2022 Downtown Economic Report Released
Here are key takeaways from this report prepared by the Capital Crossroads & Discovery Special Improvement Districts regarding the economic development activity in downtown Columbus through the end of 2022:
- The downtown population continues to increase: it now stands at 11,650. With 973 units under construction right now, the population should jump higher this year. .
- Apartment occupancy remains high at 92.5% allowing downtown apartments to command higher rents. This makes the focus on providing affordable units more important so that people of all income levels can live near where they work. Right now, there are a little over 600 new units of affordable housing in the pipeline.
- The downtown office market held somewhat steady last year. While the vacancy rate increased from 18.4% to 21.3%, this was largely due to the additional space added to the downtown submarket. Contrast this with the suburbs where the vacancy rate increased to nearly 28% due to significant negative net absorption.
- Kastle Systems studies office keycard access activity nationally and publishes a weekly report on how many workers are returning to the office. They provide data on ten benchmark cities, one of those being Austin.
- If Austin is any indication, then Columbus likely has somewhere between 51% and 74% of the workforce back in the office depending on the day.
- Mondays and Fridays are the lowest occupied day of the week.
- Tuesdays are turning out to be the highest occupied day of the week.
- Downtown hospitality got a boost as visitors returned for full-scale events. The hotel occupancy rate increased to 49.1%, up from 34.8% in 2021.
- The 28-floor expansion of the Hilton was completed in October. It doubled the number of guest rooms and added 75,000 square feet of new meeting space. The expanded Hilton makes downtown home to the state’s only 1,000-room hotel.
The report was released at the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum, “State of Downtown: Corner Offices to Condos,” on March 1, 2023. Click here to watch the forum.