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The Drama at 88 E. Broad: Why Everyone’s Ditching This Iconic Columbus Skyscraper

If you’ve walked past the skyscraper at 88 E. Broad Street recently, you might have noticed a little less hustle and bustle.

It’s no secret to those in the loop: this downtown Columbus landmark, known for its prominent KeyBank signage, is seeing some significant changes—and not necessarily the good kind.

The building, a fixture in the heart of the city, has been under new management since Baruch Broad Street LLC took over last year.

key bank building columbus ohio
88 E. Broad, known as the Keybank Building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Since then, it’s been one thing after another.

Long-time tenants like OH Pizza and Brew are packing up their dough and heading out, citing a laundry list of woes from unexpected shutdowns to serious security lapses—like a Christmas burglary that left the owner tallying losses in the thousands.

Baruch Broad Street LLC laid down $12,025,000 for the tower at 88 E. Broad Street in January 2022, per the Franklin County Auditor’s Office. The LLC traces back to Asher Roshanzamir, CEO of Zamir Equities—both based in New York.

And it’s not just pizza places feeling the heat.

The Ohio Auditor’s Office is also saying goodbye to 88 E. Broad, driven away by ongoing issues from leaky pipes to unreliable heating and cooling. They’re not just looking for better maintenance but also slashing their rent costs dramatically in their new digs.

KeyBank itself is in the process of reshuffling.

They’re pulling their office staff out of the building, though they’re keeping a toe in the water with negotiations to maintain their branch on the first floor. Amid all this, Starbucks, the first of its Ohio stores to unionize, is standing its ground, continuing to brew amidst the turbulence.

From lawsuits over unpaid bills to maintenance providers literally taking their plants and walking out, it’s a storyline you’d expect in a daytime soap, not your downtown office block. And let’s just say, the building’s absence from Zamir Equities’ portfolio isn’t instilling confidence in its future.

aerial photograph of keybank building
via Facebook

This ongoing drama doesn’t just impact the tenants at the building. It’s a glimpse into the broader challenges facing business spaces in the wake of a pandemic that’s changed so much about how and where we work. 88 E. Broad Street could be a cautionary tale of what happens when property management doesn’t keep pace with the needs of its tenants or the realities of the market.

As we see more shifts and transformations, one thing is clear: Downtown Columbus is evolving, and not every building is keeping up.