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Deadline Looms for Historic YMCA

The building's fate is at stake should $8,000 not be raised by the end of the day Monday.

UPDATE, Mon. Jan. 21: On Monday, the Historic YMCA received good news — and a check for $8,000. Tom Nestor confirmed the news to Patch. 

"Angels do exist. And it seems Tampa Bay has more than a couple that are willing to help the cause in a big way to Save The Historic YMCA!," Nestor wrote on the Historic YMCA Facebook page. "... Transparency will be a common theme for our dedicated team as we continue to climb the mountain for this beloved building." 

Earlier: Tom Nestor, the man leading the charge to save the Historic YMCA and turn it into the St. Petersburg Rock and Roll Museum, needs your help. 

"I need to find an angel in the next three days," Nestor told Patch. 

Should Nestor not be able to raise $8,000 by the end of the day Monday, his dreams to turn the building into a museum/concert venue and the building itself could be gone. 

"We have until Monday, Jan. 21, to pay $8000 or lose our contract to a bank demo," Nestor said. 

While the deadline and large dollar figure are negative signs, it is not all bad news for the Historic YMCA. On Jan. 11 the state of Florida certified the Historic YMCA as a charitable organization, which means Nestor and co. can accept unlimited donations without constraints.  

Nestor told Patch that so far $28,000 has been invested into the project. The first as a down payment. 

A closing date is set for June 2013. The group's aim is to raise $1.4 million by that date. 

The historic 1926 downtown YMCA building, located on the corner of 5th Street South and 2nd Avenue South, has sat vacant since 1999. 

On Christmas Eve, lights were turned on at the building for the first time in nearly a decade. Throughout the rest of the holiday season, Nestor gave daily tours of the building in hopes of gaining local support for his plan and hoping to find an investor to help his dream become reality. 

Between 700-800 toured the building during the holidays, Nestor said. 

"We feel that if in 1926 the public rallied to contribute $550,000 to build (the YMCA), the public can rally behind it again," Nestor said. "It’s worth saving."

Should Nestor raise the $8,000 by Monday, he is planning to start a fundraising campaign on Tuesday with scheduled media/radio appearances. 

"I’m in negotiations with a lot of people," Nestor said. "I just keep working on it." 

Want to Help?

You can contact Nestor at 727-686-2163 or Donate@HistoricYMCA.com. You can donate online at the Historic YMCA's website by clicking here

