Challenges, yes? But plenty of hope on display at Columbus Commercial Real Estate Summit, too – REJournals

It’s been a trying two-plus years, with the COVID-19 pandemic and now rising interest rates throwing up challenges for commercial real estate professionals. But that didn’t stop the biggest names in the market from celebrating the resiliency of commercial real estate in Columbus, Ohio, during Midwest Real Estate News’ 8th annual Columbus Commercial Real Estate Summit held July 21 at The Grand Event Center.

The summit featured a host of CRE experts discussing the state of the commercial real estate industry throughout the Columbus market. In little surprise, speakers were especially bullish on the performance of the industrial and multifamily sectors. As in cities across the country, these two sectors have been thriving in Columbus as demand remains strong for both new industrial and apartment space.

But what about the other commercial sectors? Speakers said that the retail sector has shown plenty of promise, with savvy retailers continuing to rely on the omnichannel approach — one that they fine-tuned throughout the pandemic — to keep the customers coming.

As in other cities, the office market in Columbus remains in flux. No one is sure yet when most workers will return to the office and how many days a week they’ll return to their cubicles and conference rooms once they do come back. But even this challenged sector has shown signs of a slow recovery, speakers said.

Development activity remains solid in Columbus, too. Speakers highlighted several new projects that will yet provide another boost to the already strong commercial real estate market in Columbus.

The multifamily sector is booming in Columbus and its suburbs. Sharing the good news about this asset class were panelists Brian Schottenstein, President, Schottenstein Real Estate Group; Moderator Sherief Gouda, Senior Advisor, CAPSTONE; Matthew Keating, senior vice president, Huntington Bank; Grant Fitzgerald, Regional Manager, Marcus & Millichap; and George Skaff, Vice Chairman/Multifamily Capital Markets, Newmark.

Speaking on the conference’s Market Update panel were Wayne Harer, Executive Managing Director, Newmark, who focused on the office sector; Eric Leibowitz, Vice President, Development & Leasing, CASTO, who covered retail; Presenter Dr. Itzhak Ben-David, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University; John Mally, Commercial Real Estate Agent, NAI Ohio Equities, who focused on the adaptive re-use end of the market; Brian Marsh, Managing Director, JLL, who covered the booming industrial market; and Craig Miller, President, Duffy & Duffy, who highlighted the benefits of cost segregation.

Development activity has remained strong throughout the Columbus market. Showcasing some of the bigger developments in the area were panelists Mandy Mallott, moderator, Business Development Specialist, City of Columbus; Eric Wagenbrenner, Principal, Board Member and Executive Vice President of Development, Thrive Companies; Frank Sasso, President, Kaufman Development; and Heather Hiller, General Counsel/Senior Vice President, The Daimler Group, Inc.

Construction companies face their own challenges this year, most centering around supply chain and labor issues. Speaking about the state of the construction industry in Columbus were moderator Aaron McDaniel, Founder and Principal, Blueprint Development Company; Kyle Rooney, senior vice president, regional manager, Turner Construction Company; James Lipnos, Senior Vice President of Construction and Development, Treplus Communities; and Shaun Greer, President, Velocity Construction Services.