Columbus, Ohio, has long been a city with a thriving downtown district. In recent years, however, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of housing developments in the area. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many people to work from home and reconsider their living situations, could downtown Columbus be seeing a return in housing development?
In the past decade, the downtown Columbus area has seen a significant increase in commercial development. Office buildings, restaurants, and retail stores have popped up all over the district, drawing in more and more people each year. However, there has been a noticeable lack of new housing developments in the area. According to a recent report from the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC), only 327 new housing units were added in the downtown area between 2010 and 2020.
Factors Contributing to the Slowdown
Several factors have contributed to the slowdown in housing development in downtown Columbus. One of the main factors is the high cost of construction. The cost of land and labor has risen steadily in recent years, making it difficult for developers to build affordable housing in the area. Additionally, there is a limited supply of available land in the downtown district, which further restricts the number of potential housing developments.
Another factor that has contributed to the slowdown in housing development is the lack of available tax incentives. Unlike many other cities in the United States, Columbus has relatively few tax incentives available for developers who want to build affordable housing in the downtown district. This has made it difficult for developers to justify the cost of building new housing units in the area.
The Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the housing market in Columbus, as it has in many other cities across the United States. With more people working from home and spending less time in the downtown district, there has been less demand for housing in the area. Additionally, the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic has made it difficult for developers to secure financing for new housing developments.
However, there are signs that the pandemic could lead to a resurgence in housing development in the downtown Columbus area. As more people continue to work from home, there is a growing demand for larger living spaces and more affordable housing options. Developers who can provide these types of housing units in the downtown district could see significant demand in the coming years.
To encourage more housing development in the downtown Columbus area, several potential solutions could be implemented. One option would be to provide more tax incentives for developers who build affordable housing units in the area. This could help to offset the high cost of construction and make it more financially feasible for developers to build new housing units in the downtown district.
Another potential solution would be to explore new construction technologies that could reduce the cost of building new housing units. This could include modular construction, which allows for faster and more efficient construction of new buildings. By using these types of technologies, developers could potentially build more affordable housing units in the downtown district.