Campaign Underway To Attract Businesses To Downtown Columbus

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If you've visited Downtown Columbus lately, you've likely noticed the explosion of residential development.

More people living Downtown has been a priority of city leaders for years.  Along with people moving downtown, leaders want to see businesses relocating to the city's center.

A new effort hopes to help that goal.

Evidence of the Downtown Columbus residential boom is hard to miss.

"Downtown Columbus is on a huge upswing,” said Kasey Brankamp of Capital Crossroads. “We're seeing a large increase in the number of residents moving Downtown, the number of units being built to accommodate residents."

Less visible, but just as important, is growth in Downtown's commercial and retail sector: that's Brankamp’s mission.

"What I'm trying to do is help the small users, maybe one or two, maybe five employees, find space, and really focus on that area, so we can increase the small business presence in Downtown."

Businesses like Cement Marketing on Gay Street.

Alaina Shearer admits when she started her nine-person operation, location was not her focus.  "I ended up Downtown because we found a great space,” Shearer said. “And now that we're here, I cannot imagine being anywhere else."

She says her location attracts clients and talent.  "It makes a lot of sense. And we love being a part of this growth period for Downtown. It's just so exciting."

Capital Crossroads has started a campaign to showcase some of the available space downtown.  They range from the wide open expanse of the Chase Bank building to a historic Gay Street building that was once a hotel.

Along with a searchable database of available properties, they have started tours.

"We have a total of six tours that are being offered on Wednesday evenings, and the tours are free," said Brankamp.

They hope to prove to small business owners that Downtown can work for them.

"There's this vibrancy and this energy that you have in Downtown that you can't find anywhere else."

The next Downtown office space tour is Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 7:30.