A historic Near East Side building has a new owner.

The Breathing Association plans to move to the building at 741 E. Broad St. in July. Jim Havens, principal at Havens Limited, bought the building for the nonprofit, and the organization is leasing it from him with the option to eventually buy it, CEO Lori Sontag said.

The building was put on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1980s.

The 117-year-old Breathing Association was founded during the tuberculosis outbreak in the 19th century. The nonprofit is the oldest free clinic in Ohio, and serves anyone with any lung health condition, including cessation from smoking or vaping, Sontag told me.

The Breathing Association also helps Central Ohioans with utility bills. In 2023, the organization helped more than 40,000 with their utilities.

The organization is funded mostly by donations and grants, said Jennifer Burroway, director of development for the Breathing Association.

Havens bought the Broad Street building for about $1 million. The Breathing Association is making some improvements to the inside of the building, built in 1942, which will cost another $5oo,ooo, Sontag said. Wellogy, a Dublin-based architect that specializes in healthcare design, is designing the modifications.

Moving the nonprofit to Broad Street will allow the Breathing Association to grow. It’s currently located on the first floor of the Columbus Urban League building on the Near East Side.

“Over the last two years, our growth caused us to need more space,” Sontag said. “We’ve seen that the demand is there; we think we’ll see more growth, especially in our clinic.”

The new building will allow the nonprofit to expand the clinic to treat broader health and wellness issues, Burroway said. The new location also has room for the Breathing Association to start a pulmonary rehabilitation center.

“We’re needed in the community,” Sontag said. “Without us, there would be a heavier burden on our area medical systems or people would have high medical bills that they never pay off.”

Netcare Access, a mental health clinic, previously owned the building.

Mike Simpson and Andrew Green of NAI Ohio Equities represented the seller in this deal.