Women’s Final Four will be among most prestigious sporting events hosted by Columbus

By Laura Newpoff  –  Staff reporter, Columbus Business First

When the NCAA Women’s Final Four rolls into town at the end of March, it will be one of the largest sporting events in the city’s history by several metrics.

In terms of prestige, it’s right up there with the NHL All-Star game held at Nationwide Arena in 2015. And in a way, it’s bigger. After all, the basketball tournament features a championship game, not just an exhibition.

But it’s also a big deal because it represents the top-tier of sporting events that Columbus can lure. We don’t have a professional football, baseball or basketball team, there’s no chance to land a Super Bowl, Pro Bowl or All-Star game for those sports. (Who knows, the Blue Jackets could bring the Stanley Cup Finals to Columbus. Right?)

The Arena District played host to the early rounds of the NCAA men’s March Madness tournament in 2015. That was big, too.

But according to data from the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, the Women’s Final Four is expected to result in $25 million in direct visitor spending. That will come from 40,000 attendees, 30,000 of which will visit from out of town.

The All-Star weekend festivities brought 140,000 people into the Arena District, but just 10,000 of them were from out of town. The event resulted in $12 million in direct visitor spending.

Linda Logan, executive director of the Sports Commission, told me the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, “has been on our premier sporting events ‘aspirational list’ since 2000 and an event in the making for more than 10 years.”

Logan said the number of attendees, fan-generated spending and, “the 600 media credentialed and the national media exposure on ESPN from the three games that will be broadcast from Nationwide Arena will all raise Columbus’ profile on the American sports scene.

“We believe it will be a gift that keeps on giving and greatly magnify our ability to land more high-profile events in the future.”

The basketball championship will take an estimated 14,000 hotel room nights. Compare that to the 8,000 during the NHL All-Star weekend. There were 400 media credentials during that event.

ESPN’s broadcast will cover the March 30-April 1 basketball games. NBC Sports Network aired the All-Star game.

The Sports Commission says the Women’s Final Four is the largest sporting event Columbus will have ever hosted that’s not a home-grown event, such as the Arnold Sports Festival. The Arnold draws about 200,000 attendees, about 75 percent coming from Ohio and surrounding states.

As we reported last week, 1,000 volunteers covering 2,500 shifts will be critical to the Final Four running smoothly and the city’s chance to land the tournament in the future.

See original article here

4 Ways to Create the Perfect Smart Apartment

Name a household appliance, and chances are there’s a smart version of it. Whether it’s a security system, lightbulb, thermostat or refrigerator, these internet-connected objects are continuing to evolve as adoption becomes more widespread.

In a growing technology hub like downtown Columbus, people are outfitting their homes with smart devices in an effort to make their lives easier, safer and more efficient. But when you’re renting an apartment, there’s only so much you’re able to modify.

If you’re looking to create your own smart apartment in Columbus, here are a few ways to go about it.


  1. Find Installation-Free Devices

Installing new locks, thermostats and electrical outlets in your apartment may not be permitted, but there’s a simple solution – plug-and-play smart devices, or technology that can be simply and near-instantly set up. Gadgets in this category include smart assistants like Amazon Echo, smart cameras like Netgear’s Arlo Pro and smart plugs like Belkin’s WeMo that can automate your lamps and appliances.

Sometimes, a plug isn’t even required! Smart door locks such as the August Smart Lock can be placed over an existing deadbolt. Instead of swapping out light switches, smart lightbulbs like the Phillips Hue offer rental-friendly screw-ins.


  1. Cable Who?

If you live in a downtown Columbus apartment, there’s no shortage of available entertainment technology. Most commonly found in smart TVs and streaming sticks, these devices all but eliminate the need for cable by streaming your favorite shows and movies on-demand – allowing you to splurge a bit more on speedier internet.

Smart streaming devices include Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.


  1. Smarten Up Your Kitchen

The kitchen is perhaps the most common room in your apartment to get smart devices. While you may not be able to swap out stuff like a refrigerator, there are several things that will make cooking much easier.

Amazon’s Dash Wand allows you to scan items in your kitchen and add them to your shopping list, while also synching with Alexa to read recipes, convert measurements and even order things right to your


Certain Crock Pots now come equipped with WeMo, allowing you to adjust cooking settings from a smartphone app, no matter where you are. You can also remotely check the cook-time or temperature of your food, and even change your cook settings.

