Small Business Owner Sues City Of Gahanna For Crumbling Business

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UPDATED: Tuesday April 23, 2013 5:27 PM

Gahanna's Creekside development has already seen its fair share of problems.  

It cost $16 million to build, only to sit partly vacant for years.

Now, one woman says the city and the developer are to blame for her crumbling business next door.

“I'm just a small business owner. I don't have as much money as they have, I get that,” said Burn owner Rebecca Lottridge.

The yoga and fitness studio owner says she bought the building at 153 Mill St. in Gahanna in 2005 as an investment. Over the past few years, she says it has become the center of her frustration.

“It's really taken probably all of our savings,” said Lottridge.

The building is falling apart, she says, because of a multi-million dollar project next door. So, she is suing the city and the development company for the damage.

“I can’t tell you for certain what happened, but I can tell you before I bought this building, nothing was wrong and there was no cracking. I didn't have plumbing issues. I didn't have my roof leaking, but now it's just been tens of thousands of dollars and it's been a nightmare,” said Lottridge.

Two years ago, Lottridge says she and a team of workers were putting down a yoga studio floor, when she says she realized the conditions had deteriorated.  

In fact, she says the problems have only been getting worse. The walls are cracked and the floor is separated from the wall, leaving a noticeable gap.  

Those cracks are visible on the inside of the building and outside.

Lottridge says the white paint on the exterior walls show how the ground is sinking and she says the damage doesn't stop.

“I want everything to succeed down here, but it's not right. It's just not right,” said Lottridge.

“This business owner has sued the city in regard to her allegations. Since we are in current litigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment on the matter,” said assistant city administrator Brandi Braun.

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