December 4th, 2011
Robert Carr, GlobeSt.com
COLUMBUS-Cranes and bulldozers are active all over Columbus as Nationwide Realty Investors continues its two-stage, $1.3 billion in development, including the start of a 51,300-square-foot office building last week in the $800 million Arena District. NRI, a division of the locally based Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., is also building the $500 million Grandview Yard project just northwest of the downtown.
Brian Ellis, CEO of NRI, tells GlobeSt.com that construction started Thursday on the $10 million 425 W. Nationwide Blvd. office, which will be anchored by the General Services Administration and completed in 2012. Other NRI buildings also under construction in the Arena District include the 200,000-square-foot 10 W. Nationwide Blvd. property, a $26 million building that will house the company’s insurance division by 2013, and 240 W. Nationwide Blvd., 280,000-square-foot office. Columbia Gas agreed in May to anchor this $50 million building.
The arena district also houses NRI’s successful attempts at apartments and condo projects, including the 98-unit Burnham Square, the 20-story Condo at North Bank and the Flats on Vine apartments. The North Bank condos are still being sold, Ellis says, but Burnham Square is sold out and the apartments, which rent for $805 to $1,850 per month, are 99% occupied. The company also bought the former Buggy Works building near the Columbus Clippers triple-A baseball stadium, though no specific plans have been released yet for that property.
Ellis says the next multifamily project could bring as many as 1,000 more units to downtown by 2021. NRI has also purchased the former Jaeger Machine property, which is adjacent to the Arena District, from Penn National, after the gaming firm moved its casino project to the former Delphi Automotive Systems site. Ellis says NRI is determining when and how much residential could be built on the site.