For health-conscious renters, there will soon be products like SmartPlate ­– which offers a dish equipped with mini cameras and weight sensors to figure out what you’re eating, estimate the number of calories in your meal and suggest the proper proportions in alignment with your diet.


  1. Streamline Your Smart Devices

Managing all these smart devices in your Columbus apartment might get a little tricky. If that’s the case, then apps such as Apple Home can help you streamline this connected technology in one, easy-to-manage place.

The app allows you to use Siri voice commands to control your products, and make nuanced commands that only control certain devices. For example, saying “Good Night” can turn off your lights and/or TV and close your blinds.

The only thing to keep in mind for things like Home is that your devices must be compatible with them in order to be effective.

4 Tips to Help You Find the Right Roommate in Columbus


So you just moved into a new apartment in downtown Columbus? Congratulations!

Now, you just need to find a roommate.

With so much demand for apartments in Columbus, you’d think this would be a walk in the park. But finding a roommate, and finding the right roommate, are two completely different things. Nobody wants to live with someone they don’t trust or get along with.

Here are a few tips to help you find the right roommate in Columbus.

1. Take Your Time

If there’s one mistake people make when searching for a roommate in Columbus, it’s moving too fast. Don’t accept the first person that responds to your request in order to fill a short-term need – you may end up with someone who leaves the milk out, doesn’t clean up after themselves, misses rent payments, or something much worse.

Instead, take your time. Get a feel for how you like to live, and ensure your potential roommates are in sync with that lifestyle. Make a note of habits or personality traits you don’t think you could tolerate, and weed those applicants out.

You don’t need to find someone exactly like you, but it’s better to proactively set boundaries and preferences, rather than wait until it’s too late.

  1. Ask Around

Facebook groups. Craigslist. Real estate apps. Housing websites. In the digital age, there are tons of different platforms you can leverage to find a roommate in Columbus. But there’s always a bit of risk involved when opening up your apartment to strangers.

One of the oldest ways of finding a roommate may still be the best way – asking people you know. Friends, family and co-workers are all great sources to ask for quality roommate referrals. Even though the person they recommend may still be a stranger, they’re getting the seal of approval from someone you trust and who knows your lifestyle, which makes finding the right match much more likely.

  1. Ask the Right Questions

Perhaps the most important tip for finding the right roommate in Columbus, asking the right questions is vital in determining whether you want to live with someone or not. Much like a date, you’ll want to know their likes, dislikes and lifestyle preferences to see if they’re a fit.

Early on, ask what they do for a living. A steady job is a sign of reliability. If they’re a student, don’t be afraid to ask if they have a consistent stream of income to pay the bills on time.

It’s also important to ask why they’re looking for a new apartment. What was their living history? How did they get along with their previous roommates? Are they looking for an apartment because they like downtown Columbus, or because they had a fight with a previous roommate? These are all questions that will uncover red flags.

If they skirt around the questions or seem like they’re lying, follow your gut and move on to another applicant. NEVER accept a roommate without first meeting them in-person.

  1. Be Transparent

In order to find a good roommate, you have to be a good roommate in return. When talking with applicants, it’s important to let them know exactly what they’re signing up for. That means disclosing what they can expect to pay each month for rent and utilities, size of the apartment and open room, a list of appliances and furnishings, and expectations when it comes to splitting food costs or other bills.

Additionally, if you have any hobbies, quirks or medical conditions that might make living with you difficult, it’s important to relay that information to a potential roommate before they sign on, to prevent complications down the road. For example, if you work nights, make sure you find someone who won’t be bothered by noise at odd hours.






Fall in love with downtown Columbus

Columbus Blue Jackets are Back!

Columbus Blue Jackets took on the New York Islanders during opening night last Friday and won 5-0!
  • ABC 6 coverage HERE
  • Fox 28 coverage HERE
Go to an upcoming game! Click here for tickets.


Join Arena District Athletic Club and get into the spirit of Halloween with a haunted spin class.
Spook-N-Spin with Brooke
Thursday, October 12 | 5:30-7:30p.m.
This event is free for members, bring a friend for $10! Includes haunted spin room, themed playlist, best costume prized, snacks & beer. Click here for more details.

