The YWCA building at 1607-19 Catharine St., vacant for the past few years, is on the market. This building, along with the lot next to it, is one of the larger privately owned undeveloped contiguous parcels left in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. While the listing says that the building plus the lot cover a little over 10K sqft., we believe that number might be even higher. As it’s currently constituted, the interior square footage of the building alone is over 37K sqft. Huge. With tremendous development having taken place on the 700 block of S. Chadwick St. around the corner and a couple of recent rehabs across the street, this building could potentially rehabbed and turned into condo units. Alternately and less ideally, the building could be taken down like the church at the corner of 20th and Fitzwater Sts. and homes could be built in its place.

On the other hand, this area would probably not be considered as desirable as 20th and Fitzwater Sts., with Universal owning and somewhat poorly maintaining several properties in close vicinity, and a few shells on the 1500 block of Catharine. Also, the stigma of a recent tragedy might make it difficult for a developer to get the top dollar needed to make the numbers work for an expensive project like this. Most importantly, the current price tag of $2.2M seems like a totally unrealistic asking price, particularly with credit so tight. Hey Southwest Belmont Community Association! You really wanna sell this thing or what?

We hope that someone comes along very soon and does something fantastic with this good looking building. We also hope that the sellers come to their senses and lower the asking price by 50% for starters. Hey, maybe someone will want to turn it into a giant mansion- there’s already in indoor pool!

Lot next door, also included in the astronomical price

Catty corner, the SE corner of 16th and Catharine. From the left- fancy new house, iffy corner store, Universal owned houses