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posted: 10/26/2012 6:48 PM

Potential purchase of YMCA in Vernon Hills nears as counteroffer considered

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  • The possible sale of the Central Lake YMCA building at 700 Lakeview Parkway in Vernon Hills remains in negotiation.

       The possible sale of the Central Lake YMCA building at 700 Lakeview Parkway in Vernon Hills remains in negotiation.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

The potential sale of the Central Lake YMCA in Vernon Hills is getting closer as talks continue, those involved in the process said Friday as a stated Oct. 31 closing of the facility looms.

Village trustees and Vernon Hills Park District commissioners spent about 2 hours in closed session Thursday night crafting a revised offer for the building and land at 700 Lakeview Parkway.

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Details were not disclosed but the revised version, which was to have been sent to YMCA officials Friday evening, apparently was more than the initial $1.4 million offer made earlier in the week.

YMCA officials have said they received an opinion the property was worth about $2.25 million.

"We keep talking and we're making progress," said Village Manager Mike Allison.

"It seems like we have a framework that's agreeable to everyone. There are a lot of moving parts to it."

The Lake County Family YMCA operates the Central Lake facility in Vernon Hills and the Northern Lake YMCA in Waukegan. The organization in late September announced both would close on Oct. 31, although child care facilities would remain open until Nov. 21.

"That's important to us. We're working toward that not happening," Allison said.

YMCA officials cited a combined debt of $6 million and an annual operating deficit of $800,000 in announcing the closings. An effort to raise between $5 million and $8 million was immediately launched but as of early Friday, only about $44,000 had been raised.

In Vernon Hills, village and park district officials quickly announced their intent to keep the doors open if possible. The operating scenario has the village buying the facility and being paid back in some fashion by the park district, which would assume operations.

The village would dip into its $20 million in reserves to make the purchase, Allison said.

Anne O'Connell, vice president of marketing and communications for the Y, said the Oct. 31 directive remained as of Friday. Any decision would have to come before then.

"Everyone is optimistic these negotiations will continue and ultimately be successful," she said.

The park district is interested in the YMCA because of its child care program and indoor pool, two features it does not have. A revised letter of intent was sent to the YMCA Friday evening.

"We'll be waiting very anxiously to hear back with their comments," said David Doerhoefer, park board president.

Like any real estate transaction, the sale would be subject to various conditions. Details of the parties' responsibilities would later be cemented in an agreement with Vernon Hills.

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