Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Melanie Crabill
Director of Media Relations
[email protected]

Kevin Kilbane
Director of Communications
[email protected]

Media Advisory
News Date: December 29, 2022

Multiple Stakeholders and Entities Working on Short-Term and Long-Term Solutions for Residents at Latitude Five25

On December 25, 2022, Columbus Code Enforcement issued an emergency notice to vacate Latitude Five25 at 525 Sawyer Blvd. The Near-eastside buildings, often referred to as Sawyer Towers, were found to be without potable water, heat and a working fire suppression system. In addition, only one of four elevators was working.

It was determined the buildings in question were not safe, and multiple City departments evacuated both towers. The majority of residents found alternative living arrangements; however, the City worked with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) to transport displaced residents without housing options to an emergency shelter established in coordination with the American Red Cross at Dodge Community Center. Any remaining residents must be out of the towers by 12 p.m. Friday, December 30, 2022, at which time the buildings will be secured.

“Our top concern was making sure displaced residents had access to safe and warm shelter, and thanks to the efforts of many City and County employees, in close collaboration with community service providers, we were able to keep residents safe,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Our next step is to find more permanent solutions for residents and to hold the property owners accountable.”

“We have been working round-the-clock with the City and our community partners to meet the immediate housing needs for all our impacted neighbors,” said Commissioner Erica C. Crawley, president of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. “In addition to providing funding to secure safe interim housing for all Latitude Five25 residents, we’re also offering wraparound supports. We are going to walk with them and help them navigate this crisis with dignity.” 

The City is working with Franklin County and other service providers to secure interim housing for displaced residents. The Franklin County Commissioners met in emergency session on Wednesday to allocate $750,000 for interim housing and support for continuing operations at Dodge Community Center. Mayor Ginther is working with Columbus City Council to allocate an additional $750,000 for these efforts.

In addition, the City Attorney’s Office is pursuing legal action to hold the building owners in contempt and to move the buildings into receivership and find a suitable buyer for the property.