YMCA of Metro Milwaukee to sell real estate assets

To overcome nearly $30 million in debt, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee has filed for bankruptcy and plans to sell most of its owned real estate assets.

After making public its financial woes in April, the nonprofit organization has been devising a comprehensive restructuring plan to avoid shutting down.

The organization has already laid off staff members, put off needed investments at its centers, cut programs, and frozen salaries and benefits. But without a more dramatic restructuring plan in place, the YMCA warned that it would be insolvent by fall.

Under the new plan, the YMCA will facilitate its education programs, health and wellness initiatives, and childcare services in urban communities at sites that are mainly leased, restricted or gifted.

Those locations include the Rite-Hite Family YMCA, a site YMCA owns but that sits on heavily restricted land in Brown Deer. Rite-Hite, which houses the YMCA Healthy Lifestyle Village partnership between the YMCA, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center, will lead healthy living initiatives.

The YMCA will also continue to operate Northside YMCA in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood, Parklawn YMCA on Milwaukee’s north side and John C. Cudahy YMCA in Milwaukee.

The nonprofit will also continue to run camps at Camp Minikani in Hubertus while working to secure long-term partners for its South Shore YMCA in Cudahy and Camp Matawa in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest.

And while the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee will continue corporate operations at its Downtown YMCA location, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., it is searching for a new downtown location. Once it finds new space to lease, YMCA will sell its downtown facility.

The organization also plans to sell its West Suburban YMCA, Tri-County YMCA, Southwest YMCA and Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA – all of which it currently owns. The organization has a letter of intent from the YMCA of Central Waukesha County to purchase the West Suburban, Tri-County, and Southwest branches. The Kettle Moraine YMCA has issued a letter of intent to purchase the Feith Family branch.

Most proceeds from the asset sales will aid in debt reduction, the organization said.

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