sparky January 20, 2013 at 03:37 PM
I thought a buyer was announced last week with. Brew house and steak house going in? What is the real story?
CJ January 20, 2013 at 03:53 PM
This guy wants to take on saving a project like this and he can't come up with $8000? Good luck on that. Sounds like he is just wanting free money to help build a business to make money. I think we would all like help like that. I am surrpised, though, if all it takes is a rather low sum like that...that there is not already some buisnessmen lined up to do this.
Mike Funkhowser January 20, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Brew and steak house going into yWca ... different building, different location.
Thomas Nestor January 20, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Sparky - your thinking Y-W-C-A down the street from us. CJ - your comments are WAY off...miles off actually. This project is not about me but the community it will serve. I am currently the face that you see heading it but there is a team of people ready to work and volunteer full time (like I am currently) to assist not just "saving this beloved landmark" but "restoring it" to its original glory (best we can) and allowing "the public" access to benefit from it's daily operations. If you want to assist our efforts and join a worthy cause...GREAT!!! Call or email me anytime! If not enjoy your day...and maybe re-read the article more...s-l-o-w-l-y.
CJ January 20, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Am I supposed to know who you are? All I know, is that I already attended a tour of it one day a week or so ago. My wife works downtown and we saw something advertised somewhere about it, so after work one day we stopped to see it. Nice building and very interesting, We did donate $5. I know...that is not much...but it is what it is. I will tell you this, big mouth...if you are going to talk to people who are trying to help like that...then you deserve to fail. My comment was harmless, and I don't quite see what your beef was with me about it. I guess you think you are important, but nobody is important enough to talk to me like that. Read ''this'' s-l-o-w-l-y: Go jump in a lake. We are rather new in this fine city, and are always looking for ways to fit in and help...but not with somebody who acts like a jerk. I read fine, and I am sure I can read better than you. Try learning some manners. I have looked back on my comment, and based on the info in the article...I still stand by what I said. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A BANK BUSINESS LOAN, or an SBA loan? You certainly can't be too important if $8,000 is a lot of money to you. I'm not loaded, but ''I'' have that kind of money I can get my hands on. 8 Grand is a lot to me, but in the scope of a project like this, it's not much money. No way would I be interested in helping you,,,and by the way...you are welcome for the $5. You really need to watch your mouth if you expect to accomplish your goal.
Mike Funkhowser January 21, 2013 at 10:12 AM
No, CJ, your initial msg did have a rather nasty tone to it. Perhaps that's just the type of person you are. At least Mr. Nestor is making an effort to save a building that means something to those who have been part of the community for a while. We don't need another generic, new construction bank replacing a historic building. Look at what's going to happen at the YWCA ... find out about the Vinoy's history, and the Soreno, that we lost. The Tramor Cafeteria around the block was saved as a cafeteria for the Times' employees, but not open to the public. I'm glad you and your wife chose St. Pete to relocate to, welcome. If I had to venture to guess, you're from up North, where things were better, bigger, and smarter. Relax, you're pretty close to paradise now.
CJ January 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Nasty? Uh...well...maybe a little....but it also sounds like I am right. As a citizen, showing question about a project is simply a reasonable position. One thing is for sure, it is now obvious they are trying to do this or help aid this project on other people's money. If they are going to do that, then I suggest they get some thicker skin and reply to people's possible skepticism more graciously. It's them begging for money, not me. I assume the Rock And Roll Museum is not going to be free and is going to charge admission? I don't happen to be a citizen who decides to support projects that are for profit ''all'' the time, without being a little testy. Especially in a blog. You guys really think your are special, it seems. Talk about wanting your cake and eat it too... All I feel now is regret for donating $5. Regardless of that, the ''PR'' on this stinks. Who would ''want'' to help? As I see it, this project's worst enemy sounds as if it is people associated with it like you and Nestor. No need to remind me this is paradise. Remember? We moved here...so I would know that. Duh. It's why I came here. As far as being from the ''North''...pretty much everyplace is north of here, smart aleck. Unless one is from Miami...lol. It's the people who have lived here a long time or all their lives who often don't seem to realize how great this place is. I've read you comments before, and you rightfully make your share of nasty comments, also...so don't even go there.
CJ January 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM
My reply was to Thomas, by the way. Are you his spokesman? I have raised some valid questions, nothing more. For people involved in a project obviously dependant upon public support it sure sounds as if the response to any prodding questions is received very defensively and offensively. I don't donate to causes like that.
Thomas Nestor January 21, 2013 at 01:25 PM
CJ - I stand by my comments too. I asked you to re-read the article s-l-o-w-l-y because you obviously missed the MAJOR point that this building was built on "community funds" not bank loans or SBA's. Your welcome to your opinion and obviously want to share lots of it. Your also welcome to your $5 back if you like but at this time I cannot even see where it was received, Once I do I will email you back and we can go from there.
CJ January 21, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Oh. So now you are doubting my wife and I even stopped by to view the site? Nice, Perhaps you need to understand the saying, ''don't kick a gift horse in the mouth''. It's no wonder you are behind in having the necessary donated funds to proceed. It must be your charm. One thing I have noticed about this area. It could use some new people from other areas to move here and fill in the void on projects that need help and support...even if they ''are'' from ''up north''. It is easy to see many people here take a lot of the nice things around here for granted, and new blood like ours is a good thing. I would think you would be better served by being more accepting of people's caution when they are trying to decide to lend help...or not. My wife and I keep a low profile, and don't donate for recognition. We have contributed our efforts in time and other ways for several local issues in the short time we have been here. Just my participation in this blog is, in reality, showing effort and interest. You just don't know how to recognize it in enough ways. Many people don't mind helping, but also want to have a voice...even if it is not what you want to hear. That said...don't worry about us in regard to your project. I get it, and read you loud and clear. I am not a knucklehead like you appear to be. I can read between the lines. You are telling me that your project may need money and help, you just don't want it from me. Fine. The air must be thin where your head is.
AW January 21, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Good luck, Tom! Don't let the man bring you down! -A.Winning
Thomas Nestor January 21, 2013 at 07:40 PM
GOOD NEWS EVERYONE: ANGELS DO EXIST!!! And it seems Tampa Bay has more than a couple that are willing to help The Cause in a BIG BIG WAY to Save The Historic YMCA! :) Angel #3's ($8000 cash) contribution came in and we are good to go with continuing on the task of taking this property away from The Bank and their $1.3M cash offer to Demolish it! Anyone that wants to help (whether that is a donation, contribution of services or volunteers etc) can so. Please visit our website for more information. www.historicymca.com THANK YOU again times 10!!!
CJ January 31, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Mr Nestor, and Mr Funkhowser. Excuse me for not knowing who you guys are. We don't know a lot of people here..virtually nobody except for our neighbors. Overall, though, I have been delighted with the people in the entire city no matter what walk of life they come from. This ''is'' a wonderful place to live with mostly great people. It is hard to believe how impressive everything across the board is. A problem I see is how many old timers simply do not know much about other places and they take for granted , or are naive of, the treasure it is to live here. That said...I know the two of you (at least now I do) are obviously involved in city matters and projects here to make it an even better place. Even projects with some controversy (The Pier) and not entirely supported. I understand how that works. That said, I just want to say that despite the fact we have clashed here, it does not mean I am not a fan of you guys. It's not that at all. We have said things that I am sure we said out of anger. I stand by my position, but that is as far as I will take it. I will be delighted to aid either of you in the future on this project or others in the trivial ways we can. I don't take personal problems on one topic and then hold a grudge forever towards future issues. Hopefully I have given you some replies that may help you deal with the public better. I know that is not easy to do. I am glad you got your funds, and will keep watch on this and lend support as we are able to.

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