The OES visited Broadwin Apartments on September 25, 2005. Built in 1925 as Broadwin Hotel and later known simply as The Broadwin, this eight-story building at 1312 East Broad Street was one of several luxury apartment buildings constructed along Broad Street in the first half of the twentieth century. The design of The Broadwin was typical of the period, with a Renaissance Revival architecture style, complete with rusticated stone walls on the two-story base and brick walls with quoin corners on floors three through eight. The main lobby had marble floors and the building originally had its own restaurant. The Broadwin also featured an attached parking garage, a rarity at the time it was built. The Broadwin was marketed toward people who wanted a fashionable East Broad Street address, but were unable to own property.
Newspaper articles revealed that at least three people have died at The Broadwin over the years. There was a fire on the second-story in 1963, but luckily everyone escaped unharmed. Two of the three deaths we found could be attributed to old age. The other, however, was more sinister. In November of 1992, a friend discovered the body of Phyllis Lee Owensby in her unlocked sixth-floor apartment. She had been stabbed to death, marking the city’s 100th homicide of the year. Thankfully, an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers helped police solve the case and Philip Bates was arrested for the murder.
As time went on, the influential residents who occupied East Broad Street moved to other areas and The Broadwin began its inevitable decline. The building had been neglected for some time by the late-1990s and was in dire need of a renovation. All of The Broadwin’s residents had moved out of their apartments by 2000 so renovations could begin. The building sat vacant for some time, but by 2006, plans called for The Broadwin to be redeveloped into a 43-unit condominium building. The developers wished to save as much of the building’s original features as possible while bringing modern amenities. The OES visited The Broadwin during an open house which was set up to attract potential buyers for the condominium units. Several units had already sold, but many others were still available, especially on the upper floors. Unfortunately, funding dried up and several contractors walked off the job in March 2007. The 25 homeowners who had already purchased their condos sued the bank and eventually either settled out of court or received compensatory settlements after the trial. In total, the bank responsible paid out $19 million to the residents and developer.
In 2012, six years after our visit, The Broadwin developers were awarded a $1.1 million state tax credit to assist in the renovation process. The building is now slated to be renovated into 42 apartments at a total project cost of $8.8 million. As of this posting in 2014, the Broadwin Apartments still sit vacant after fourteen years. At this point, we do not know if the planned renovations will ever come to fruition. Hopefully the developers can finish their project and reopen this grand old building.
Location Information: Restoration Pending
The Broadwin is located at 1312 East Broad Street in Columbus; Franklin County.
Photographs: Exterior, Historical, Common Areas, Basement & Garage