Pumpkin Everything!

Sunny Street Cafe is now offering pumpkin pancakes and muffins – delicious!

Are you a resident of the Arena District or Grandview Yard?

Upon move in Arena Crossing, Flats on Vine, Flats II and Apartments at the Yard residents receive a FREE resident VIP membership earning discounts and perks to neighboring restaurants and entertainment. Sunny Street Cafe offers VIP members $2 of and breakfast or lunch dine in or carry out orders of $20 or more. Excludes tax and gratuity.

Columbus Top Picks 2017

Show support for Columbus downtown apartment communities. Arena Crossing, Flats on Vine and Grandview Yard apartments have been nominated as CBUS Top Picks 2017. Click below to vote for Best Apartment Living, In & Around the House category. Click here to vote.  Polls are open until October 22!

Looking for a new home?

Choose to live in the action of the Arena District or within the suburban/urban mix lifestyle of Grandview Yard.

Click here to learn more about Arena District Living.

Click here to learn more life at Grandview Yard.

Preparations Begin For Women’s Final Four At Nationwide Arena Next Spring

By DEBBIE HOLMES | WOSU Radio | SEP 26, 2017

The University of South Carolina celebrates winning the 2017 NCAA Womens’ Basketball Tournament. NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL/FACEBOOK

Preparations are underway for the NCAA women’s Final Four in Columbus, which will take place at Nationwide Arena in March. It’s the first time Ohio State and Columbus will host the competition, which landed in Cleveland in 2007 and Cincinnati in 1997.


Meredith Cleaver, NCAA’s director for the Women’s Basketball Championship, says the path to a Columbus women’s Final Four started about 10 years ago. She says its location played a big role in securing the tournament, as did its connection to the sport.


“It has such a strong women’s basketball community, women’s and girls’ in sports and women’s and girls’ leadership initiatives and youth opportunities, that we thought, ‘Wow, this is a really cool city,'” Cleaver says.


Cleaver pointed to Nationwide Arena and the hotel accommodations as strong points.


“Nationwide Arena has hosted a couple of our NCAA championships now and we can’t wait to be there,” Cleaver says. “It is just top notch in terms of the technology, the experience of the facilities staff, the size of the venue is absolutely perfect for what we’re looking for.”


Linda Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, estimates the three-day weekend will attract about 40,000 fans for both the tournament and related events like a fan festival and kids’ “Basketball Bounce.”


The city will also host about 3,000 members of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.


“We’re estimating about $20 million worth of visitor spending, economic impact for the community,” Logan says.

Read the original interview or listen here.

Don’t Miss the Last Few Weeks of the Farmers Market!

Stop by and get Farmers Market fresh goods!

Last open weeks of the season: October 5, 12, 19 and 26. 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

We’ve enjoyed seeing some friendly faces around the Plaza the last few months. Vendors from Poohacres Farms, Midway Concessions, Musson Produce, The Fry Pie Lady, Impossible James and Jacquemin Farms have been satisfying our palette Thursdays in the Arena District with  fresh fruit and veggies, caramel apple fry pies, kettle corn, lemonade, jalapeno raspberry jam and more. In addition to yummy treats, make sure to grab some beautiful fresh cut flowers to brighten up your apartment or work cube. We have loved hosting this eclectic mix of products on the plaza!  Make sure you stop by this month if you hadn’t had a chance as we are closing in on the last few weeks of Farmers Market.





Nation’s premier motorcycle expo is in Columbus this weekend – 20,000 expected

It’s motorcycle weekend in downtown Columbus.

September 23-24 2017

Laura Newpoff

Columbus Business First, Laura Newpoff

The entire powersports industry is in town for nation’s premier trade show that opens to the public at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Honda, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki – all the big boys are there with all their new toys. So, too, are helmet and wheel makers, water sports companies like Sea-Doo, clothing retailers and all kinds of makers of accessories. Really, if it has anything to do with power sports and motorcycles, you’ll find it at this show.

You can find AIMExpo’s website here. The show is presented by Nationwide. Here’s the floorplan of the more than 500 exhibitors.

Check out the slideshow to see photos of the show ahead of its opening to the public.

