City attorney, Southpark Apartments reach agreement

Southpark Apartments is among one of the largest affordable housing developments in Columbus.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus City Attorney’s office and the owners of a South Franklinton apartment complex reached an agreement Thursday to improve safety conditions and upgrade security, months after the attorney filed a lawsuit.

City Attorney Zach Klein’s Office filed a lawsuit against Southpark Apartments last August, citing hundreds of police calls and code violations in the past few years. In addition to improving safety and security at the complex, owners must also maintain sanitary living conditions. 

Southpark Apartments, a 356-unit complex, is one of the largest affordable housing developments in Columbus and has been a source of concern for the city, the release says.

RELATED: Columbus city attorney files lawsuit against Southpark Apartments in South Franklinton

This announcement comes at the heels of the city making an agreement with the owners of Latitude Five25, another nuisance property, to sell the property and improve living conditions.

“The coordinated effort between the City Attorney’s Office, Code and CPD made this deal possible. This agreement means better living conditions for residents, safer places for kids to play, and greater security for neighbors and families,” said City Attorney Zach Klein. “The City will continue to do whatever it takes to hold the landlord accountable and improve the quality of life for all those who call Southpark home. This is a significant win for residents.”

Under the new agreement made with the property’s owners, Southpark Preservation Limited Partnership, they are required to install 12 additional security cameras to address blind areas, repair nine non-functioning cameras already on site, enable remote, real-time camera access to CPD, and install at least three license plate readers at complex access points.

The property owners will also be expected to install additional lighting in certain areas and require key access between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day. 

They will also have to maintain active, up-to-date tenant rolls to prevent loitering by non-residents on site and deny access to any individuals not permitted to be present on the premises, the release says.

In addition to safety changes, the agreement holds the owners responsible for getting the property up to health and safety codes.

The Southpark Apartment complex has had over 800 calls for police service and some 200 documented code violations in recent years, according to the attorney’s office.

“This deal benefits the City and holds property owners accountable, but the real winners in this agreement are the residents of Southpark,” said Assistant City Attorney Zach Gwin, who is the Zone Initiative Attorney for the city’s west side. “The City will continue to monitor improvement and compliance and step in to take further legal action if property owners fail to uphold their end of the deal. This is a big day for residents.” 

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