June 22, 2024

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Some YWCA Minneapolis members are pushing for a public buyer to keep open the downtown and Uptown fitness facilities after the YWCA closes them Nov. 1.

The organization announced in August it was shutting down the fitness centers and pools, located in high-profile spots off Nicollet Mall and Hennepin Avenue, because they were no longer financially viable and didn’t fit into the YWCA’s shift away from health and fitness.

The buildings were listed for sale this month, and YWCA officials say they hope to reach tentative purchase agreements for both by the end of the year.

“It could be used for more community wellness,” said Angela Haeg of Minneapolis, a longtime YWCA member and one of several people who are urging local elected leaders to buy the buildings. “A lot of people don’t have access to fitness centers or a pool.”

CEO Shelley Carthen Watson, who has led the YWCA Minneapolis since 2021, said all proposals are being considered. A number of potential buyers — from businesses and investors to other nonprofits — have toured the buildings, she said. She declined to say how many offers they’ve received.

“I think everything is on the table,” she said. “We’re not prioritizing a certain type of buyer at all.”

Other cities have stepped up to buy fitness centers. In the west metro, Minnetonka bought the Marsh wellness center this year for nearly $4.3 million after the YMCA of the North shut it down as part of a broader series of Y fitness center closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the north metro, Lino Lakes last year reopened the city’s shuttered YMCA.

But Minneapolis can’t afford to buy the YWCA’s fitness centers, said Zach Schultz, a spokesman for Council Member Lisa Goodman whose ward includes Uptown and downtown.

Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Elizabeth Shaffer, whose district also encompasses downtown and Uptown, said that while the facilities are an important community asset — especially for seniors — buying and maintaining them would be feasible for the Park Board only if it partnered with another entity to share the costs.

“I don’t think this is something the Park Board could take on by itself,” said Shaffer, who canceled her YWCA Uptown membership following the closure announcement. “We all love the idea of more public places … but it all comes down to funding.”

Park Board spokeswoman Dawn Sommers said the board has had limited conversations about the YWCA properties. Hennepin County spokeswoman Carolyn Marinan said she’s not aware of any formal discussions about buying the buildings.

No listing price has been disclosed for the buildings, and their property values aren’t public information because the YWCA is tax-exempt. But the YWCA likely will make millions of dollars on the sales.

Shifting focus

The YWCA’s downtown fitness center, a 120,000 square-foot facility that houses administrative offices, opened in 1976 and replaced a 1929 building. The 80,000 square-foot Uptown YWCA opened in 1987.

“It’s really hard to see it go,” Carthen Watson said. “Our facilities are more than

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The plan is portion of the Biden administration’s effort and hard work to distribute 400 million free of charge N95 masks from the Strategic Countrywide Stockpile by means of pharmacies and local community wellness facilities. The system is envisioned to be entirely up and running by early February. The masks are arriving at their places with accompanying flyers and signage from the US Division of Health and fitness and Human Expert services, which paid for the masks.

Participating pharmacies involve Hy-Vee, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger.

US pharmacies are rolling out free N95 masks as free Covid-19 tests begin to arrive in the mail

Some of the initial masks arrived in the Midwest on Friday, which includes at Hy-Vee grocery stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Nebraska and at Meijer retailers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Masks also are predicted to start off arriving at Southeastern Grocers areas as early as Friday, and they are going to be readily available at Fresco y Más, Harveys Grocery store and Winn-Dixie in-shop pharmacies.

CVS pharmacies are also envisioned to acquire and get started distributing absolutely free N95 masks in the coming weeks as provide from the federal govt arrives in, spokesman Matt Blanchette told CNN on Monday.

Walgreens expects that totally free N95 masks will be offered at some spots starting off Friday, according to a corporation spokesperson.

“We are delighted to partner with the Administration to make N95 masks in different dimensions obtainable totally free of demand at taking part Walgreens places although supplies final,” a Walgreens spokesperson wrote in an email to CNN on Monday.

“Buyers and patients can decide up a greatest of three masks for every person,” the electronic mail pointed out. “We hope the first outlets to commence giving masks on Friday, Jan. 28, and will proceed on a rolling foundation in the times and months adhering to. Collaborating stores will have signage indicating mask availability.”

Kroger outlets with pharmacies also strategy to distribute free N95 masks, according to a enterprise assertion Monday.

“Donning a mask and obtaining vaccinated continue on to be the top protection equipment in our nation’s combat in opposition to COVID-19. I stimulate all people to just take benefit of the cost-free non-surgical N95 masks and make an appointment these days to get vaccinated or boosted,” Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger’s main health care officer, claimed in the assertion.

Neighborhood overall health centers are expected to distribute masks much too, but on a smaller scale.

Biden administration to distribute 400 million N95 masks to the public for free
The to start with 100 facilities participating in the rollout of the federal government’s free of charge N95 mask application will start this 7 days, Amy Simmons Farber, a spokesperson for the National Affiliation of Community Wellness Centers, wrote in an email to CNN on Monday.

The Health and fitness Means and Solutions Administration oversees the Community Health Facilities system for the federal governing administration and notes on its website that the HRSA Overall health Heart COVID-19 N95 Mask Method will start incrementally, furnishing N95 masks to about 100 to 200 health and fitness centers in the original stage.

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