That Roar You Heard On River Lane…

The Westport Weston Family Y has received a 5-year extension on the sale of its downtown building.

According to, the original plan was to break ground for the Mahackeno facility this year, and move in in 2011.  Litigation by neighbors, and the difficult economy affecting the developer (Bedford Square Associates) has pushed the schedule back 2 years.

But sources have told “06880” that the economy is hitting the Y hard too.  It’s tough to raise $42 million for a controversial new building these days — and the capital campaign has not even begun.

Money, Cyndi Lauper says, changes everything.

So does no money.

5 responses to “That Roar You Heard On River Lane…

  1. Dan:

    Why no comments on the Y not moving so soon? I think there is a large silent majority of people (including me) that are just fatigued with the whole Y saga over the past decade or so.

    The lack of leadership in this town and the NIMBY factor over the years forced the YMCA’s hand into moving north which caused a whole new set of problems and concerns that the shortsighted opponents to relocating the Y somewhere downtown not think about.

    A pox on both their houses.

  2. Matthew Mandell

    The idea of a Y downtown is not dead, as a matter of fact it just took a step closer to actually happening. Time is the great equalizer, it can often overcome insurmountable situations.

    We have the time to revisit and execute the right decision for our town. We can move passed the tortured Conservation and P&Z decisions, which from the briefs filed outline gross and terminal legal faults, and seize the opportunity to unite our town.

    Dan’ s sources say the Y hasn’t even begun to raise the needed funds, how can they?

    Imagine if former rivals joined forces to seek the answer and then work to fund a downtown Y. Imagine the synergy of a Y and senior center side by side creating access to a pool and youngsters to interact with and educate. Imagine a Mahackeno property undisturbed with public access to the river and a camp remaining in a rural setting. Imagine the houses the Y bought to raze and pave over being used for workforce, affordable and or supportive housing.

    The writing is on the wall folks. Let’s show that Westporters can take a lead role in how they shape their own future. Let’s become our own leaders and make a Y Downtown happen.

  3. Matthew,

    You had me until, ‘workforce, affordable housing’.

    All things being equal, I would prefer to see it downtown and leave Mahackeno an undisturbed wooded camp in a natural setting.

    By the way, I thought money was the great equalizer, either way, I’m still on your side.

  4. Matthew Mandell


    I don’t mean to touch a tree on Mahackeno for housing. The houses that already exist on Sunny Lane which the Y bought to tear down for the massive parking lot would be the ones to use for such housing. There are 5 of them. They are there and their use would just be changed to fill such a need.

    Thanks for being on my side. I appreciate it.

  5. Does this mean that when I said “it’s time for Plan B” and was bashed by the Mahackeno crowd (and the Minuteman), I was actually correct? Too bad it’s been two or three more wasted years in between time.