The former YMCA site located at Montour Run and Beaver Grade roads in Robinson has been given a new lease on life. It's now known as the Olde-Y Business Park and is home to a variety of new businesses.
By Elizabeth Perry
One complex in McKees Rocks that served children sits empty while a similar yet larger site in Robinson Township has found new life.
The former Beaver Grade Road YMCA in Robinson Township, now known as the Olde-Y Business Park, has been repurposed as a place for businesses and recreation. The former Sto-Ken-Rox Boys & Girls Club in McKees Rocks faces an uphill battle to usability again.
On June 30, the Robinson business park held an open house at the building purchased in 2019 by developer Henry Duckstein. The newly renovated space, which had been put up for sale by the YMCA because of extensive water damage, is now open to a variety of businesses, according to Christian Wilhelm, a realtor involved with developing the complex. PetWellClinic, a content recovery business and Vizion Athletics, a high-performance training program run by Steeler Christian Kunz and football coach Wayne Capers Jr. have all moved into the space.
Much of the building is still dedicated to sports and Duckstien is working with local schools to allow teams to utilize it as a practice space. The open house was designed to inspire community involvement, to get local people to sign up for sports practice at the renovated building. The owner is also offering naming rights within the complex, Wilhelm said. Naming rights are a form of advertising where a company could name part of the structure, like a gym, after itself for a fee.
Boys & Girls Club
Megan Turnbull, legal counsel for the McKees Rocks Borough, acknowledged the dormant building may have deteriorated quickly, which has been closed since 2020.
“Until we get inside, it’s difficult to know if it's suitable right now,” Turnbull said.
The borough is technically the property owner of the site which opened in 1979. Borough officials recently executed an agreement with the Boys & Girls Club of Allegheny County providing them with full control of the building. The next step is for the Boys & Girls Club to put the agreement before its own board. Then the borough can get access to the building again.
“We’re a bunch of steps behind Robinson right now,” said Turnbull, who ads the borough’s first goal is to stabilize the building.
Archie Brinza, McKees Rocks Borough president, said the borough had met with the Josh Gibson Foundation and discussed developing the field outside the empty building.
Gibson had previously drawn up plans for a sports complex in McKees Rocks Bottoms neighborhood that never came to fruition after the site was declared a green space in 2020.
Brinza said Gibson’s group had expressed an interest in creating a Miracle Field, a field that would be accessible to kids with disabilities. A program like that would be a boon to the community, Brinza said.
“You only see them in the suburbs, never in places like this,” Brinza said.
Brinza indicated James Lind, president of McKees Rocks Industrial Enterprises, would be interested in donating to the project when the plans become more concrete.
Lind said nothing had been formally discussed regarding the site, but said his company was definitely interested in working with and assisting the community at large. The whole project is very much in its infancy, Lind said.