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YWCA, YMCA Follow Separate Paths

Times Staff Writer

Officials of the Pasadena YWCA and YMCA say both organizations will pursue projects in the central Pasadena area even though the proposal to develop a joint recreation and social service complex is dead.

The YWCA board of directors announced this week that is has pulled out of the joint project and will consider other options for developing its property at Marengo Avenue and Holly Street.

Ernestine Moore, YWCA president, said the group is looking at ways to develop the property by itself or with others, but she declined to be more specific. In a written statement, Moore said: “Some of these options are extremely exciting and have the possibility of providing some long-term financial benefits to the agency.”

Moore said the property would be developed in a way that would allow the YWCA to remain at the location and to upgrade its facilities.

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Originally, the two organizations had planned to develop a joint $15-million complex on the YWCA site. But that plan was delayed by a lengthy design-review process that arose from concern about the preservation of historic and architecturally significant structures. Eventually the plan fell through because of an inability to secure financing.

Patrick Knox, YMCA president, said his organization is in escrow on the sale of its facilities across from the YWCA, and will continue to look for a new site. The YMCA closed the recreation portion of its building in February but is continuing to operate residential units. It will receive about $3.5 million from the sale and will use the money to develop new facilities.

The YMCA and YWCA raised more than $5 million in pledges for the joint project and collected $2.2 million. Officials said they spent $2.5 million in the effort to develop the project. Some of the money went for plans that will go forward, since the YWCA intends to develop an aquatic center, and the new YMCA will house the planned Lathrop K. Leishman Activity Center.


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