Much of the downtown Pensacola complex which for decades was home to the city’s YMCA will be demolished beginning on Saturday, to be replaced by a new mixed-use project developers are calling “Galveztown.”

The facility, located at 400 North Palafox Street, closed last year after the new $16 million Bear Levin Studer Family YMCA opened at 165 East Intendencia Street. Developers Fred Gunther and Brad Myers acquired the property for $700,000 in January.

The Galveztown development is planned for the site of the former downtown Pensacola YMCA, located at 400 North Palafox Street. (Derek Cosson/The Pulse)

Demolition of the main building, erected in 1951, is expected to take approximately six weeks. In its place, Gunther and Myers plan to subdivide the property into nine residential lots, to be marketed between $195,000 and $210,000. An existing one-story building on the Palafox Street side of the property will be renovated as restaurant space, while the two-story building formerly home to the YMCA racquetball courts will find new life as an office building.

The site plan for the Galveztown development. (Gunther Properties/Special to The Pulse)

Gunther said Galveztown will help to continue the ongoing revitalization of downtown Pensacola while offering attractive options for both residential and commercial customers.

“We plan to create a quality mixed-use project of which the community can be proud,” said Gunther. “With all of the exciting growth happening downtown, we believe this project will continue to make downtown Pensacola a more exciting place.”

Gunther and Myers derived the project’s name from Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish military leader who recaptured Pensacola from the British in a siege during the Battle of Pensacola in 1781. Gálveztown was the name of Gálvez’s ship, which he reportedly sailed into Pensacola Bay — under threat of British cannon fire — when other Spanish naval commanders were unwilling to do so. The British surrendered the city after Gálvez’s artillery caused a powder magazine to explode at Fort George, directly across modern-day Palafox Street from where the Galveztown development will be located.

A one-story building on the former YMCA will be renovated as restaurant space. (Derek Cosson/The Pulse)

Myers said the project pays tribute to the city’s history while looking toward the future.

“One of the great things about this project is how well it complements Pensacola’s history and aligns really well with the overall development strategy,” Myers said.

Parties interested in the project’s real estate opportunities can contact Fred Gunther at


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