North Market development has new name as construction nears

Jim Weiker
The Columbus Dispatch
The Merchant Building mixed-use development includes a hotel, residential tower, offices and parking garage in addition to an expansion of the North Market, shown on the right.

As developers prepare to break ground on the 32-story development next to the North Market, they have given the project a name: The Merchant Building. 

“The Merchant Building branding is a way for us to honor the legacy of all the merchants who through their grit, determination, and perseverance made the North Market what it is today,” said Jim Merkel, the CEO of the Columbus real estate investment firm Rockbridge.

The Merchant Building next to the North Market will include an upper-level outdoor terrace, as seen in this rendering.

Rockbridge and its partner in the project, Edwards Cos., announced the name Thursday and released new renderings of the project, which is scheduled to begin construction later this year on what is now the North Market parking lot.

The $300 million project is projected to include 65,000 square feet of offices, 174 residences, a 162-room hotel, 44 additional guest rooms in what is called the "Merchant Club," a restaurant, bar, event space, café, retail space, a 350-space parking garage, and an 18,000-square-foot expansion of the North Market

“This project has always been about protecting the future of the North Market,” Rick Harrison Wolfe, executive director and CEO of the North Market said in a news release. “But there would be no North Market without the long legacy of individual merchants who give so much to supporting the cultural and economic health of our city. The Merchant Building name is a fitting tribute to their stories.”

The Merchant Building will feature several gathering spots such as this one shown in a rendering.

The North Market expects to add 10 to 12 vendors with the expansion.

At 32 stories, the Merchant Building will be the tallest building erected in Columbus since 1990, edging out the 28-story Hilton hotel being built a few blocks south.

The Columbus commercial real-estate firm NAI Ohio Equities will handle leasing for the office portion of the Merchant Building. 

Rockbridge said city infrastructure work is expected to begin on the site this summer, allowing construction on the project to start late this year in anticipation of a 2025 completion. 

The North Market development will include an addition to the market itself, shown on the right of this rendering.