The Arena District: An Overview
Acquiring its name from its centerpiece Nationwide Arena, this mixed-use planned development was initiated in 1996 with funding provided by Nationwide Realty Investors, Ltd., the City of Columbus, and private investors. Although the original size of the district was 75 acres, its popularity and adjacency to significant areas and venues has increased its territory. Included among its buildings and venues, in addition to the Arena are Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, also known as “The L.C.” and featuring indoor and outdoor concerts; Huntington Park, home to the Columbus Clippers baseball team; McFerson Commons Park, locally known as “Arch Park” and hosting numerous outdoor concerts and sporting events; Battelle Plaza and Nationwide Arena Plaza, each the location for numerous community events. There are also several large apartment and condominium buildings, hotels, numerous dining establishments, bars and shops.
A Bit of Arena District History
Just after 1900, a group of factories, warehouses, coal and lumber yards, and a few houses grew up in what became known as the Olentangy Industrial Cluster. In addition, the area was home to the Ohio Penitentiary from 1834 to 1984. By the mid-1990s, however, the area was nearly abandoned, and the penitentiary was demolished in 1997.
By that time, the City of Columbus had begun considering investors for the district’s redevelopment. The project was initiated with a $500 investment from Nationwide Realty Investors, the Columbus Dispatch Printing Company, and others, and was completed in 2015.
Arena District Real Estate
A half-dozen recently built apartment and condominium buildings are available in the area for residents who want to be up-front-and-personal with all the action going on there. The architecture and interior design of the 5-to-12-story complexes range from industrial chic, to early 20th century warehouse turned loft. Accommodations include studios to 3-bedroom units. Most buildings provide on-site athletic and pool facilities, and some provide rooftop decks with spectacular panoramic views.