REGIONAL ANALYSIS OF COLUMBUS OHIO
The real estate appraisal process is influenced in a general manner by the economic, political, physical and social characteristics of the
Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). A MSA is a geographic area with a significant population nucleus, along with any adjacent
communities that have a high degree of economic and social integration with that nucleus. The Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area
covers eight counties in the state of Ohio. The counties which comprise the Columbus MSA include Franklin County, Delaware County,
Pickaway County, Fairfield County, Licking County, Morrow County, Union County, and Madison County.
Columbus is located in the central portion of the State of Ohio. Columbus is located 160 miles south of Detroit, Michigan, 125 miles
southwest of Cleveland, Ohio, 165 miles west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 105 miles northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio, 170 miles east of
Indianapolis, Indiana and 275 miles southeast of Chicago, Illinois.
The value of real property is influenced by the interaction of four basic forces. These forces include social trends, economic
circumstances, environmental conditions, and governmental controls and regulations. The interaction of these four forces influences the
value of every parcel of real estate in the market.
STATE OF OHIO
Social forces are trends that are exerted primarily through population characteristics. Real property values are affected not only by
population changes and characteristics, but also by various forms of human activity.
Population and Area:
Population growth trends influence employment growth, income levels, and many other key demand parameters analyzed in determining
commercial real estate productivity. As shown, the MSA population figures represent 15% of the total population of Ohio. The MSA, state,
and US have shown consistent growth trends over the past 20 years and are anticipated to continue to grow. In general, population
grown tends to effect real estate in a positive manner.
Institutions of higher learning typically are not as vulnerable to economic downswings, and they help to provide an area with a more solid
employment base. There are many Colleges and universities located in the MSA. The largest in the metro area is The Ohio State
University. Other colleges located in the Columbus MSA include Ohio Wesleyan University, Denison University, Kenyon College, Otterbein
College, OSU Newark, Central Ohio Technical College, OU Lancaster, Capital University, Franklin University, Columbus State Community
College, the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, and Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Columbus’s largest institution for higher education is The Ohio State University with total enrollment over 50,000 students. The chart
below details other institutions.
Recreational and Regional Attractions:
Recreational and regional attractions enhance an area’s quality of life. These activities may also have a significant economic impact on
an area by increasing the demand for services and retail trade created by visitors.
The Ohio State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the United States. The state fair contributes as much as 280 million dollars to the
state economy. It is held in early August in Columbus.
Columbus is the home of many renowned performing arts institutions, including Opera Columbus, BalletMet, the Columbus Symphony
Orchestra, the Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCo), Shadowbox Cabaret and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.
There are numerous large concert venues in Columbus, including arenas such as Nationwide Arena, Value City Arena, the Lifestyle
Communities Pavilion (formerly the PromoWest Pavilion), Veterans Memorial auditorium, and the Newport Music Hall. Recently, funding
has been allocated to renovate the Lincoln Theatre, which was formerly a center for Black culture in Columbus. Not far from the Lincoln
Theatre is the King Arts Complex, which hosts various cultural events. The city also has a number of theatres downtown, including the
historic Palace Theatre, the Ohio Theatre, the Southern Theatre, the Arena Grand Theater, and the Riffe Center which houses The
Capitol Theatre as well as two studio theatres.
The Little Brown Jug is a harness race for three-year-old pacing standardbreds hosted by the Delaware County Agricultural Society since
1946 at the County Fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio.
The Columbus Metro Parks operate 14 large parks including Blackhand Gorge, Clifton Gorge, Alum Creek, Hocking Hills State Park, and
Rockbridge State Nature Preserve. The Hocking Hills region also includes parts of the Wayne National Forest.
The major sporting interest in Columbus is the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Ohio State Football team play their home games in the
legendary Ohio Stadium, better known by it’s nickname, “The Horseshoe.” The basketball Buckeyes play their home games at Value City
Arena, a state of the art multi-purpose arena that opened in 1998.
Central Ohio hosts two major league professional sports teams. The NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets call downtown's Nationwide Arena
home. The 2008 MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew play in Columbus Crew Stadium near the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The stadium was
the first stadium in the United States designed specifically for Major League Soccer (including a FIFA regulation 115 yd (105 m) x 75yd
pitch), and has been credited with inspiring the wave of construction of so called soccer-specific stadia throughout the league. The
Columbus Clippers, which are the Cleveland Indians Triple-A minor league baseball team, play at Huntington Park, which opened at the
beginning of the 2009 season. Huntington Park was named 2009’s Ballpark of the year by www.baseballparks.com
Since 1976, Dublin has been the site of the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village golf course, designed by Jack
Nicklaus. In 1987, the course hosted the Ryder Cup and in 1998 it hosted the Solheim Cup.
