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Local Developers to Discuss Building Boom at Design Talks Event

Walker Evans Walker Evans Local Developers to Discuss Building Boom at Design Talks EventPhotos provided by AIA Columbus.
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Columbus, like many other urban areas across the US, is in the midst of a construction boom. A large portion of that development comes by way of urban-style multi-family rental communities popping up in neighborhoods that range from Downtown and The Short North to Worthington and Dublin. The costs for renting these new apartment units are typically at the pricier end of the spectrum, yet demand continues to be high with many communities hitting 100% occupancy rates during pre-leasing phases, before construction is even finished.

“Much of the demand is related to a shift in the mindset of the residential user,” explains Brett Kaufman, CEO of Kaufman Development. “People today don’t feel the same desire to own as in years past, partly because of the quality of the residential product that is now offered for rent. It used to be that people needed to own to have homes that offered high-end finishes and amenities. There is still a place in our city for for-sale product, people now just have more options which is a great thing.”

Kaufman Development recently completed the 600 Goodale apartment community Downtown while working to wrap up the 801 Polaris residential project on the far north side. Additionally, the firm is partnering on the tallest new building currently under construction Downtown: 250 High, which will stand at 12 stories when complete and feature a mix of office, retail and residential tenants.

Kaufman will be participating on an AIA Columbus “Design Talks” panel discussion this Thursday at the Center for Architecture and Design along side David Meleca of Meleca Architecture and Gary Schmidt, Director at CT Consultants. The trio will discuss ongoing design and market trends related to the multifamily residential development boom. The hour-long discussion kicks off at noon and is free to the public to attend.

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“Each month we bring together top design professionals to share their thoughts, experiences and their visions on high-profile issues that influence our city’s urban development and image,” says Tim Lai, AIA Center Board Member, Architect and Design Talks creator. “Architecture and design have a huge impact on our everyday life, but they can be intimidating to the general public. With Design Talks, we aim to create an open, welcoming environment, using a simple question-and-answer format to engage and educate.”

Other upcoming discussions include “The Image of our City” on October 2nd, “Design for Domesticity” on November 6th and “After the Awards” on December 4th.

This Thursday, panelists are likely to be treated to a lively discussion on the multifamily housing topic, which often elicits excitement from urban development enthusiasts, but also can provide pause about the challenges that a city can face when density changes occur too rapidly. Kaufman says that the one thing that’s for sure is that the urban rental trend is showing no signs of peaking anytime soon.

“The Downtown market had a lot of catching up to do and appears to have a ton of momentum going forward, so we expect Downtown Columbus to continue to grow for many years to come,” he says. “The parks, the retail, the river, the programing and development of our city is what’s causing people to want to be apart of it. We are just trying to be one piece of the puzzle in changing the Downtown landscape.”

For more information, visit www.columbuscfad.org/design-talks/.

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