COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An apartment complex in South Franklinton that Columbus police has been called to hundreds of times in the past 12 months is being sued by the city.

The City of Columbus announced Tuesday that City Attorney Zach Klein has filed a lawsuit to declare the Southpark Apartments — among the largest affordable housing developments in Columbus — a public nuisance and make the owners improve the quality of life for residents.

In addition to the numerous criminal activity that has taken place at the complex, dozens of apartment units have failed code inspections with 80 units having active violations as of June 1 and only 13 being compliant.

“Everyone deserves a safe, clean place to live, but the fact is that hundreds of Columbus residents are denied those basic rights through no fault of their own due to ongoing crime and deplorable living conditions at Southpark,” said City Attorney Zach Klein. “The city will continue to work with Southpark management to ensure a better, safer quality of life for tenants, and securing this court order would be a major win for residents and a step in the right direction.”

Court documents state that CPD has received more than 800 calls to the Southpark Apartments from August 2021 to July 2022. Among those include:

  • 179 disturbances
  • 49 stolen vehicles
  • 51 domestic violence incidents
  • 24 shots fired calls
  • 9 stabbings
  • 7 overdoses

An April inspection of apartment units found 160 code violations, just 40 less than for a 2021 inspection. Those violations included:

  • Roach and rodent infestations
  • Damaged units
  • Water leaks
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Solid waste
  • Inoperable appliances
  • Water damage

Southpark Apartments management will be ordered by a court to present a plan to get the property back to code and mitigate criminal activity.