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Renovated Office Building Touts Columbus Commons as Amenity

Walker Evans Walker Evans Renovated Office Building Touts Columbus Commons as Amenity
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Columbus Commons officially opened last summer, and since then we’ve seen a handful of adjacent development taking place, including the opening of the new MoJoe Lounge and de-NOVO Bistro across High Street.

On the other side of the park sits a dark glass office tower at 175 South Third Street, which was purchased by Tiano & Associates in 2009. Since then the building has begun a renovation project that helps to open up the backside of the building that faces the brand new park.

“I believe that Downtown Columbus has had some significant growth and will continue to grow,” says Michael Tiano of Tiano & Associates. “The only question is how soon the growth will be visible.”

We spoke to Tiano for a Q&A session about his company’s commitment to Downtown and their approach to attracting office tenants through urban amenities.

Q: First, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

A: We are a family business, that consists of myself, my father Danos Tiano, his wife Sharon Tiano, and our secretary Donna Brown. We have been in commercial Real Estate for the past 15 years with our first purchase of our building at Washington and Engler on the outskirts of downtown. From there we bought 33 North High Street where we worked to build our reputation and our skills as an owner/operator of a large commercial office building. We sold 33 North High in 2008 to COTA, who now uses the building as their executive headquarters. We spent the next year doing some residential rehab work, as well as working to create the deal to buy 175 South Third Street. In late 2009, we purchased 175 South Third and have not stopped since.

Q: What sort of goals did you have for the renovations of the ground floor retail space of the building?

A: The first floor lobby has had a complete face lift including flooring, ceiling, lighting, security, signage, and overall decor. We are about 90% finished with these upgrades and will be 100% finished in the next few months. Part of this work included the gutting of a large portion of the first floor rentable space that has been vacant for some time. We hope to bring in a high end, sit down restaurant that will work nicely with our views of the new park.

Q: How will your plans for the building compliment the long-term plans for redeveloping portions of the Columbus Commons park space?

A: We believe that the improvements we have made to the exterior of the building do compliment the Columbus Commons Park. Our parkside entrance to the building used to be nothing more then a loading zone and an eyesore. We have completely redeveloped the park side to be a main entrance to 175onthepark as well as an outdoor seating area for our newest tenant, Java Jan. This is a full service gourmet coffee shop that you can access from our lobby or from its own personal entrance from the park. We have also updated our signage facing the park with an illuminated “175onthepark” logo. I believe the new improvements are much more inviting and meet the updated look that Columbus Commons has worked so hard to accomplish.

Rendering of the planned future development at Columbus Commons.

Q: Do Downtown office vacancy rates worry you, or does the comparability to suburban rates make investing Downtown a safer bet?

A: We are aware of the current vacancy rates in Downtown Columbus, but we tend to focus on where we are and what we can do for our tenant. Many people use the mantra of “location, location, location,” but ours sounds more like, “tenant, tenant, tenant”. Even more specifically, we believe in patience, persistence, and consistence when it comes to all aspects of our work. By doing this we keep our existing tenants as well as show new tenants that this is the best place to be in Downtown Columbus. As far as comparing Downtown to suburban vacancy rates, I do believe that downtown is a good investment.

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: As a family and a business, we are committed to Downtown and the growth of Downtown Columbus. This is our home and hope that as it grows we grow with it.

More info can be found online at www.175onthepark.com.

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