Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Columbus Beating Detroit to the Punch Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Mrjoshua
Member
Username: Mrjoshua

Post Number: 837
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 148.87.1.172
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 7:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Columbus, Ohio
Area Gets Footing After Long Decline


By MAURA WEBBER SADOVI
May 24, 2006; Page B4
The Wall Street Journal

After spiraling downward since the start of the decade, the Columbus-area office-leasing market gained traction last year as vacancy rates stabilized. The Ohio capital region's strengthening economy is breathing life into one of the country's weakest office markets and invigorating the retail, warehouse and apartment sectors.


OhioHealth is moving its headquarters into the former Borden building in downtown Columbus.

The improvements follow several blows -- the tech bust, job losses in the financial-services sector and a stream of new office buildings -- which hit office properties hard. Roughly one-fifth of the Columbus region's office space has been vacant since the end of 2002, and the area is one of only a handful of major markets with vacancy rates still higher than 20% in the first quarter, well above the 16.4% average of the 54 major markets surveyed by Property & Portfolio Research Inc., a real-estate research company based in Boston.

Office vacancy rates fell to 20.3% in the first quarter from a high of 21.4% in the first quarter of 2004, the research firm says. But some say it's largely still a tenant's market, because rents haven't stabilized. In addition to the higher vacancy rates, the office, retail, warehouse and apartment sectors also posted rents that were below national averages. Average prices on Columbus office transactions valued at $5 million and more rose to $119 a square foot last year from $84 a square foot in 2004, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc. in New York. Still, that's well below the national average of $189 a square foot.

"It's going in the right direction but it's not like some boom here," says Frank Kass, chairman of Continental Real Estate Cos., a developer of office, retail and residential properties based in Columbus.

Continental Real Estate has seized the opportunity to purchase partially vacant downtown office buildings to which Mr. Kass believes he can add value. In 2004, the company was part of a group that purchased the former Borden building in downtown Columbus for about $29 million, or about $49 a square foot. Mr. Kass says new tenants have signed leases in the building that soon will bring its occupancy up to about 90%. The building was 60% occupied when it was purchased two years ago. One big win: OhioHealth will move its headquarters and about 350 employees from outside downtown into about 90,000 square feet of the building.

Columbus, a largely white-collar city, is home to a diversified group of employers including retail-giant Limited Brands Inc., Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and Ohio State University. The region has outperformed such hard-luck manufacturing-oriented Midwestern cities as Detroit, and even Cleveland, by some important economic measures, such as employment levels.

The Columbus area's population climbed nearly 15% to 1.6 million in 2000 from 1990, well above the Detroit region's 4.8% gain and the Cleveland area's 2.2% rise over the period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The area's employment level in March was 0.1% lower than the previous March high in 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By contrast, the Detroit area's employment level was 8% lower than its previous March high in 2000 and Cleveland's job level was 6.2% lower than that region's previous March high in 2000.


Meanwhile, Columbus's downtown appears to be on an upswing. Developers have taken some older office buildings out of circulation by converting them into residential units, and the city council has awarded corporate income-tax incentives to 31 companies since 2002, which could bring as many as 1,994 new jobs to downtown Columbus, says Bob McLaughlin, head of Columbus' Downtown Development Office.

The northern edge of downtown also has gotten a shot in the arm. Nationwide Realty Investors, the real-estate development affiliate of Nationwide, built an arena that opened in 2000. The facility, home to the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets, is part of a 75-acre mixed-use development that's sprung up on land previously covered with parking lots and a state penitentiary that has been demolished.

The construction of about 1.1 million square feet of new office space in the district may have slowed the pickup in the office sector. But some boosters say the revitalized Arena district ultimately will help the city attract more businesses and residents. "The payback for short-term pain is very much a long-term gain," Mr. McLaughlin says.

Write to Maura Webber Sadovi at maura.sadovi@wsj.com
Top of pageBottom of page

Hysteria
Member
Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 284
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 8:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why would WSJ choose to compare a city described as a 'white collar' city (Columbus) to another city described as a 'hard-luck manufacturing-oriented city' (Detroit)? Completely unfair comparison. Compare Columbus to a peer city like Kansas City or Indianapolis.

Columbus = white collar
Indianapolis = white trash

I guess that's not fair either.

(Message edited by HYSTERIA on May 24, 2006)

(Message edited by HYSTERIA on May 24, 2006)
Top of pageBottom of page

Lilpup
Member
Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1046
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 8:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

not to mention that Columbus just recently (ie the past few decades) started to grow and develop
Top of pageBottom of page

Mike
Member
Username: Mike

Post Number: 606
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 66.227.165.194
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Columbus does not have to deal with the racial stigma that Detroit has, heck, no other city has to deal with such racial stigma.
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 749
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Honda will probably locate its new assembly plant near Columbus also as it allegedly exercised a real estate option on some thousand acres near there last week.
Top of pageBottom of page

Metrodetguy
Member
Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2577
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 75.10.22.2
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 9:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry, I'm not buying that Columbus "white-collar" city description. A few corporate headquarters, typical state capitol town, college town, and heavy service industry doesn't exactly equal a "white-collar" town.
Top of pageBottom of page

Andylinn
Member
Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 70
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 68.40.195.233
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 9:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

metrodetguy - i'm not exactly sure of columbus' status, but from what you said, even though it might not be "white collar" it most assuridly would not have to deal with all the problems facing detroit. .andy.
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 750
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 9:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How would Madison compare with Columbus? College town, typical? state capitAl town, Oscar Mayer HQ, home to several large insurance companies, lots of R&D and high-tech, etc.
Top of pageBottom of page

Naturalsister
Member
Username: Naturalsister

Post Number: 658
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.30.117.56
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mike,

I agree,

I think the racial stigma has more of an effect that people realize. It affects everything.

