Columbus, the capital of Ohio, ranks as one of the largest cities in the state. It is the 15th-largest city in the U.S. and fourth-largest city in the Midwest. The Columbus region is within a 10-hour drive of 47% of the U.S. population, 48% of American-based corporate headquarters and 44% of the nation’s manufacturing capacity. The city is home to 15 Fortune 1000 headquarters including 4 Fortune 500 companies. Major employers include Ohio State University, JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance and Honda of America. According to the city’s economic development agency, government ranks as the largest sector in Columbus, followed by professional and business services, educational and health services and retail trade. As the home of Ohio State University, Columbus also offers many other educational and technical options, ensuring an educated workforce and business diversity where no industry accounts for more than 18% of employment.
The Columbus office market consists of more than 63 million square feet of space. The city is home to corporate headquarters like LBrands, Abercrombie & Fitch, Big Lots, AEP, Cardinal Health, Wendy’s and Nationwide, all of which are Fortune 1000 companies. More than 500 recent company announcements have resulted in more than 40,000 new jobs and over $6 billion in capital investment since 2010. Office space in Columbus is 53% cheaper than Chicago, and 75% less than New York.
The retail market isn’t far behind office space, with more than 58 million square feet of inventory. Areas surrounding the CBD are thriving with trendy retail locations in The Short North arts district, Upper Arlington and Grandview. Walkable neighborhoods with shops and restaurants are in high demand, with these type of centers sprouting up in suburbs like Dublin and Grove City.
The Columbus Region has seen significant recent growth of its industrial markets due to its Central location and infrastructure including the highway systems, rail and air cargo converge at Rickenbacker Inland Port. Its foreign trade zone is the 10th most active in the nation. The cost of doing business ranking is one of the lowest in the nation, combined with an affordable cost of living, growing inventory, tax incentives and a talented workforce. Major sectors driving growth in the local economy include manufacturing and logistics, thanks to its increases in productivity and multi-modal infrastructure. Coming in at over 250 million square feet overall industrial inventory, real estate activity continues to thrive with steady leasing activity and influx of investors from all over the country.
Because of the city’s business diversity and favorable location with accessibility to other American markets, Columbus is attractive alternative to foreign investors. The region’s diverse and stable economy protects it from the volatile economic swings other similar size markets experience. Cap rates are slightly higher than the major markets giving investors a better return on investment with a lower economic risk compared to its peer markets.
The Columbus office represents Avison Young's 39th office outside of Canada and an additional step in the firm's ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy. The team is focusing efforts on agency leasing and tenant representation in the market, while exploring opportunities in property management and capital markets. Our office has experience in the sales and leasing of office, retail and industrial properties.