Columbus, located at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers, has served as the state capital since 1816. The city, which is nearly equidistant between Cleveland and Cincinnati, is the largest city in the state. Columbus is a college town, home to The Ohio State University (OSU), and is a major center for financial and healthcare services for the entire Central Ohio region. As the state capital of Ohio, the city enjoys a stable economy, primarily due to the presence of local, state, and federal government entities.
Occupancy and average rate in Downtown Columbus are reaching record levels given the strong government, financial, and convention demand. Although the amount of hotel supply has remained stable in Downtown Columbus over the past few years, there are several hotels in the pipeline for the Central Business District (CBD), such as the Canopy by Hilton, AC by Marriott, and the Home2 Suites by Hilton. Furthermore, the Autograph Collection Hotel LeVeque had a soft opening in March 2017; the hotel is expected to be fully operational by the fall of 2017 upon completion of the restaurant. The Columbus Convention Center renovation and expansion, which is scheduled for completion mid-year 2017, should help support an increase in demand going forward.
Recent and ongoing Class-A office space additions and renovations in the Columbus neighborhoods of Grandview Heights, the University District, the Short North, and Upper Arlington are spurring the development of new hotels outside of the CBD, such as a Moxy Hotel and a redevelopment of Bollinger Tower into a hotel in the Short North. Additionally, the strong demand levels near OSU have spurred significant hotel growth along Olentangy River Road, where three new hotels are under development. Furthermore, the Courtyard by Marriott Columbus OSU opened in October 2016 alongside The Grand event center in the Grandview Yard mixed-use development. Currently, there are nearly 4,000 new hotel rooms in the development pipeline through Greater Columbus. While some of these projects are a bit speculative, several have strong developer backings and financing in place; as such, we anticipate modest occupancy declines in the near term given the entrance of new supply; however, the breadth of employers and companies in the Columbus metropolitan area should continue to bolster the area's long-term performance.
Ten hotels totaling approximately $167 million in transaction volume have sold since January 2016, including such assets as the Embassy Suites Columbus Dublin (highest total price paid at $46,690,000, or $164,401 per key) and the Sheraton Suites Columbus (sold for $23,000,000).