The property manager for one section of the old Eastland Mall told ABC 6 On Your Side Problem Solvers that he wants to be a better neighbor now that he's facing a possible court-ordered injunction.
The city filed nuisance abatement cases against two owners of mall property that could end in the possible seizure of their land.
"We're trying our best," said Pape Ndiaye who owns a trucking company at the site of the old Sears store.
He leases his land from IGWT Properties LLC and represented the owner in Franklin County Environmental Court Friday.
"That's why I'm here today to do better," he told ABC6 On Your Side Problem Solvers exclusively.
Attorneys for the city of Columbus presented a series of photos in court that depicted blite and major dangers on mall property. Along with broken windows, trash, crumbling canopies, and brick walls, the property belonging to Eastland Mall Holdings LLC also has a sinkhole underneath the parking lot.
"If you actually look into the hole, it opens up about ten feet, eight or ten feet, underneath the parking lot," a city code enforcement officer told the court. "It could fall in. So, I guess their temporary solution was to put (a) cone there."
The attorney representing Eastland Mall Holdings LLC told the court repairs will get made by the end of May. However, their case was first filed last April and city attorneys claim conditions are only getting worse at Eastland Mall and not better.
On the two parcels owned by IGWT Properties LLC, code enforcement showed pictures of people living in tents on mall sidewalks, crumbled brick, inoperable cars, and numerous pieces of furniture dumped along the service road.
Problem Solvers asked Ndiaye if his property is bringing down the quality of life for those living near the mall.
"It depends on how you look at it," he answered. "We bring jobs there. We're going to clean up."
Ndiaye told the judge changes will be made within the next 60 days. However, the judge also granted the city's request for an injunction hearing to be held June 13.
"We're going to clean up," said Ndiaye. "We're going to hire security. And we're going to do our best."View This Story on Our Site