COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Health and safety code violations, including a sinkhole in the parking lot, have been filed against the owners of properties at Eastland Mall, according to the city attorney’s office.
Code Enforcement also found undriveable vehicles parked and stored on the property, City Attorney Zach Klein said in a media release.
“Conditions at Eastland continue to deteriorate, and immediate action is needed to protect the health and safety of the general public and patrons of the mall,” said Klein. “We want to see current ownership step up to make these fixes, but we are prepared to pursue every legal avenue to ensure this economic driver on our City’s east side is safe, vibrant and positioned for the future.”
The City of Columbus announced in Nov. 2021 that it planned to turn 78 acres of land near Eastland Mall into a new park, and had acquired the acreage for about $1.5 million.
The mall is owned by Eastland Mall Holdings LLC, which bought it in 2015 for $9.7 million. The company received notice of emergency code violations earlier in March. These included unsecure doorways in vacant buildings, as well as an open sinkhole in the parking lot and electrical issues on the premises.
As part of a push by City Attorney Zach Klein to fix up the mall, the attorney’s office said it also filed a nuisance case in January against IGWT Properties LLC — which owns the property that used to be Sears — citing inspections throughout 2021.
Inspectors found vehicles that weren’t operable stored at the former Sears site, the city attorney’s office said.
IGWT Properties LLC will be in court again with the city on June 13, 2022.