COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says the city has filed two motions to expedite the change of ownership at Colonial Village Apartment Complex.  

According to Klein, since March 2020, Columbus Police have responded to approximately 1,500 calls for service at the complex. Columbus Fire has responded more than 700 times since January 2019 for drug overdoses, injuries due to assault, shootings, stabbings, and DOA calls.

Court documents state that in October of 2019, the city’s code enforcement department started inspections of the property due to complaints from tenants and community members. As a result, the city issued more than 400 notice violations, including bed bugs, rodent and roach infestations, water damage, lack of utilities, missing or broken smoke detectors, as well as many more violations.

“The current owners have had over a year to bring Colonial Village into compliance with the Columbus City Code, and nearly four months to bring the property into compliance since the City Attorney filed its lawsuit in the Environmental Court. However, as of July 30, 2021, there were still more than 200 code violations at the Premises,” Klein released in a statement.

The joint motion filed by Klein and mortgage holder, EFM Transfer Agent, LLC, in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court will have the court “…promptly appoint a receiver to operate, manage, and prepare the property for sale, which will benefit all interested parties, including community members and residents. The City and the lender argue an experienced and well-qualified receiver, like the one proposed in the motion, will increase, or at least preserve, the value of the property and facilitate the sale to a new and competent owner.”

Bob Weiler, who serves as Chairman of the Board of the Robert Weiler Company, and has served as the Chairman of the Ohio Real Estate Appraiser Board among other titles, is the proposed receiver of the property.

“With these motions, we are using every legal avenue available to expedite this process and get these apartments up to the standard that their residents deserve,” said Klein. “The level of dangerous crime and mismanagement of this property calls for this unprecedented action, and we are confident in Mr. Weiler’s experience to get this property on the right track.”