March 16, 2021

75% more to go: nothing can stop the convention headquarter hotel’s progress

Since March 2020, COVID-19 has slowed or stopped many business activities in Columbus, but one has continued unimpeded: construction of the new 28-story Hilton Columbus Downtown tower.

“The project is running on time and on budget,” says Don Brown, executive director of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA), which owns the Hilton, Nationwide Arena, Greater Columbus Convention Center and six convention parking garages and surface lots. “It’s now 25% complete and on pace to open mid-year in 2022.”

The FCCFA broke ground in August 2019 on what will result in Columbus’s first 1,000-room convention hotel when combined with the original Hilton hotel facility located on High Street directly across from the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Overseen by Turner Construction with Smoot Construction and designed by architectural firm Cooper Carry with interior design by Jeffrey Beers International, Hilton Columbus Downtown’s tower expansion will add 463 guest rooms and 47,000 square feet of meeting space as well as a signature restaurant on High Street and a rooftop bar with patio seating.

Of the contractors working on the project, 75% are Building Trades Council signatory companies, 57% are central Ohio-based companies, and 15% are minority or women-owned companies, Brown says.

The curious can watch the tower grow on this FCCFA live cam.

Meanwhile, a $1 million investment in art for the new tower has allowed the FCCFA to begin acquiring new pieces for display throughout the facility.

“Nearly 100 original works, most of them by local artists, have been selected so far, thanks to a call for art issued in late 2019 by the Greater Columbus Arts Council,” says Jim Reese of Reese Brothers Productions, the FCCFA’s art curator. “We are expecting ultimately to acquire 130 pieces, more or less.”

While the acquisitions represent a wide range of styles, a few surprises are in store for visitors, Reese says. All will be revealed in 2022.

Together with art in the hotel, Convention Center and parking garages, the FCCFA has invested a total of $5.7 million for its acquisitions and now owns the largest contemporary collection of central Ohio artwork and the largest collection of art within any convention center in North America.




Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter
Plan your next event in Columbus

Shopping for an event site

If you’re considering Columbus as an event site and have questions about hotels, attractions, transportation, or how to submit a proposal for your event, contact Experience Columbus.

Answers about the Greater Columbus Convention Center

If you’ve scheduled an event for the Greater Columbus Convention Center and have questions about scheduling, facilities or services, you can find the answers here.

Help with your sporting event

If you’ve scheduled a sporting event in Columbus, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission can provide additional information about sports facilities, hotels, transportation and area attractions. It can also help you promote your event.