Austin Landing gets new owner in $134M deal for ‘crown jewel’ property

Austin Landing has been bought by a New York-based real estate group in a deal worth $134.5 million, it was announced Friday.

The Dayton Daily News was the first to report Columbia Investment has taken over ownership of what it called “the crown jewel of real estate in the Dayton Metro” area.

The deal involving Austin Landing operators RG Properties and EBS Asset Management Inc. for the 70-acre mixed-use retail complex — which includes more than 1 million square feet of space that anchors the Austin Boulevard interchange of Interstate 75 — closed Wednesday, officials said.

The ownership change is not expected to alter operations at the development that’s home to about 2,000 jobs and draws thousands more shoppers and others seeking entertainment, an Austin Landing spokeswoman said.

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“I don’t anticipate any changes in the management of Austin Landing,” Cheryl Dillin of Hardy Communications said. “They’re going to try and stay in the background and run Austin Landing as it has been.”

Austin Landing North LLC, operated by Soly Halabi and the Adjmi Family, will own and manage the complex.

“We are proud to have acquired what we consider the crown jewel of real estate in the Dayton Metro and are proud to continue and enhance the legacy,” said Joe Simhon, co-owner/manager of Columbia Investment Group and the Austin Landing property in a released statement.

There is no change in ownership involving the Austin South project across the road on Springboro property, Dillin said.

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The new ownership for Austin Landing is “committed to the tenants, the property and are looking forward to maintain its glory and servicing the community” Halabi and the Adjmi family said in a statement.

Halabi is president of Venture Capital Properties, where he has worked for more than 10 years, according to his LinkedIn page.

Halabi learned English after moving to New York in the early 1990s from Syria. He became a broker involved in two high profile purchases in New York City in 2010: an 11-story Fifth Avenue office building and the Duke Semans mansion across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Halabi began his career as a commercial real estate broker and in 2005 Soly Halabi joined Ralph Gindi as a principal to launch the Gindi Group, according to Venture Capital Properties website.

The Austin Landing concept was originally conceived and initially developed by Randy Gunlock of RG properties in 2008 and managed since 2016 by VisCap Development President Larry Dillin.

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“VisCap was brought on board to execute Randy’s vision and I believe we largely achieved that with the completion of several buildings and numerous new tenants,” Larry Dillin said.

“It’s a good time for the transition of the property,” he added. “ We’re proud of the development activities and the growth of the community events program and we wish continued success to all our tenants,”

Austin Landing opened in 2010 shortly after completion of the Austin Boulevard interchange. Teradata, the Hilton Garden Inn, Kroger and Kohls were early anchors, and the complex grew with a mix of office, retail, restaurants and bars as the decade progressed.

In 2012, through a private investment offering, another $64 million in investment potential was outlined for Austin Landing developments on both sides of Austin Boulevard.

Under the guidance of RG Properties – and later Dillin – the development surged as buildings were completed. A centerpiece park was later surrounded by restaurants, bars, and multi-million dollar projects such as Field & Stream, Cinepolis, Progress Park Tower, Staybridge Suites and The Flats at Austin Landing, a $35 million, 276-unit luxury apartment complex.

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