FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Wondering what's happening with the Maryland Farms and Brentwood YMCAs? Find your answers here!
MARYLAND FARMS NEWS/TIMELINE
What's going on with the Maryland Farms YMCA? Is it being sold?
Yes. The YMCA of Middle Tennessee has reached an agreement to eventually sell its Maryland Farms YMCA property to Highwoods Properties, a North Carolina-based real estate investment trust with a strong presence in the Nashville area. The Y and Highwoods expect the property to change hands in 2023.
This move is part of our larger 'One Brentwood' capital reinvestment strategy to better serve the entire Brentwood community.
What's the Y going to do with the proceeds from the sale of Maryland Farms?
The Y will reinvest proceeds in a major renovation and expansion of the Brentwood Family YMCA on Concord Road.
So, is the Maryland Farms Y closing soon?
No. The Y’s agreement with Highwoods ensures that the Maryland Farms YMCA will remain open until construction on the Brentwood Y is completed. We don't want to miss a beat in serving our members, so we're waiting to close until the new facility is ready to accommodate all Maryland Farms and Brentwood members.
What does Highwoods plan to do with the Maryland Farms Y property?
Highwoods has not disclosed any development plans regarding the property at this time. More information about Highwoods, including its current real estate properties in the Nashville area, can be found at highwoods.com.
MARYLAND FARMS DECISION
Are you selling Maryland Farms because the Y is in financial trouble?
No, that's not the reason we're selling the property. We see it as good stewardship of our resources as a nonprofit, and we truly believe that consolidating our operations into one facility will allow us to serve the Brentwood community better.
Does COVID-19 have anything to do with it?
No. The decision to sell the property was made prior to the pandemic. However, the economic impact of COVID-19 has made it clear to us that we need to operate as efficiently as possible moving forward, and the One Brentwood project will accomplish that long-term.
Why are you selling it, then?
Maryland Farms is an aging facility in need of major renovation. Among these include addressing a failing foundation, plumbing system, and roof. We've estimated it would cost approximately $30 million to rebuild Maryland Farms, and in excess of $40 million to renovate both the Maryland Farms and Concord Road locations—another facility requiring major updates. It's a number that simply exceeds the Y's capacity for capital investment, even with fundraising.
Our joint volunteer-and-staff task force has determined that expanding and vastly improving the Concord Road facility is the best and most sustainable way for the Y to meet the needs of the Brentwood community long-term.
What’s happening with the tennis center? Is that going away?
The renovation at Concord Road does not include a tennis operation. Unfortunately, it's just not financially feasible for the Y to continue offering tennis. We know it's hard to hear, though, and acknowledge that the tennis program has helped many kids and adults build skills and community in the 20-plus years we've been running it.
While the Maryland Farms Y remains open and operating as usual, we're committed to maintaining tennis programming to the fullest extent possible based on tennis staff availability and retention. Since announcing the sale of the Maryland Farms Y property in August 2020, a group of tennis stakeholders has formed to look into alternative options for a tennis presence in Williamson County. This group has secured a piece of land in Williamson County and continues to explore this option to date.
We're committed to supporting this tennis stakeholder group’s efforts through this transition, and we're continuing to share data, resources, and operational insight with them as solutions are explored.
What will happen to the staff at the Maryland Farms Y?
Maryland Farms Y staff will continue to work during the duration of the sales and renovation process, which is expected to take up to two years.
When the Y moves closer to ceasing operations at Maryland Farms, the Y plans to offer “stay pay” incentives. Staff who wish to continue working for the Y will be able to explore opportunities to work at any of our program centers or at one of our other 13 membership centers in Middle Tennessee.
Will the Concord Road Y close at any point during construction?
It is our goal to keep the Brentwood YMCA open throughout construction.
Much like we did for similar projects in recent years at the Donelson-Hermitage and Margaret Maddox YMCAs, we expect we'll have to move things around more than once, and we ask for your patience in advance if your favorite treadmill finds a new temporary home, or classes have to move to different rooms. We promise to keep you updated the minute we know about any facility or program changes that affect our members.
Our leadership team will communicate regularly with our contractor, and we'll do our very best to keep you informed every step of the way.
How are you going to accommodate everyone at Brentwood?
We feel confident we'll have space for everyone, as we're adding 20,000 square feet to the Concord Road facility.
- It's going to be two stories tall
- We're increasing the wellness space by more than 50% and expanding our group exercise spaces by 11%
- Our Y-Play child watch space will increase by 87% to better serve our parents of young children
- There will be a brand-new Youth Activity Center for older kids, and an enhanced Teen Center that'll accommodate the many youth outreach programs our Concord Road location already runs
- We're improving accessibility for our seniors and individuals with diverse abilities
- We're giving the outdoor pool a complete overhaul, incorporating many of the features members have come to expect from the Maryland Farms pool
- We'll have multi-purpose spaces to accommodate our After Breast Cancer program, our Full Circle program for individuals with diverse abilities, and other small support groups
- We're vastly increasing parking to accommodate more members, and adding spaces for seniors and those with diverse abilities. Our expanded parking lot will bring us in line with the number of spaces at a comparable Y facility that serves even more households than we’re expecting to serve at the new facility
I'm still concerned about overcrowding.
Rest assured we've most certainly thought about that. Over the last two years, we've been studying member usage at Maryland Farms and, based on that data, as well as where members live relative to other Y locations, we expect that while 60% of the members we retain from Maryland Farms will go to Brentwood, the remaining 40% will visit other Ys in the area.
What will you do about getting in and out of the Brentwood lot? It's already busy and dangerous.
We know and understand that entry and exit from the Brentwood Y can be challenging, especially during peak hours. We’re working with city leaders and public safety officials to explore potential solutions that alleviate congestion, improve visibility and make coming and going from the Y as safe as possible.
What about the fact that the parking lot floods?
We regret that the parking lot at the Brentwood Y floods occasionally during heavy rainstorms. We are working closely with civil engineers to learn about our options.
The Concord Road location isn't convenient for me.
Yes, we understand that this location may be a little less convenient for some members.
For what it's worth, our research shows us that 50% of Maryland Farms members actually live closer to Brentwood than they do Maryland Farms, and 75% of the membership will have no more than three minutes additional drive time from home to get to Brentwood.
Tell me more about the pool. Will it be Olympic-sized?
No, but the new Brentwood facility will be very similar to Maryland Farms, with slides, plenty of room for lap and recreational swimmers, and even more social spaces on the pool deck.
We know access to a great outdoor pool matters so much to our swimmers and our families, and we hope we can serve even more of the community with the new aquatics space.
What about the outreach programs the Maryland Farms Y currently offers?
We'll have multi-purpose spaces to accommodate the unique outreach programs that the Maryland Farms and Brentwood Ys offer.
That includes Maryland Farms' After Breast Cancer program, which will be transferred to the Brentwood Y once the renovation is complete.
Outreach programs also include Full Circle, which serves individuals with diverse abilities, and Williamson County Y-CAP, serving teens from grades 8-12. The new multi-purpose spaces included in the renovation will allow the Y to better accommodate the Full Circle program, which has operated out of the Brentwood Y for several years, and could benefit Y-CAP (which operates offsite) if the program should need additional space.
OTHER ONE BRENTWOOD CONCERNS
Will there be...
- Racquetball? No, but our eight courts at the Downtown Y remain an option for our members.
- Youth Soccer? Yes, and we'll still retain some of our fields following the expansion.
- Day Camp? Yes!
- A skatepark? Yes, and we're making updates to the current one.