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A $5.3 million project to convert a six-story downtown building into housing and day-care facility is back on track.

Mayor Richard Kimball announced that the YWCA has reversed its move to back away from plans and and will be part of the Chadakoin Project, at Third and Washington streets.

The Chadakoin Limited Partnership, which is developing the building, had applied earlier this year for $3.6 million but was sidestepped in favor of another local project.

"We reviewed that (application) very, very carefully, and we feel we now, in consultation with (the Department of Housing and Community Renewal), we have a much stronger application," Kimball said. "The second thing is that the department has informed us they are going to accelerate the process for next year's awards."

The department plans to announce its next round of funding in the spring, and Kimball said he is "99.9 percent sure" funding for the project will be included.

The application is being worked on by Citizens Opportunity for Development and Equality, and the YWCA, both components of the Chadakoin Limited Partnership.

Rosemarie Hill, executive director of the YWCA, said officials always felt the building was the "best location for the YWCA's programs." But when the state funding was denied initially, the "YW's needs were so immediate" that the board needed to look at alternative plans, she said.

Hill said the project will revitalize the downtown and help the association meet its mission.

Kimball said that the timetable for completing the project might be delayed a couple of months.

When completed in the spring 2001, the building will dedicate two floors to YWCA programs, including a state-of-the-art child-care center and the Teen-age Education and Motherhood Program.

The upper four floors will be converted into 32 apartments -- eight two-bedroom and 24 single bedroom units -- designed for young, income-eligible professionals.

Work already has begun in anticipation of the project. Two additions and an adjacent building have been torn down and the building gutted. That work was financed through a $500,000 incentive grant from the city.

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