February 3, 2022

The New Hilton Columbus Downtown Tops Out

Photo Courtesy of the Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch


Hilton Columbus Downtown has surpassed the two-thirds point in construction of its 28-story addition. Expected to open this August, Hilton Columbus Downtown will be the city’s only 1,000-key hotel and Ohio’s largest overall.

Hilton Columbus Downtown will achieve this milestone by combining the 537 rooms of the existing Hilton Columbus Downtown, now referred to as 401, with the 463-room addition, to be referred to as 402.

 Facing each other across North High Street in downtown Columbus, the two towers will anchor Columbus’ growing prominence in the convention industry with 75,000 square feet of meeting space and three ballrooms ranging from 6,500 to 15,000 square feet.

Construction of 402 is managed by a joint venture of Turner Construction Co. and Smoot Construction, a 50-year partnership that has built much of the Greater Columbus Convention Center complex over the past 30 years.

“We’re building an iconic building,” said Lewis Smoot Jr., chairman, CEO and president of Smoot Construction. “It’s going to change the skyline.”

Brian Mooney, vice president and general manager of Turner Construction Co., said the combined Hilton towers, connected to each other and to the Convention Center by a distinctive skybridge over North High Street, will be “a game-changer” for the city and its convention business. “The design, the amenities, and the art will make this a premier destination property,” said Mooney.

The new tower recently “topped out” with its highest structural element in place. Crews are finishing construction of the top floors as interior finishing work proceeds on the lower floors. Meanwhile, guest room floors in the existing tower are undergoing renovation.

Skilled subcontractors for the project include Pioneer Glazing, Lang Masonry & Restoration Contractors, and Fire-Seal, LLC. Construction has remained on schedule despite pandemic-related slowdowns and the challenge of erecting a monumental building on a relatively small site.

“Thanks to our construction partners we will be welcoming guests into a unified property that will elevate the experience for our convention guests,” said Christian Coffin, general manager of the hotel. “The new tower is truly a game changer.”

Group bookings are available for the hotel starting in September 2022.

Guests will enjoy four new food and beverage concepts at Hilton Columbus Downtown’s new tower, including:

  • FYR, the signature two-story restaurant with street level access and first live-fire concept
    in Columbus.
  • Spark, a lobby bar with an innovative mixology program and all-day menu.
  • The Market, a grab-and-go option directly connected to the Convention Center.
  • Stories on High, a rooftop bar located on the 28th story (the city’s tallest) with unobstructed views of the Short North, The Ohio State University campus, downtown, the Discovery District and “sports alley” — Nationwide Arena, Huntington Park and Field.

Excitement about the hotel’s expansion is fueling Convention Center event bookings as far out as 2029.

402 is being developed with $244 million in bonded debt and $11 million in equity investment by the Convention Authority, with debt service to be paid from the hotel’s net income and its bed-tax revenue. A similar arrangement funds 401.

A time-lapse video of the construction can be seen here.

An article and photo gallery appeared in the Dispatch. Link to the story here.

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