Our Mission

The Jefferson Avenue Center owns and operates historic and newly developed properties that support a community of nonprofit organizations in central Ohio.

BuilT with Purpose 

Using real estate as a catalyst for social change, The Jefferson Avenue Center revitalizes properties and neighborhoods through the redevelopment of neglected historic buildings and underutilized land. 

We are working to increase the capacity and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector by developing vibrant, affordable spaces—because when charitable organizations can save money on overhead costs, they have more to allocate to the programs and services that directly impact individuals and local communities.   

An Inspired Concept

The Jefferson Avenue Center was chartered in 1975, decades before the concept of “multiple tenant nonprofits” had become a buzzword and a national movement in the charitable and philanthropic sector. Our founding members recognized that nonprofit organizations were finding it increasingly difficult to secure and maintain quality workspace that was stable and affordable and also enhanced their mission and operations.

The Jefferson Avenue Center campus was an inspired concept that provided below-market-rate space to nonprofits, and provided a solution to the deterioration of an inner-city neighborhood in central Ohio.

Amplifying the Impact 

In recent years, The Jefferson Avenue Center has expanded beyond the parameters of the original campus: First with a building on Parsons Avenue, and more recently with the acquisition of 966 S. High Street in the Brewery District neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Our commitment to serving the needs of the nonprofit sector and advancing multiple public policy objectives, community and neighborhood aspirations, and philanthropic missions knows no boundaries. 

Amenities with Impact 

We provide shared conference space and office equipment, celebratory events, picnic tables for summer lunches, and public gallery spaces that foster collegial relationships amongst our tenants. The Columbus Museum of Art has lent us pieces of outdoor sculpture, and our greenspaces include a reading garden, historic trees, and a gazebo.

Social Purpose Real Estate 

The vision of our founding members has been validated by a robust national movement to replicate the concept. According to the Kellogg School of Management’s Center for Nonprofit Management, “Multi-Tenant Nonprofit Centers” are currently serving a diversity of organizations and can be found in a mixture of locales that includes small towns, inner cities, in national parks, on reservations, and in the downtown areas of major cities—including Columbus, Ohio.

The proof is in the end results—the nonprofit organizations, the constituents they serve, and the communities at large in which they reside have all benefited from the thoughtful fusion of social purpose and real estate.  

Meet some of our neighbors here:

Funds for restoration and enhancement projects have been generously provided by these organizations, which are committed to historic preservation and building the capacity of the nonprofit sector: Bank of America Foundation; The Columbus Foundation; The Gordon Chandler Memorial Fund; The Joseph A. Jeffrey Fund of The Columbus Foundation; Lowe’s Home Improvement; The Reinberger Foundation; State Auto Insurance Companies; Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP; and Wolfe Associates.