Brian Ellis: A Sporting Chance at Development

Nationwide Realty Investors formed on Jan. 1, 1997, to facilitate the building of Nationwide Arena and bring a professional hockey team to Columbus.
“We wanted to seize that opportunity, but in addition to that, we also wanted to have the arena be a catalyst to create, to drive development Downtown,” says Brian Ellis, president and COO of Nationwide Realty Investors, or NRI. “As part of that, we negotiated and began to negotiate the acquisition of ground around the arena.”
Ellis was instrumental in founding NRI, a subsidiary of Nationwide. NRI has grown from three employees (including Ellis) to a staff of 70 today. Ellis’ master plan for the Arena District has developed the area into an entertainment, residential and business district valued at over $800 million.
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