A dilapidated property that neighbors have complained about for years has caught the attention of city officials.

A dilapidated property that neighbors have complained about for years has caught the attention of city officials.

The Columbus City Attorney's Office is working to fence in the property at 6079 Northgate Road, which has been vacant since 2003.

Since that time, the property, which is just smaller than an acre, has been heavily vandalized. The building, once a glass-enclosed office building, has been smashed in and spray-painted.

The property is littered with broken glass and garbage.

To make the property safer, the city attorney's office is seeking a judge's order to fence in the property, said assistant city attorney Michelle Cox.

"That seems to be the best option -- to at least make it safe," Cox said.

The property has put the city in an usual situation.

Its owner, listed as Lynsco Properties by the Franklin County auditor, filed for bankruptcy, Cox said. Those with liens against the property have released the owners from their debts.

"There's no effective owner to take responsibility for it," Cox said. "We don't have that happen very often."

Ideally, Cox said, the city would demolish the building, but that measure is too costly, leading the city to take steps to secure the property.

Long term, Cox said the city could issue fines against the property, eventually leading it toward a sheriff's sale.

That would take some time, she said, and the case is relatively new to the city attorney's office.

The matter is further complicated by the fact that the city rarely deals with cases such as these, Cox said.

"It's a little more complicated," she said.

Northland Community Council President Dave Paul said the property has drawn complaints from residents for years.

At one point, the city code enforcement officer for the Northland area looked at taking steps to deal with the property, but no action was taken.

"There have been complaints about the property since 2006," Paul said. "It was a problem then and has been a problem since."

Paul said local leaders began talking with the city again last May about securing the property.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com