Downtown Concierge

Downtown Commercial Marketplace Landlord Request for Expression of Interest

The Vision for Downtown Columbus: 

Over the past year, thousands of residents shared their thoughts about the future of Downtown Columbus. Our residents recognized the tremendous progress made in Downtown over the past two decades and yet spoke loudly and clearly that there is more to do toward the goal of making this a neighborhood for all. 

Through our public process, we’ve heard the community’s vision for a more inclusive, more equitable, and more vibrant Downtown. We heard the call for more to do, more to see, and more places to go – and the expectation that these attractions and destinations reflect the rich diversity of Columbus residents. This led to a comprehensive and integrated Downtown Strategic Plan.


Strategies to Meet These Goals: 

The Downtown Commercial Marketplace is a program being launched by the City of Columbus, with the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation as a key execution partner.  This program is designed to provide various assistance to the program’s retailers.

This is envisioned to be a rolling program that will initially focus on the area surrounding the already successful Gay Street retail district. Priority for Round 1 of this program will be given to retail storefronts in the boundaries of: 

  • Long Street to the North 
  • Broad Street to the South 
  • High Street to the West 
  • Third Street to the East 
  • On Long Street, the included storefronts will be from Front Street to Fourth Street. 

As the program continues to evolve, future years will look at other districts of Downtown.  

Program Goal: 

  • Launch up to 10 new retail storefronts, with a focus on minority and women-owned businesses, within the Gay Street retail district that will add to the vitality of Downtown while supporting business owners who have been traditionally left out of Downtown’s success. 
  • Provide selected landlords with tenant improvement grants ($20-$40 per sf) to undertake improvements to spaces that lower market rates, making them more affordable to small minority and women-owned businesses.  
  • Provide selected tenants with rent payment assistance in years 1-3, allowing tenants to be successful in the early years of their business and access to a Business Services Advisor, who will provide one-on-one consulting with the businesses for an initial 18 months to assist with any issues that arise. 

Program Process: 

  • CDDC has conducted a market survey of the area and has recommendations about potential retail uses, which will inform the tenant selection committee. 
  • CDDC will lead outreach to landlords within the geographic area to determine available storefronts that provide a varying amount of space to match suggested retail uses. 
  • A selection committee, made up of City staff, CDDC staff and community representatives, will select retail tenants and match them with the selected spaces and landlords. It is expected that the businesses will open within 6-12 months.  

The goal is to identify spaces by September 30, 2023 and have business selected by the end of 2023.  

If you have first floor retail space in this district that interfaces directly with the sidewalk experience and are interested in learning more about the Downtown Commercial Marketplace program, please fill out the following form.  

The vacancy cannot be created by landlord’s termination of the previous tenant without cause.  

All applications will receive a follow-up phone call from program managers with the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation. Thank you for your time and interest.