Job Incentives Fuel Real Estate Growth in Columbus

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By: Sam Stouffer, Senior Research Analyst, JLL

Discover the economic and real estate impacts of job creation incentives for both the industrial and office property sectors in the Columbus Region from the first installment of our Growing Columbus research.

Corner of shining blue skyscraper

Job growth in Columbus has remained steady for the last five years with an exceptional unemployment rate of 3.7%. A percentage of this growth can be attributed to job creation incentives given out by the Ohio Development Services Agency and JobsOhio, resulting in a positive surge of real estate activity.

In fact, no less than 50 companies have expanded their real estate presence to accommodate new employees as a result of incentives issued in 2016 and 2017. This includes 13 companies that are new to Columbus, generating over five million square feet of activity (that’s 60% of the region’s total!).

Industrial Market Continues to Soar

Columbus is considered one of the top industrial markets due to the region’s affordability, market accessibility and robust infrastructure. As a testament, vacancy has dropped 5% in the last five years with 27 million square feet of total net absorption.

Currently, the manufacturing industry accounts for the largest share of absorption activity (40%), but e-commerce is emerging at a rapid rate throughout the region, accounting for 2.8 million square feet of total absorption (36%).

Office Activity Aligns with Underlying Market Trends

Over 500,000 square feet of real estate activity from incentive recipients was office-related. The information services and software industry is thriving in Columbus too, with more than half of the 27 companies that announced expansions falling within this sector.

>> Related read: Columbus’ Technology and Startup Scenes are On The Rise

To keep up, we expect 35,000 square feet of future activity will be necessary in the next five years to accommodate promised jobs in this industry.

The quality of the office market is holding strong, as well. Seventy-one percent of the square footage that incentive recipients invested in is considered premium, Class A space.

Download the full report for an in-depth examination of the economic and real estate impacts job creation incentives have created for Columbus and the opportunities this presents for occupiers and investors.

Download JLL Research

About the Author

Sam Stouffer headshotSam Stouffer is a Senior Research Analyst in the Great Lakes region of JLL. Sam analyzes trends in multiple industries, including office, industrial and retail properties, and develops best-in-class research reports. Connect with Sam on LinkedIn