12:00 PM

Community Impact Center will serve as new home to United Way and other critical nonprofit services

United Way of Central Ohio and several other nonprofit agencies will be moving into a new home in downtown Columbus. Nationwide and United Way announced today that they have entered into a master lease agreement for United Way and several other philanthropic agencies to move into 215 North Front Street later this year.  

The first-of-its-kind effort—officially named the Community Impact Center—will bring local nonprofits together to maximize impact addressing critical needs in the community. 

The building is adjacent to Nationwide's downtown campus. The United Way announced in September the sale of its current headquarters, which will be transformed into apartments that include both workforce and market rate housing. 

“The nonprofit safety net is critical to the viability of any community. By partnering with Nationwide to create a unique, centralized office in downtown Columbus for numerous nonprofits, we can more efficiently, effectively, and collectively offer critical support,” said Lisa Courtice, President and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. “We’re thrilled our former downtown headquarters is slated to be redeveloped to include workforce and market rate housing and that our new location will allow more nonprofits to stand united.” 

The new master lease agreement will create a unique, centralized office in downtown Columbus for nonprofits that fill critical needs in the community. Along with United Way, partner tenants will include Communities In Schools Ohio; Future Ready Columbus; Per Scholas; UHCAN Ohio; Wells CPA; and the YMCA Stable Families administrative offices. 

“The 215 North Front building is a valuable asset, and we are pleased to effectively reposition it. This partnership with United Way of Central Ohio is the perfect example of the kind of opportunities Nationwide wants for buildings that are in a great location – organizations that bring stability, vitality, jobs, growth and a sense of civic pride to the core of our city,” said Kieran Sherry, who leads Corporate Real Estate for Nationwide. “As we seek to repurpose this space, providing a solution for area nonprofits aligns perfectly with our commitment to the community and our desire to make a positive impact. We need strong services, and this will result in a win for all involved.” 

“We're thrilled to be able to work with United Way of Central Ohio to create an economically viable center of excellence for nonprofits that provide critical services to our community,” added Chad Jester, President of the Nationwide Foundation.” 

Under terms of the agreement, United Way of Central Ohio will move in this December and recruit additional nonprofits to also move into the building in 2023 and 2024. Details of the lease agreement are not being disclosed. 

The nine-story, 150,000 square foot 215 North Front St. building has valuable amenities that will facilitate a greater level of cooperation among nonprofits that desire to be downtown and desire to collaborate to meet community needs, including:  

  • Conference and collaboration space on the lower level; 
  • Centrally located office space that can house more than a dozen nonprofits; 
  • And, access to staff and visitor garage parking. 

“The implementation of our hybrid work model has been successful. We found that we can meet our customers’ needs and drive profitable growth while giving our employees more flexibility in where they want to work. That means we need less office space,” Sherry added. “While we continue to complete upgrades to our facilities to provide employees with more spaces that encourage collaboration and innovation, we are also looking to find viable uses for other valuable real estate that meets the unique needs of the community and contributes to the long-term vitality of downtown.” 

Nationwide has been thoughtfully repurposing office space, a process which was accelerated by a decision in April 2020 to transition to a permanent hybrid work model. With more than 50 percent of its workforce now permanently remote, the company needs less office space. In September, it announced a proposed sale of one of its buildings in Iowa to the City of Des Moines, a transaction that will allow that community to centralize city services.