The Red Roof Inn chain considered moving out of state, but decided instead to relocate its headquarters to New Albany.

The hotel chain announced Wednesday it is moving its corporate office and 150 employees to the Water’s Edge III building. The company has signed an eight-and-a-half-year lease for all 43,000 square feet of the building, located at 7815 Walton Parkway.

It plans on moving in mid-May from its current headquarters in two buildings on South Front Street in the Brewery District. It has been there for 10 years.

The company said the new location would allow it to grow its office staff, update technology and consolidate two leases into one. The two offices the company is in total 28,000 square feet.

The company expects to add 35 employees in the new location, which it says offers quicker access to the airport and additional parking.

“We’re going to see increased visibility for the brand,” Andrew Alexander, president of Red Roof Inns Inc., told me.

The company had considered moving to Texas, too. Houston-based Westmont Hospitality Group acquired the Columbus economy chain in a joint venture in 2011.

“We looked at many locations Downtown, as well as some of the nearby suburban locations in Franklin County, and the opportunity in New Albany was really a unique one for us.”

The chain has grown significantly in the past few years, in part because it has launched brands that target new market segments. In three years, it has grown its footprint by 41 percent, reaching 539 locations worldwide, with an additional 30 in the works. The company has 3,000 employees, according to its website.

“We’re really settling our roots in Columbus and expect to grow our footprint across the world as we evolve the brand,” Alexander said. “That Red Roof master brand supports the extension.”

Red Roof Inn has secured deals to open properties in Brazil, Japan and Thailand, extending its reach. By the end of 2018, it expects to have 600 properties across all of its sub brands. Among these, the Red Roof Plus+ brand and The Red Collection, a new mid-scale concept, will open in Chicago this year.

“Growing at 75 units a year is achievable, but something we have achieved for several years and we expect to continue at that rate,” Alexander said. “As we do that, we incrementally add more employees. We certainly have the room to grow at the new site.”

Red Roof Inn moved to Columbus a decade ago from its long-time home in Hilliard.

The new building was home to Columbia Pipeline Group, but was not fully occupied.

“The demand in New Albany has been a good sign and it’s supported continued development,” said Bill Ebbing, president of New Albany Co.

By Tristan Navera
From Columbus Business First