You Asked: What are the plans for the Old Y building?

A fence guards the Old YMCA on Bridge Street Thursday afternoon. (Chanda Veno | State Journal)

The Old YMCA building’s fate has been discussed by the Frankfort City Commission in several closed sessions. A reader asked if any plans have been made public about the deteriorating building adjacent to the Singing Bridge downtown.

City Solicitor Laura Ross said via email that the closed sessions have been held recently to discuss pending lawsuits against the city by the Old Y’s owners and a recently filed damages claim.

“We are continuing discussions with the property owners and our legal counsel to determine the best step forward to resolve the litigation and surrounding issues, and when we have officially settled on the next action, we will ensure the public is updated,” Ross said. “Until then, while the ongoing litigation means we will not be able to publicly discuss strategy, we will continue to work toward the very best possible outcome.”

According to Franklin Circuit Court Clerk Amy Feldman, the court is awaiting payment of a filing fee, confirming that a letter requesting such was sent to John and Martha Gray, the building’s owners. For civil cases in Kentucky circuit courts, a filing fee costs $150 for bringing complaints to court, according to the state circuit court clerks’ accounting manual.

John Gray said via email that “recent progress” was made and added that he cannot elaborate further.

In May, the Grays signed a preliminary agreement with the city, following mediation between the two parties. A court-ordered mediation was held before that in November 2016 but was inconclusive. Feldman said there are no new court dates scheduled.

The city first condemned the building in 2006. The Grays acquired the building shortly after that on the promise that they would restore the building in a two-year time period. At the time, they said they planned to renovate the building into a boutique hotel. After the recession and a fire at another of the Gray’s properties, the city’ code enforcement fined the couple $500 and gave them 30 days in 2013 to fix violations. The city issued a second order in 2014  that said the Grays should fix violations or the building would be razed. The orders were appealed in district court and the city issued a third order in 2016 that was also appealed, according to previous reports. The city called the building an “imminent danger” and gave seven days to demolish the building.

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