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. Despite significant supply increases throughout the greater market, occupancy has remained strong while average rates have grown year-over-year since 2011. The Columbus Convention Center renovation and expansion, which was completed 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 Graduate Hotel in the Short North. Additionally, the strong demand levels near OSU have spurred significant hotel growth along Olentangy River Road, highlighted by the August 2017 opening of the Marriott OSU/Residence Inn by Marriott dual-branded hotel. Currently, there are nearly 3,500 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.
Eleven hotels totaling approximately $162 million in transaction volume have sold since January 2017, including such assets as the Embassy Suites Columbus Dublin (highest total price per key paid, $164,401 per key) and the Crowne Plaza Columbus Downtown (highest total price paid for $48,996,667).