Article Originally Appeared in Columbus Business First – Bonnie Meibers
Goodwill Columbus says it will sell its headquarters instead of redeveloping it, blaming the change of plans on rising construction costs.
Ryan Burgess, CEO of Goodwill Columbus, said while it was a difficult decision to make, he is equally excited to use the proceeds of the future sale toward programs, services and their other real estate.
“It was difficult in a sense that leadership had invested a considerable amount of time into this plan,” Burgess told Columbus Business First, “but the cost just far exceeded what we could do.”
Burgess declined to share the cost of the redevelopment. He said the cost of building new is much higher than the cost to lease a new space.
Goodwill Columbus had planned to build a new headquarters and retail store at the property in Columbus’ Fifth by Northwest neighborhood. Columbus-based construction company Elford Inc. had been selected to lead the project. Burgess said Elford has been a great partner during this process.
Burgess said the nonprofit hasn’t selected a brokerage yet to list the building. Goodwill has started the search for a new space to lease. Burgess said they want to be thoughtful in the move and did not have a timeline.
With the proceeds from the sale of their Edgehill building, Burgess said Goodwill Columbus plans to build a new art studio at its Whitehall location. The art studio serves people with disabilities.
Goodwill also is currently renovating its Brice Road location, which will serve as a new workforce center for job training.
Burgess said Goodwill will also add more workforce training and career services at some of their other retail centers. These moves, plus the sale of the Edgehill building, will help the organization meet is 2030 goal of equipping 1,000 people with tools for economic mobility.
“It was disappointing in a sense (to cancel its redevelopment), but I am equally excited to broaden our reach,” Burgess said.