City Council reached an agreement Thursday night with the Young Men's Christian Association and Susquehanna Health as a multi-million dollar proposal to build a new YMCA facility on Park Avenue moves closer to reality.
The health system continues to negotiate with property owners on the purchase of homes.
The next phase for the YMCA will be preparing a land development plan for the city planning commission to review and to work with its partners to ensure the land is available and the project can be completed, according to John Grado, city engineer and director of the city Department of Community and Economic Development.
The plans of the Y also go before the city Redevelopment Authority, which meets at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in council chambers at City Hall, he said.
"Susquehanna Health is in the process of negotiating for the acquisition of additional parcels," Grado said.
The plot plans provided to the Sun-Gazette indicate more than 20 properties will need to be purchased and razed to prepare the land for construction. The site borders High Street on the north, Walnut Street on the east, Park Avenue on the south and an alley west of Spruce Street to the west.
The hospital has nine homeowners under contract, four it remains in negotiations with and one closing, according to Tracie Witter, a spokeswoman with Susquehanna Health.
The memorandum approved by council said the institutionally zoned parcels are the proper place for such a facility, according to Joe Gerardi, city codes administrator.
"I heard of no proposed dates for groundbreaking and that was not part of council's discussion," said Councilwoman Bonnie Katz.
She noted the parties have to iron out a few more technicalities and leasing questions, but council agreed on the memorandum by a 6-0 vote.
"I have heard the land the Y is leasing from the hospital would eventually be purchased by the Y, but those details are up in the air," Katz said.