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City: ‘Y’ not at Armory?

It’s official — the Prospect Park YMCA will operate the lavishly restored Armory in Park Slope, revealed city officials on Tuesday.

The YMCA will turn the 113-year-old building, which spans nearly an entire block between 14th and 15th streets and Seventh and Eighth avenues, into an adult fitness center and sports facility that will host teen and after-school activities, a day camp, and community meetings, operating between 7 am and 11 pm every day.

The Y will generate revenue through donations, sponsorships, events and membership fees.

But when exactly the Armory will open for business is unclear. Though the city has selected the YMCA as its winning bidder, negotiations are ongoing, and city officials were reluctant to set a deadline.

Given the city’s lack of success with former deadlines, that might be for the best.

After all, the city had promised to select a private operator for the facility in 2006.

For the past few months, neighbors have been sneaking peeks into the Armory and have drooled over its $16-million renovation. Many have questioned why the selection process was taking so long.

When The Brooklyn Paper revealed last month that the YMCA was one of two finalists, area residents were pleased.

“The YMCA is probably the best fit,” said Tom Miskel, a member of the Park Slope Civic Council’s Armory Committee. “This complex is directed toward sports programs for younger people. The Y fits that [mission] better than anyone else.”

The Department of Homeless Services, which is administering the bidding process and will maintain a 70-bed women’s shelter in the building, pushed back the process at least twice.

For its part, the YMCA is “anxious to get started,” said Kevin Shermach, a spokesman for the non-profit.

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