Hundreds of residents at the YMCA of Central Ohio will be placed in new accommodations over the next few years as the organization leaves its current downtown building at 40 W. Long Street.
The Downtown YMCA building is more than 100 years old and currently houses 400 men. The 205,000-square-foot space includes membership services, programming and residential spaces.
“The building is not meeting the expectations of those services. The repairs of the building, the maintenance of the building, just because of its age, are outpacing our ability to keep up with it,” says YMCA senior vice president Tina Badurina. “Specific to the living conditions for the men who live there, they do not have private bathrooms. They do not have kitchens. They have shared bathrooms and no kitchen facilities.”
Badurina says renovating the building would cost $50-60 million, and still would not allow for private bathrooms or kitchens because of the existing infrastructure.
“We want them to have their own bathrooms,” Badurina says. “We want them to be able to cook their own food.”
Relocating the men will take roughly five to seven years, says Sue Darby, senior vice president of housing.
“We're working right now with partner developers and we're at the very beginning stages assessing land and finding out the best place in the city to build new,” Darby says.
The YMCA does not want to duplicate its current building.
“In working with affordable housing providers, we may have a model similar to our Franklin Station, which is located on Broad Street,” Badurina says. “And that looks like an apartment building. There's 100 units there.”
Badurina says the organization could end up working with multiple developers on multiple buildings. She says there will be no lapse in service, and no one will be left homeless as a result of the process.
“We're working right now with partner developers, and we're at the very beginning stages assessing land and finding out the best place in the city to build new,” Darby says.
The last renovation to the downtown building was 22 years ago. Part of the consideration for closing the W. Long Street location was the YMCA’s ineligibility for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, because the program does not meet the minimum requirements of best practices for a living situation.
The YMCA does not yet know what will happen to the space, but they are considering selling it.