following its closed-door review of the concepts, the council may have the candidates present their conceptual designs at a regular meeting. The panel could choose to go with one, or reject both and seek other options, LeFlamme said.

He called the two proposals “a residential concept,” which could include condominiums or apartments. Both meet the criteria of the city’s request, he added.

Given the residential projects underway across the city – which recently completed a housing needs assessment with Bath Housing – “there’s clearly a real estate demand,” LaFlamme said.

“Our hope is that the council is so wowed by one of these proposals that they’ll want to pursue a purchase and sale (agreement),” he said.

The city tore down the YMCA building – also the former home of the Bath Youth Meetinghouse and Skatepark – in January 2012. The half-acre lot sits across the street from the Patten Free Library, and is in the Downtown Commercial zone.

When a development group approached the city about the site, staff decided to bring the matter to the council in order to allow other developers to submit proposals, too.

The parcel, which has an appraised value of $242,100, has never before been on the tax rolls, since the YMCA was a nonprofit, nontaxable use. New ownership could start generating tax value.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Bath has received two development proposals for the vacant Summer Street lot where a YMCA once stood.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.