There are approximately 300 golf courses within the Central Ohio area. There are many on-road and off-road bike trails in the area, with
the area being part of the statewide-connected system known as the Ohio to Erie Trail. Skiing facilities exist at Mad River Mountain in
Bellefontaine, Ohio, about 40 miles northwest of Dublin, and at Snow Trails near Mansfield, Ohio. Organized baseball and softball leagues
are regularly played at Berliner Park in South Columbus, as well as at local fields throughout the area. The Columbus Marathon and Race
for the Cure 5K events are held annually in downtown Columbus as well.
Economic forces are the fundamental relationships between current and anticipated supply and demand and the economic activities in
which the population participates in order to satisfy its wants, needs, and demands through its purchase power.
The chart below indicates the employment by sector for both the state and the MSA per the US bureau of labor. As shown the overall
employment composition for both the MSA and state are similar and diverse indicating a stable economic base.
All the sectors are within several percentages of each other except for manufacturing, where the state has a much higher percentage of
employment then the MSA. The MSA has a slightly higher percentage of employment in the information, financial, services, and
government sectors than the state. Overall, both employment mixes are diversified and appear overall in balance and stable.
The chart below shows the major employers in the Columbus MSA. The largest employer is the State of Ohio with about 25,000
employees. The next major employer is The Ohio State University. The major employers are consistent with the sector employment
The following chart shows the historical unemployment rates for the MSA, state, and US from 2000 to July 2009. As shown, the MSA,
state, and US unemployment rates have been historically in line with each other. In 2008 and 2009, unemployment rates have increased
significantly for the MSA, state, and US.
Environmental forces are both natural and manmade forces that influence real property values. Some environmental forces include
climactic conditions, natural barriers to future development, primary transportation systems, and the nature and desirability of the
immediate areas surrounding a property.
The Columbus MSA is well served by various forms of transportation infrastructure connecting the region on a micro and macro level.
The forms of transportation include highway and roads, air, and rail.
Columbus is bisected by two major Interstate Highways, Interstate 70 running east–west, and Interstate 71 running north to roughly
southwest. The Interstate 270 Outerbelt encircles the vast majority of the city, while the newly redesigned Innerbelt consists of the
Interstate 670 spur on the north side (which continues to the east past the Airport and to the west where it merges with I-70), State Route
315 on the west side, the I-70/71 split on the south side, and I-71 on the east. Due to its central location within Ohio and abundance of
outbound roadways, nearly all of the state's destinations are within a 2-hour drive of Columbus.
U.S. Highway 40, aka National Road, runs east–west through Columbus, comprising Main Street to the east of downtown and Broad Street
to the west. It is also widely recognized as the nation's first highway. U.S. Highway 23 runs roughly north–south, while U.S. Highway 33
Other major, local roads in Columbus could include Main Street, Morse Road, Dublin-Granville Road (SR-161), Cleveland
Avenue/Westerville Road (SR-3), Olentangy River Road, Riverside Drive, Sunbury Road, Fifth Avenue and Livingston Avenue.
The area has several airports, most notably Port Columbus International Airport on the east side of the city. Port Columbus provides
service to a few foreign and dozens of domestic destinations, including all the major hubs. Port Columbus was a hub for discount carrier
Skybus Airlines and is for NetJets, the world's largest fractional ownership carrier. Rickenbacker International Airport, in southern Franklin
County, is a major cargo facility and is important to the Ohio Air National Guard. OSU Don Scott Airport and Bolton Field are significant
general-aviation facilities in the Columbus area.
Columbus has a freight rail system called the Ohio Rail Development Commission, whose stated mission is to “plan, promote, and
implement the improved movement of goods and people faster and safer on a rail transportation network connecting Ohio to the nation
and the world.”
Columbus maintains a widespread municipal bus service called the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).
Governmental, political and legal actions at all levels have an impact on property values. The legal climate of a particular time or in a
particular place may overshadow the natural market forces of supply and demand. One aspect to governmental force is police power and
crime. Columbus has one of the highest crime rates in America relative to other cities of its size.
Our review of the above data indicates that the Columbus metropolitan area has historically had a stable and growing economy and has
been a growing area with a good educational base. Lately, the nationwide economic recession has impacted the area, although the
Columbus MSA has not been as affected as other parts of the country. On a short term horizon, the overall area is seeing increased
foreclosures, increased vacancy for commercial properties, and flat to stable rent growth. On a long term horizon, the economic outlook
for the Columbus MSA is favorable for the overall success of the subject.
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