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Columbus nears deal for sale of problematic East Side apartment towers

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Columbus' city attorney says the city is nearing an agreement for the sale of two East Side apartment towers where police responded to more than 1,000 calls over a two-year period.

Residents of Latitude Five25 on Sawyer Boulevard have also complained about power outages and bug and rodent infestations at the 400-unit complex.

City attorney Zach Klein says a deal that should be finalized soon would have the towers' current owner sell the property within 90 days and pay a $50,000 fine.

“At this point, improving conditions at Latitude Five25 means bringing in new ownership to take control. The City is working with all parties to facilitate a sale of the property so that residents can finally see a real quality of life improvement,” Klein said in an emailed statement.

“While the terms of the agreement are still being finalized, the City is encouraged at the direction of these discussions and remain hopeful that within 90 days, the property will be transferred either to a new owner or a receivership group. It’s past time for current ownership to take action,” Klein wrote.

Klein says Columbus Police received more than 1,000 calls for service to the premises between Jan. 7, 2020 and Jan. 6, 2022, including calls for shots fired, shootings, overdoses, narcotics complaints, reports of domestic violence and assault, and fights on the property.

The towers used to be a public housing project and are now managed by New Jersey-based Paxe Latitude. In 2009 the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority board voted to sell the property.