COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An agreement reached between the city of Columbus and the owners of a troubled apartment complex calls for the sale of the complex.
The agreement calls for the current owners of Latitude Five25, Paxe Latitude, to close the sale of the property by Feb. 10.
The agreement comes just days after all of the residents of the 400-unit building were evacuated on Christmas Day due to issues in the building, including just one working elevator and a lack of potable water, heat, or fire systems.
In addition, Paxe Latitude must reimburse the city of Columbus $50,000 for costs incurred by the city in the Dec. 25 evacuation.
Tenants will also be granted the right to terminate their lease without repercussions, and will not be charged rent for the month of January.
Paxe Latitude and Columbus officials met behind closed doors at Franklin County Environmental Court for most of the day Tuesday before the agreement was announced.
Other terms of the agreement include Paxe being required to reimburse tenants’ costs for temporary housing, food delivery and service, and bus passes starting from Dec. 25.
Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein first announced in November that Paxe Latitude would be forced to sell the building and take care of necessary maintenance until the sale was finalized.
Tuesday’s agreement also states that access to the property is restricted unless it is a tenant retrieving their property or a contractor making repairs. Paxe Latitude must also pay for and complete all repairs or replacements to fully restore heat, hot water, and elevator service before the sale is finalized.
“If the property is brought back up to the code and the tenant should choose to go back, they are free to do so,” said Columbus Assistant City Attorney Steve Dunbar. “Completely their choice, your honor, with no legal obligation thereafter.”
The Latitude Five25 property was the site of more than 1,000 calls to Columbus police between Jan. 7, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2022, according to court documents. Columbus’ complaints against the property owners’ said officers responded regularly to calls for overdoses, stabbings, fights, and shootings.
The agreement comes after the city filed a motion for contempt against Paxe Latitude on Dec. 27.
The full agreement is below.