Empty since Sep 30, 2012, the Barbican YMCA looms over Goswell Road at the northwest corner of the Barbican. The Y had been running a hostel at the location for 40 years. But when the tenancy came up for renewal, it appears the City wanted the hostel gone, as did some area residents. The City even waived £1.69 million for repairs that the Y would have been responsible for at the end of its tenancy.
But what to do with the forlorn tower? Even if the repairs are made, the fixes would not address modernization that the building requires. The City contracted with BNP Paribas to market the building in an effort to gauge demand for a hostel, which is the property’s current use. According to a posting on goldenlane.org, an American venture capitalist has “announced his bid for the Y building. He proposes to use it as a student hostel where the staff are all formerly-homeless trainees.” Area residents point out that there are 1,500 in need of housing in the City and some propose converting the tower to residential uses.
There has been no final decision. The Grade II-listed building, part of the larger Barbican complex, is currently mothballed.