Since residential development began to pick up downtown nearly 10 years ago, interest in living in the urban core has remained high. With the overall slump in the housing market, fewer people are able to purchase homes and consequently downtown has seen an increase in interest in rental units. In fact, Marcus & Millichap, a real estate brokerage firm, reports that the apartment vacancy rate for the University/Downtown submarket is just 2.7 percent, the lowest rate for any submarket in the region. The vacancy rate for metropolitan Columbus is 6.2 percent. Developers have taken heed, as evidenced by the numerous recent announcements of new rental unit development downtown.
Here is a quick run-down of the apartment projects in the hopper to date:
Announced last spring, Carter Development of Atlanta will develop two six-story apartment buildings which will house 302 apartments and 23,000 square feet of retail space. While the development of housing and retail was always part of Columbus Commons’ long-term plans, this announcement is indicative of how popular the park has become in such a short time.
The buildings will be located between High Street and the first row of trees in the Commons. Construction is set to begin in September with completion slated for November 2013. Amenities include a swimming pool, sun deck, fitness center and a pedestrian tunnel connecting High Street to the Commons. Retail space will be available for shops and at least two full-service restaurants complete with patio space. The building will offer valet parking and is expected to attract many visitors.
Columbus’ most iconic building is getting a face lift. The LeVeque Tower, the centerpiece of the Columbus skyline for decades, is scheduled to undergo a significant renovation that will result in a mixed-use building with offices, apartments and a boutique hotel.
Real estate investors Bob Meyers, Don Casto and Michael Schiff are investing in the future of the landmark building. Early phases of the project are under way, aiming to restore the building’s character. Plans include enhancing the exterior arches, adding street-level windows, installing canopies over the entrances and the addition of flags and lanterns. Interior work involves opening the lobby from two levels to three.
This first phase will make the building more beautiful from the outside and upon first entering. Later phases should bring with them up to 80 apartments and a boutique hotel.
The Edwards Company has been hard at work for the last several years launching a beautiful new neighborhood downtown. The next phase of Neighborhood Launch, featuring luxury apartments, was announced this year and is expected to break ground within the next two months. The two apartment buildings, which will house 260 units, will rise on Long Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, the northern edge of Neighborhood Launch. The five-story buildings will include one and two-bedroom units with balconies and underground parking. The total cost of the project is expected to be $25 million.
Nationwide Realty announced in August that they will develop a five-story, 120-unit apartment building on Neil Avenue just to the south of Flats on Vine apartment complex which opened in 2010. Construction is expected to begin in September, with the building set to open in the fall of 2013.