Who We Are

The Wood Companies have been pioneers in redevelopment of the Short North Arts District since the 1980s. “Urban pioneers,” home owners who bought and fixed up their own homes and the Wood Companies purchased and renovated residential properties and High Street commercial properties beginning in 1982. 

The Early Days

Back when Sanborn (Sandy) Wood started buying and renovating buildings, the area was one of the most dilapidated areas of Columbus. Known by the police as “The Short North,” the area was a center for drugs, prostitution, and deserted properties. 

The Wood Companies partnered with young homeowners who wanted to create a better neighborhood, a safer neighborhood, and a more vibrant neighborhood where children could grow up. They worked with home owners and entrepreneurial merchants to create a new model for inner city neighborhoods. Together, the coalition demonstrated what people can do when they work together. 

The Victorian Village and Italian Village Commissions were established by Columbus City Council to facilitate resurgence of this historic district. Artists, galleries and boutique owner-operated shops were attracted to the area.  The historic fabric of the neighborhood was highlighted, and the neighborhood became a model for similar dilapidated neighborhoods across America.

National Destination

Mark Wood, a licensed real estate broker, joined his father in redevelopment of the District in the early 1990's, and his brother John joined the business in the early 2000's. Aggressive marketing and leadership by The Wood Companies helped attract some of the best restaurants and most sought-after retailers in all of Columbus.

The Short North is now one of the most attractive and bustling neighborhoods in Columbus. The New York Times, National Geographic, and The Chicago Tribune are among travel writers from around the country who have featured the Short North with glowing reviews. The area is one of the most popular places to live in Columbus, and the commercial strip has become a magnet for quality, personally-operated shops and offices.   

Premier Area Leader

Today, The Wood Companies remains the area’s premier real estate firm. It is the first place visitors look for the highest quality residential, retail, and office spaces in Victorian Village, Italian Village and all over the Short North. 

The new Second and High mixed use project at 941 North High creates a new focal point for the District.  Conversion of Leafy Dale, a former historic hotel facing Goodale Park, into The Dennison - rental residential suites - tests the upward limits of quality Columbus housing. The Wood Companies strive to offer the finest service available anywhere in the area and to support continued excellence in the Short North.

The company that was instrumental in the development of pocket parks, helped bring public art to Columbus and helped build the Short North arches continues to support district wide area improvements. Merger of two organizations, the merchant’s (Short North Business Association) with the property owner’s (Special Improvement District) means continuous cooperation between area interests. The Wood Companies continues to support and lead efforts to improve the quality of life in Columbus and enhance the Short North area’s arts scene.


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