Experience Columbus tells me 20,000 dealers, consumers and media will fill the convention center this weekend. They’ll also fill 8,500 hotel rooms and generate $3.3 million in direct visitor spending.

AIMExpo is in its fifth year. This is its first trip to Columbus after hosting the event in Orlando. Part of Columbus’ draw is that 41 percent of franchised and independent dealerships in the U.S. are located within a 500-mile radius of the city.

An AIMExpo spokesman told me beyond the proximity to all those dealers, a big draw was that the expo was able to take over the entire Convention Center and be the only show in town. The group also likes being able to walk straight from the show floor to the Arena District and the Short North. So far, they’re impressed with the city and feel a sense of community here.

AIMExpo heads to Las Vegas next year but will be back in Columbus in 2019.

Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus, said in an email that getting AIMExpo is a huge win for the city.

“It not only has an immense impact on our local economy, but also shines the spotlight on our city as thousands of industry dealers, media and consumers from around the country visit throughout the four-day event,” he said. “I’m confident they’ll have a tremendous time in our city and hope that we can welcome the trade show back in 2019 and beyond.”


Read the original article and watch the video here

Countdown to Columbus

Nationwide Arena, the site of the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four, will be tipping off the  2017-2018 season on November 12 with the Countdown to Columbus!

Arena District and Grandview Yard residents love sports!

In the Arena District, residents of Arena CrossingFlats on Vine and Flats II can look forward to walking over to catch a Columbus Clippers baseball game in the summer time and skating over to Nationwide Arena to catch a Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey game (which started its pre-season just yesterday) in the fall.

In Grandview Yard, residents from Apartments at the Yard can be found shouting an O-H at popular neighborhood restaurants Hofbrauhaus Columbus, which also offers a free game day shuttle and Eddie George’s Grille 27, which offers a plethora of large flat screen TV’s for perfect viewing.

Our residents are always on the sideline. Now the excitement continues to build as The Ohio State University and the city of Columbus will host the Countdown to Columbus. The event will feature four top 15-ranked programs.

UConn will take on Stanford at 1:30 pm and Ohio State will play Louisville at 4 p.m. at Nationwide Arena. Both games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.

Tickets to the Countdown to Columbus are on-sale NOW online at ticketmaster.com, and at both the Nationwide Arena and Schottenstein Center box offices. Click HERE for more info.

Construction Continues at Grandview Yard Development
Construction Continues at Grandview Yard Development
New Nationwide Insurance offices under construction at Grandview Yard

The 125-acre Grandview Yard site has been a construction zone since work first began eight years ago, and the ongoing work continues to fill in the massive redevelopment projects in the suburb of Grandview Heights.

A quick drive through the site reveals progress on all types of new development, ranging from office space for Nationwide Insurance to for-sale homes at Pullman Way to a mid-rise condo building at 828 at the Yard. Other projects currently under construction include the five-story mixed-use Manchester Building and a new Chick Fil-A location facing Third Avenue.

Check out more projects, information and construction photos below.

CLICK HERE for more Columbus development news and updates.

All photos by Walker Evans

Work is wrapping up at The Manchester building on Yard Street.
More new offices for Nationwide Insurance are under construction.
New for-sale homes and townhomes are being built on Pullman Way.
Framing is under way at the new Grandview Yard ChicK-Fil-A location.


Welcoming HALF PINT to the Arena District.

Another great restaurant/bar residents can walk to….

Residents of Arena Crossing are welcoming their new next door neighbor Half Pint to the downtown Columbus location Arena District. The bar/gourmet burger restaurant is beautifully decorated with light wood features, brick and an open view kitchen. Patrons will be overwhelmed – in a good way – by the 60 taps to choose from, the aroma of delicious burgers stacked high, fun decor and flat screen TV’s to watch. If you don’t want to stay for dinner, or sit at the bar –  you can opt to take home your favorite brew in one of their growlers.

Half Pint opened to the general public today at 3 pm. Take a look inside…

In addition to the 60+ beers to choose from, Half Pint serves up wine and cocktails too. Dine in for lunch or dinner, or check out their amazing brunch menu on Sundays too.

Brunch starts this Sunday 9.10. Check out the full menu here. 

Click here  to view all Arena District restaurants.