COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A claim of bankruptcy made by the owners of Latitude Five25 apartments has been dismissed.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of New Jersey dismissed the claim made by Paxe Latitude, the management company that owns the 400-unit apartment complex on Sawyer Boulevard, which has stood empty since late December after residents were evacuated on Christmas when a pipe burst and left them without drinkable water.
Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said the decision authorizes the takeover of the apartments, visible from Interstate 670 just east of its interchange with I-71, by a receivership group to fix up the property.
The decision also includes a $1.5 million settlement for former tenants. All involved parties, including tenants and the city, are able to pursue the full amount of more than $4.3 million in fines handed down by environmental court in February.
“The Court’s dismissal of this bankruptcy claim is a significant win for tenants and the City,” Klein said. “A receivership group can now come in to take control over the property. Former tenants will finally see relief. The City is now free to go after the owners to recover the costs incurred by the City due to their gross mismanagement and negligence.”
Paxe Latitude filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 20 in New Jersey. The move came after the company was fined on Feb. 17 for its failure to abide by multiple provisions of an agreement it entered into with the city of Columbus.
Latitude Five25 was the site of more than 1,000 calls to police between Jan. 7, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2022, according to court documents. Overdoses, stabbings, fights and regular calls to shootings were a regular occurrence at the apartments, the city’s complaints alleged. They also listed roach infestations, bedbugs, busted pipes, water damage, broken doors and broken windows in housing inspector reports.