Top 10 Apartment Owners in Columbus

The metro region’s multifamily owners are focused on investing in the capital city itself, though that may change.

As one of the largest economies in the state of Ohio, the capital city of Columbus continues to perform strongly. The metro’s population has expanded significantly in the last decade, with a growth rate nearly double the national average between 2012 and 2017.

The majority of the largest multifamily owners—eight of the top 10—are firms targeting investments exclusively or primarily in Columbus. While larger, national players like Cortland and Harbor Group account for a smaller share of the market, more than half of the top apartment acquisitions in the first half of 2018 involved large institutional investors with a regional or national focus.

The list below shows the top 10 apartment owners in the Columbus metro, based on Yardi Matrix data as of April 2019. The number of properties and units displayed excludes communities under construction or in planning and permitting stages.

5. Cortland

The Meridian. Image via Google Street View

With 3,406 units spread across nine submarkets, Cortland entered the Columbus multifamily market in September 2014 with the $112 million acquisition of 2,146 units from Management Solutions, purchased through a trustee sale. The firm continues to be an active investor across the country, already increasing its holdings by more than 1,500 units this year, including a recent $62 million multifamily acquisition in Phoenix.

The company’s largest asset, The Meridian, contains 480 units at 1401 Aschinger Blvd. in Columbus’ University submarket. The property’s eight buildings contain studio to three-bedroom apartments, with floorplans between 420 and 1,273 square feet. Community amenities include a fitness center, two swimming pools and covered parking, and the asset is near the busy Fifth Avenue retail corridor and less than a mile from Ohio State University.

4. Edwards Cos.

Times Square. Image via Google Street View

Local development firm Edwards Cos. made the list with its 3,692-unit portfolio. Built between 1999 and 2018, the vast majority of the company’s 17 properties are located in the University, Hillard and Dublin submarkets. Edwards has an additional 231 units under construction in downtown Columbus, anticipated for delivery later this year.

Edwards’ largest property in Columbus is the 354-unit Times Square, located at 4130 Times Square Blvd. in the Dublin submarket. Completed in 2002, the Class B community is approximately 12 miles northwest of the city center, next to the 1.1 million-square-foot Mall at Turtle Crossing. In February, the asset was 96.3 percent occupied.

3. CASTO

Chestnut Hill Apartments. Image via Google Street View

With a 4,172-unit portfolio in and around Columbus, CASTO has developed the vast majority of its assets. In 2018, the firm delivered the Tuller Flats, one of the largest Midwestern multifamily completions of the year. In addition to its developments in Columbus, the company is active in other Ohio markets as well as in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Orlando, Fla.

CASTO’s largest property, the 480-unit Chestnut Hill Apartments, opened in phases in 1997 and 1998. Located at 4610 Weathervane Lane in Columbus’ Gahanna submarket, the fully occupied community is roughly 12 miles northeast of the city center. The asset’s amenities include two swimming pools, a 24-hour fitness center, a business center and a clubhouse.

2. Champion Real Estate Services

The Gardens at Easton. Image via Google Maps

Champion Real Estate Services, an investor, property manager and developer, owns 13 communities with 4,587 units in Columbus, making it the metro’s second-largest multifamily owner. The firm has a 14th asset underway in the Powell submarket—the 64-unit Powell Crossing. The project is slated for completion in the second half of 2019.

The company’s largest property in the metro, The Gardens at Easton, contains 1,064 one- and two-bedroom units in the Northeast Columbus submarket. Champion acquired the community, which opened in two phases in 2000 and 2003, in February 2015 from a group of private investors. The asset is 88.9 percent occupied and includes a swimming pool, a fitness center, two dog parks and a playground.

1. New Life Multifamily Management

Eden of Whitehall. Image via Google Maps

The top apartment owner, New Life Multifamily Management, owns a portfolio of 5,604 units across the metro. In addition to the firm’s Columbus properties, the firm has more than 1,400 units in Dayton, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn.

New Life’s largest asset in Columbus, the 1,147-unit Eden of Whitehall, is located at 4470 E. Broad St. in the city’s Whitehall submarket. The firm acquired it from Lincoln Management in September 2011 for $18.3 million. The Class C community was constructed in two phases—the first in 1953, the second in 1986—and contains two- and three-bedroom townhouse units with an average floorplan of 1,111 square feet. The property was 99.4 percent occupied in February.