Nationwide Associates are settling in to Yard digs

Even as the first wave of Nationwide Insurance employees begins to move into the hub building for the company’s campus at Grandview Yard, planning is underway for an additional office building across Yard Street.

A few hundred employees began setting up their offices May 23 at the building at 1000 Yard St., and construction is continuing on another building next door. A total of about 3,000 employees are expected to occupy the two buildings.

A third building also is expected to rise across the street and may bring the total number of employees to about 4,000, said Brian Ellis, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Realty Investors, during a tour May 26 of the 1000 Yard St. building.

NRI, the developer of Grandview Yard, is an affiliate of Nationwide Insurance.

The square footage of the third building is still to be determined, Ellis said.

The first building, completed last month, is a four-story, 320,000-square-foot office that ultimately will house about 1,900 employees.

“It’s the center of gravity for the Nationwide campus in Grandview Yard,” Ellis said.

The building features a number of amenities for employees, including a cafeteria, fitness center and bank.

The second building under construction next door will be about 160,000 square feet and is expected to be completed later this year.

All of the buildings in the campus will be interconnected to allow employees to move freely among them once they check in for work, Ellis said.

Two parking garages will accompany the office buildings.

The first garage opened with completion of the office at 1000 Yard St. and has about 1,400 spaces. The other garage will be completed about the same time as the second office building with about 1,100 spaces.

The opening of the first phase of Nationwide’s corporate campus is “a continuation of a really strong partnership we started with NRI in 2009,” Grandview Heights Mayor Ray DeGraw said

“We always talked about having a vibrant mixed-use urban community in Grandview Yard that pivots off our proximity to OSU and downtown,” he said.

The Nationwide campus is an important centerpiece of that vision, DeGraw said.

The addition of up to 4,000 employees will help strengthen Grandview’s stability for the long term, he said.

The Nationwide Insurance project also will help spur future development in the Yard, DeGraw said.

“You’ll start to see more retail projects coming in to support and service (the Nationwide workforce),” he said.

“Our master plan will continue to evolve based on market conditions,” Ellis said.

“We’ve accomplished a lot. This is a milestone for us. But we still have a lot more to do.”