Bath seeks proposals for former YMCA property

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BATH — The fate of a vacant lot at 26 Summer St., formerly a YMCA, may be decided this spring.

The city is accepting proposals for development until Feb. 14.

Residences, professional and corporate offices, and businesses like restaurants and ice cream parlors are among desired uses listed in the six-page request for proposals, which is posted at

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 the matter should be brought to the council to allow other developers to submit proposals, too, Scott LaFlamme, the city’s economic development director, said in an Oct. 26 memo to the panel.

His office had already received a few inquiries for more information as of Jan. 12, LaFlamme said in an interview that day.

“There are so few opportunities for developable properties that are not $2 million here in Bath … especially in town,” he noted.

The parcel, which has an appraised value of $242,100, has never before been on the tax rolls, as the YMCA was a nonprofit, non-taxable use, LaFlamme said. New ownership could start generating tax value.

Although purchase price is a key element to a winning proposal, “I think the (City Council is) really looking for some cool, innovative ideas,” LaFlamme said. “And hopefully we get one or several to mull through.”

City staff will put the proposals Bath receives into a packet for the council’s perusal, with perhaps a recommended development option, likely in March, LaFlamme said.

“The hope is to do a purchase and sale at the end of this,” he noted.

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

The deadline to submit development proposals to the city for the former YMCA lot at 26 Summer St. in Bath is Feb. 14.

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.