OSU Seeking Developer for Hotel at 15th and High
A new storm sewer has been installed underneath North High Street and a six-story apartment building with a ground-floor Target is set to open this summer, but there hasn’t been much new to report about the centerpiece of the 15th and High plan – a large boutique hotel that will look out onto a new public square and across to the Ohio State University campus.
That changed yesterday, when Campus Partners – the OSU-affiliated non-profit that is spearheading the project – distributed a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a developer to design, build and operate the hotel.
The plan calls for a hotel of at least 120 rooms that would sit on the north side of East 15th Avenue. A 450-car garage directly to the east would provide parking for the hotel and the surrounding area. The garage would be flanked to the north and south by two buildings, which the RFP states could potentially be incorporated into the agreement and filled with additional hotel rooms or apartments.
The chosen applicant would build the hotel – and possibly the garage as well – then enter into a ground lease with Campus Partners. The RFP states that the hotel should be “upper upscale and conform to Brand Standards similar to Autograph Collection by Marriott International, Curio Collection by Hilton and Kimpton Hotels,” although it also specifies that a “branded flag is not required for response or selection.”
Campus Partners would get final approval of the exterior design of the hotel (it would also need to be approved by the University Impact District Review Board).
Campus Partners and OSU are also looking to gauge interest from applicants in the Blackwell Inn, which is located on campus at 2110 Tuttle Park Place and has been owned and operated by OSU since it opened in 2002.
The RFP suggests that applicants looking to build the new hotel at 15th and High also consider taking on the operations of the Blackwell (and if not, the expectation is that the two hotels “will cooperate whenever possible to provide top service to the university community”).
“As the University begins to complete significant renovations, it desires to understand what interest may exist by third-parties to operate The Blackwell and/or its related operations on behalf of the University,” the RFP states. “The University may be interested in third-party management if an increase in revenue, improved operational efficiencies, and consistent or improved guest experience are achievable.”
A timeline laid out in the document calls for submittals to be turned in by May 4th and says that the 15th and High hotel project will be awarded on May 31.