Bangor Region YMCA CEO Diane Dickerson is shown in February. The YMCA has bought five properties near Main Street as part of a planned expansion into downtown Bangor. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

The Bangor Region YMCA has acquired five properties near Main Street as part of a planned expansion for the nonprofit organization into downtown Bangor.

The YMCA bought five properties on Davis Court and First Street, off Main Street, between Aug. 1 and Sept. 27, according to city assessment records.

Diane Dickerson, the Bangor YMCA’s chief executive, said the purchases were part of a plan to expand the YMCA’s presence in downtown Bangor, as outlined in an economic development strategic planning report the city published in April.

The report, produced by the Utah-based consulting company Better City, recommended that the city support the YMCA’s desire to expand its presence near downtown Bangor, which would in turn help Bangor attract more cultural amenities and establish an entertainment district in the area between the Maine Savings Amphitheater and Front Street.

The YMCA has also sought federal funding to aid that expansion.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations transportation, housing and urban development subcommittee, said in July that she had secured $1.5 million for the organization in a draft fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill to fund a new building that would aid its mission of “support[ing] community needs related to childcare, youth education and development, chronic disease prevention, and workforce recruitment and retention needs.”

The Bangor YMCA has purchased six properties on Davis Court and First Street, including 30 Davis Ct., as part of a planned expansion into the downtown district. Credit: Lia Russell / BDN

Dickerson declined to provide specifics about the expansion but emphasized her organization’s commitment to serving the Bangor region.

“The fact that the Y can play such a significant role in addressing the needs of our community through our programs and services for babies through seniors is an honor and a responsibility we take very seriously,” she said.

“Being a part of the City of Bangor’s 5 Year Strategic Plan certainly cements the important role the Y has played in our region for 155 years and will play in the future.”

The organization’s current campus is on Second Street, which was the location of the Bangor YWCA before that organization merged with the YMCA in 2008.

The YMCA will demolish all of the Davis Court buildings within a month, because of concerns about their structural safety, and because their vacant statuses had attracted squatters, Dickerson said.

Three apartment-style buildings at 23, 24 and 26-28 Davis Court were boarded up on Tuesday afternoon. One property is split into two vacant lots on First Street.

Bangor landlord John Karnes confirmed that he had sold the building at 30 Davis Court, and had begun demolishing it on Tuesday as part of the purchase-and-sale agreement between him and the YMCA.

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Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.