SID Presents

By Cass Freeland | 31 Mar, 2017

Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement Districts unveiled the 2016 Year-End State of Downtown Report to a crowd of more than 300 at the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum February 15. Executive Director Cleve Ricksecker moderated an expert panel made up of Capital Crossroads and Discovery SIDs’ Deputy Director of Research, Planning and Facilities Marc Conte, Create Columbus Commission Chair Jordan Davis, and City of Columbus Development Director Steve Schoeny.

Conte highlighted key elements of the report

    • Overall, the state of downtown is strong, with 8,100 residents, more than double the 3,488 that lived downtown in 2000. He predicted that downtown will cross the 10,000-resident mark in 2019 . Units constructed are filling up, with 97 percent of units occupied.
    • Hospitality is also strong with a 70.4 percent occupancy rate for downtown hotels. There are 556 new rooms proposed or under construction. Most new rooms fall into the boutique category.
    • The overall 12 percent downtown office vacancy rate doesn’t tell the whole story. Price per square foot has declined 28 percent since 1999. The vacancy rate around Capitol Square is 17 percent with a 24 percent availability rate, which includes leases that will not be renewed.
    • Continued downtown growth depends on regional growth.

Panelists discussed the future of downtown in terms of office space and transportation. Schoeny said well-maintained office buildings that offer parking are experiencing good results. However, many of the large office buildings are dated and do not offer the floor plans growing companies want. Schoeny predicted that we will see creative reuse of some large office buildings downtown.

Conte pointed out that downtown has deficit of 4,000 parking spaces, and no plans exist to build more. A modest shift of five percent from driving to transit could free up more than 2,000 parking spaces downtown.

Schoeny emphasized that we are on the cusp of a fundamental shift in transportation and parking. Developers are trying to build structures which include parking that can be converted to another purpose in 15 years when it isn’t needed.

The State of Downtown release at the CMC forum generated extensive earned media and continues position the SIDs as downtown experts. Here’s a sample of the media coverage:

CMC Program Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ-qv1rJ4o0

Business First:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2017/02/15/state-of-downtown-columbus-undoubtedly-strong-but.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2017/02/17/downtowns-development-challenge-we-either-park.html

Columbus Underground:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/event/cmc-the-state-of-downtown-columbus

Read the State of Downtown Report:

http://downtowncolumbus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/State-of-Downtown-2016-Year-End.pdf