The YMCA Board of Trustees and Board of Managers each voted earlier this month to approve the bid that's somewhere "in the neighborhood of $9 million," from Opus Development Company to redevelop the site, located at 31 E. Ogden Ave. in La Grange, according to a news release from the YMCA of Metro Chicago.
Lannan, who declined to comment further on his resignation Tuesday, wrote: "If Metro wanted a new facility, they could have made it happen. While a sizable financial match was offered, it was contingent upon the local board securing a $5 million donor... Further, Metro could have pursued partnerships with other entities to build a cost efficient facility. A few token gestures were made in this regard, but nothing meaningful."
He also wrote he was disturbed by the organization's "lack of transparency," related to how it would value bids which incorporated a new YMCA facility.
Read the letter on the Doings La Grange website here.
Three years after demolishing the Rich Port YMCA, the YMCA of Metro Chicago started seeking proposals to re-develop the former site over the summer. The winning bid is a multi-use development proposed by the Minneapolis-based firm, which includes housing, retail space and parking, but no YMCA, despite the extra consideration given to bidders with plans to include a facility, according to the release.
YMCA of Metro Chicago CEO Richard Malone said in a statement following the decision to approve the sale, "We are disappointed that current market conditions do not support the development of a new facility in La Grange... But the YMCA is way more than a gym. Community service is at the core of the Y's mission and we are committed to continuing our many programs in the Greater La Grange area."
Opus issued a statement Wednesday morning, saying the project is in the "early stages" of planning.
"Opus is not in a position to disclose details at this time. We will keep you informed as additional details are available," Opus said.
- Sale of Former Rich Port YMCA Site in La Grange Approved
- What Should Open at the Old YMCA Site in La Grange?