Downtown Office Vacancy Rate Holds Steady as New Tenants Move In

Walker Evans Walker Evans Downtown Office Vacancy Rate Holds Steady as New Tenants Move InVisual via JLL's Digital Skyline tool.
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Last week, the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District reported that the Downtown office vacancy rate held steady at 13.6%, only slightly up from the 13.2% rate reported in the fourth quarter of 2014, and still much lower than the 15.1% office vacancy rate reported in the first quarter of 2014. The numbers are a positive bellwether for both the Central Ohio region and the Downtown submarket, as the area accounts for approximately 83,000 jobs — or 17% of all regional jobs.

Several new office announcements have occurred since the release of last week’s report that will be reflected in the next survey of the market.

Architectural firm NBBJ has relocated offices from 1555 Lake Shore Drive in the Marble Cliff Quarry area to the new 250 High building in the past week, taking over approximately 22,500 square feet of space there. They will be joined by marketing agency Resource Ammirati this fall, who has committed to 60,000 square feet of space in the building.

Law firm Dickinson Wright has continued to grow their local operations, recently signing a lease to take over the entire 24th floor of the Continental Center building on Gay Street. That space is nearly 20,000 square feet in size.

Customer research firm OrangeBoy is relocating from the Grandview Commerce Center off Dublin Road into the 1 East Gay building Downtown. The company will take the full second floor of the building, approximately 3,000 square feet.

The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging is vacating their offices on East Long Street to relocate to the former Bob Evans HQ on South High Street. The City of Columbus has not yet announced plans for the 39,000 square foot Downtown building.

A four-story building at 145 East Rich Street is undergoing an office space renovation. Owner Michael A. Tomko told Columbus Underground that he originally considered an apartment conversion, but the project is being driven by a very strong demand for Downtown office space. 

Construction continues on the Buggyworks Offices in the Arena District, which will add approximately 108,000 square feet of office space to the neighborhood once completed within the next few months.

In mid-July, Columbus City Council approved funds for the construction of a new eight-story, 180,000 square foot office building that will house various city departments and services. That project will also include a new eight-story 700-space parking garage.

While technically located just a few blocks outside of the Downtown market, it’s worth noting that national coworking company Industrious is moving into The Joseph office building in the Short North, taking over the entire fourth floor and converting it to spaces for startups and entrepreneurs.

Another 100,000 square feet of office space development is expected to begin construction next year in the PenWest area when Borror Properties begins development of a new mixed-use project there. The offices will be home to the company’s new headquarters as well a new headquarters for local construction company Ruscilli. Both have a targeted move-in date set for Summer 2017.

And even further in the future is the proposed Two25 building, a 17-story mixed use tower that would include 125,000 square feet of office space on five floors that overlook Columbus Commons. That project is expected to be completed sometime in late 2017 or early 2018.

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Visuals via JLL’s Digital Skyline tool.


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