Chamber, EDC will look outside downtown for new location

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. (EDC) are expanding their search for new headquarters looking outside of Columbus’s downtown core.

Both organizations were previously located in offices at 440 Fifth St., which sustained water and smoke damage from the Dec. 3, 2022 fire that destroyed the neighboring Irwin Block Building. Since late December, Cummins Inc. has been leasing office space at 526 Washington St. to the chamber and EDC, with both entities indicating that this is a temporary solution while they search for a new location one where they can continue to co-locate, if possible.

“We thought we had a really good possibility, and it has fallen through, so we are back to square one,” said chamber President Cindy Frey, in discussing the progress of their search.

She explained that they were told that a lease was in the works but were later notified that the property owner had changed his mind.

“Economic Development Corp. is also still looking,” said EDC President Jason Hester. “We had a good lead, and it did not come to fruition.”

He added that if the organization can continue to co-locate with the chamber, they would be happy to, but if that’s not possible, they may find their own space.

One of the factors that has made the search difficult is that the EDC would prefer to be in the “core downtown area” with first-floor accessibility and parking, he said. However, they have decided to expand their search to look beyond the downtown core.

Frey said that the chamber is also looking “beyond the downtown center.”

“But we hope to be in close proximity to downtown if at all possible,” she said.