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12-story downtown tower tops out, starts tenant hunt

Tristan Navera
Columbus Business First

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Topping out a planned 12-story high rise downtown, a pair of developers say they're on the hunt for tenants to fill six floors of commercial space space.

80 on the Commons, 80 Rich St., topped out in a ceremony this week. The 12-story, $60 million project – formerly known as Two25– is being developed by the Daimler Group and Kaufman Development on the last vacant lot overlooking Columbus Commons.

They say more than 1,000 people will live and work there.

"Projects like this really don't happen that often," said Brett Kaufman, CEO of Kaufman Development. "These things change our skyline."

Located at the southeast corner of the Columbus Commons, the 350,000-square-foot building will have ground-level retail, five stories of office and six levels with about 124 apartments and penthouse units.

Daimler Group President Robert White Jr. said the company's in-house brokerage service has begun to see interest in the tower's 165,000 square feet of commercial space, especially the ground-floor restaurant space. They're now beginning the process of seeking potential tenants.

The building's commercial space was built on a totally speculative basis, but the developers are confident it will be quick to lease up – their last venture at 250 S. High Street down the block is 100 percent occupied, White said.

"We think it will be similar to 250 in the tenant mix," White said. Though, he said as of this week, there are no signed leases.

With the topping out, the building's skin will come together through the end of the year thanks to pre-cast concrete and glass construction, with the building thought to be on schedule for a completion by the end of next year.

The project had been introduced in 2015 as a 18-story structure and later downsized. An elevated pedestrian bridge connecting the building with the parking garage south of Rich Street landed some scrutiny as well but was untimely allowed ahead.

NBBJ is serving as the project’s architect. Huntington National Bank has been the lead financier with WesBanco and First Commonwealth Bank, in addition to private investors.