Former ‘Y’ building may become viable housing, after all

The former YMCA building in downtown Williamsport may eventually be home to high-end apartments, after all.

The former Children’s Discovery Workshop portion of the building at West Fourth and Elmira Streets has been in limbo since a demolition accident rendered it unsafe a few years ago and it became subject to a lawsuit.

It was originally set to become offices and apartments, but those plans ended for the former owner after the building was struck and damaged.

The lawsuit that ensued was settled a year ago, and the building was sold to Herman Logue, a Montoursville developer.

Councilwoman Liz Miele, who has been attempting to save the building constructed in 1923, has been searching for a developer ever since.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana says he is negotiating with someone who wants to renovate the structure for high-end apartments.

And that would be an excellent use for the building.

These historic preservation efforts can sometimes prove impractical and impossible to pull off economically.

But the city of Williamsport has had an equal share of preservation success stories in its recent history, especially in its downtown and city Historic District.

The former YMCA, sitting at the entrance to the Millionaires Row district is a past – and possibly future – anchor structure for the city.

If a developer believes the building can be practically preserved and can meet a need that makes the building economically viable – in this case high-end apartment housing – that would be a huge positive step for both the city and its downtown.