Eastland Mall declared a public nuisance

The Columbus City Attorney’s Office officially declared the Eastland Mall a public nuisance today, after months of neglect that the landlord has yet to remediate. The citations against the mall include health and safety hazards such as inadequate lighting, parking lot repairs, structural building issues and zoning violations.

“Conditions at Eastland Mall pose a danger to the public and immediate action must be taken to bring the property into compliance, and that starts with property owners working to make improvements,” the district attorney said. city, Zach Klein, in a statement released today. “Eastland Mall is important to our East Side communities, and we are prepared to pursue all legal options to hold owners accountable and ensure the long-term economic health of the site.

First opened in 1968, Eastland Mall was the city’s first enclosed mall with quirky anchors such as Sears, JC Penney and Lazarus. A fourth anchor was added in 2005, but the mall has slowly seen its four anchor stores close since then, with Sears being the last stopping point, closing in fall 2017.

A company known as Eastland Mall Holdings LLC currently owns and operates the property, but has never made a public announcement regarding the mall’s revitalization. The mall’s Facebook page has been inactive since September 2020 and the Instagram account silent since December 2021. According to Eastland Mall’s website directory, 56 businesses are currently operating in the mall, but this list has not been confirmed as accurate or current.

In March of this year, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced a new focus on the neighborhood surrounding the mall during his annual State of the City address.

“We also aim to revitalize the Eastland area, where we will develop a new community plan like the ones we created for Linden and Hilltop – which have subsequently received over $150 million in public and private investments to-date. Ginther said during the talk. “We know how successful these community plans can be – and we look forward to working with our neighbors and Eastland businesses to have a similar impact.”

New details on what that redevelopment plan might look like have been scarce. A redevelopment plan for the Eastland Neighborhood and Hamilton Road Corridor was developed in 2007, but few updates have been made from this plan in the years since.

Source: BBPC, Jacobs Carter Burgess — based on Hamilton’s 2007 Eastland Road Corridor Revitalization Plan.

For now, a court order is in effect for Eastland Mall Holdings requiring the landlord to complete repairs to the parking lot by August 13 and comply with code violations by July 13. A contempt hearing will be held on September 22 to determine whether the owner has complied with orders and the future of the property could then be decided.

Bonny J. Streater