Many won't admit it but it has been a major, if not the major factor in Detroit's slow redevelopment.

later - naturalsister
Top of pageBottom of page

Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3788
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 24.11.154.56
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually, Columbus has annexed its way to success (210 square miles, 70 square miles larger than Detroit, and with 712,000 people, metro around 1.6 million). The inner-city, the originaly 50 of so square miles, is just like any other inner-city. It's much more comparable to a place Indy, than Detroit.

But, I too, am confused at the comparison considering their economies.
Top of pageBottom of page

Hysteria
Member
Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 287
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Indianapolis annexed its way to success as well in the late 1970s, with an annexation of almost all of Marion County. Since then, nothing else has taken place there.

The population growth comes mainly from a HUGE Hispanic influx and also from its surrounding rural/agricultural counties and the xenophobic college students that have never traveled out of state and consider the city an oasis.
Top of pageBottom of page

Hysteria
Member
Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 289
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

However; I suppose I should not have used the word success referring to Indianapolis. Annexation was just a fact ... not success. Nothing's happened there since ...
Top of pageBottom of page

Metrodetguy
Member
Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2580
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 75.10.22.2
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hysteria, a similar phenomenon of "population growth" (instate college students, OSU hanger-ons, and other small towners) has occured in Columbus over the last 10 years. Likewise, many have never traveled out of state/out of the midwest, and they consider "C-bus" an oasis. Interestingly enough, a good number of those people eventually end up in suburban Columbus after a few years living near the OSU campus.
Top of pageBottom of page

Tomoh
Member
Username: Tomoh

Post Number: 185
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.148.60.142
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I grew up in Columbus. The two cities aren't really comparable, with the Detroit region being roughly three times the size and as such a 15% population growth in the smaller city is about the same as a 4.8% growth in the larger one. Although I can see why Cleveland was thrown in there (similarly sized and the same state) I too agree that Indianapolis would have made a better comparison.

I'd say Columbus is relatively white collar compared to Cleveland. That isn't to say that there isn't a lot of blue collar component to its economy, what there is of one.

The new developments in downtown Columbus have been spurred by a 10 year abatement of taxes that began a few years ago. It took a few years for things to start rolling.

Naturalsister, I think you're right in that public sentiment is a much bigger factor in Detroit's development than almost any other city.
Top of pageBottom of page

Hysteria
Member
Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 291
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 11:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good post, Tomoh. I also believe Cleveland was chosen because it is the same state and I am sure, at least in perception, that Columbus is considered the 'white collar' major city in Ohio (of the three Cs).

The article also refers to Columbus/Detroit differently:

Columbus area
Detroit region

The 'comparison' is almost laughable.

Columbus v. Detroit: LOL!
Top of pageBottom of page

Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3791
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 24.11.154.56
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 11:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Region and Area is probably less ridiculous than comparing their city propers, but still pretty ridiculous. Columbus better stick to comparing itself to its in-state revivals of Cleveland and Cincinnati, and perhaps Indianapolis, which are all much better comparisons.
Top of pageBottom of page

Hagglerock
Member
Username: Hagglerock

Post Number: 235
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 12.214.243.66
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 12:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I always thought that if the United States needed an enema, it'd be in Columbus. Also isn't Lil bow wow from there?
Top of pageBottom of page

Track75
Member
Username: Track75

Post Number: 2358
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 12.75.19.41
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 10:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think Bob Ufer said it best while broadcasting a UM football game at OSU: "Greetings from Columbus, where we're joined by 3,000 Michigan fans and 87,000 truck drivers."
Top of pageBottom of page

Paulmcall
Member
Username: Paulmcall

Post Number: 695
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: 68.40.119.216
Posted on Sunday, June 04, 2006 - 2:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't see what Michigan has to be so smug about these days. Those truck drivers have been kicking out butts the last few years.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2245
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.81.106
Posted on Sunday, June 04, 2006 - 5:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From 1927 until 1973 the tallest building in Columbus was Detroit architect C. Howard Crane's Leveque-Lincoln Tower (at 555 feet). The tall sleek tower was labeled the most beautiful building in the world back in the early days.

This was also Crane's tallest office tower commission.

Ironically, the base of the building contained a theatre which was designed by Crane's fellow movie palace architect, Thomas Lamb. Crane's building lobby was much more exotic (Art Dec style) that Lamb's (tame by comparison) "Adamesque" style Palace Theatre.

(Message edited by Gistok on June 04, 2006)

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.