Austin Landing’s developer is working with Miami Twp. on a “tremendous opportunity” to bring more jobs and growth to that interchange on land the township has been seeking to develop for years.
The township has accepted a letter of intent to give Dillin LLC a six-month exclusive deal to market about 41 acres the jurisdiction owns at the corner of Austin Boulevard and Wood Road, land that one township official said has been appraised at $4.6 million.
The interchange area – known as Austin Center – has grown exponentially in the past decade, bringing thousands of jobs, shopping and entertainment options, and traffic.
The LLC is headed by Larry Dillin, who is also president of VisCap Development, which oversees Austin Landing. VisCap is nearing completion on Austin Landing on the interchange’s northeast quadrant and has plans to continue that development on the southeast one.
“We were told that they had a potential opportunity for us to consider in the short-term, and we gave them a short-term agreement to bring us that deal,” said Miami Twp. Trustee John Morris.
“We don’t know the nature of the development or pricing or what it’s going to look like until it’s brought to us,” he added. “This is basically initiating the process and saying ‘we’re open for business. Please bring us an opportunity.’ “
The deal with Dillin LLC was approved Tuesday night, about two months after trustees voted to end a marketing agreement Juniper CRE Solutions for that land.
The deal with Dillin LLC would include the firm “putting a marketing analysis and a development analysis together in anticipation of putting a potential purchase agreement together,” Miami Twp. Community Development Director Chris Snyder told trustees Tuesday night.
The land is “highly attractive and accessible property along Interstate 75,” Snyder said in a statement released by the township, calling it “yet another tremendous opportunity to bring jobs and additional amenities to Miami Twp.”
Dillin said “the Austin Boulevard interchange is a coveted address and an ideal location for continued growth.”
Working with the Miami Twp. Community Improvement Corp. – which trustees oversee – the LLC “will create a development plan, conduct a market analysis and run a financial feasibility study to determine the highest and best use of the property,” the company said in a statement.
The exclusive marketing period would be for 120 days, and the agreement includes two, 30-day extensions “to perform due diligence activities and put the marketing documents and analysis together,” Snyder said.
“At the conclusion of that period or before then,” Snyder added, trustees “would have the option obviously to evaluate whether or not they would like to further extend that into a purchase and sale agreement on the property.”
The property has been tied up in contracts for much of the past several years. In 2009, Clivus Development LLC had an agreement to bring a proton therapy center projected to bring hundreds of jobs and be worth in excess of $100 million to the area.
That agreement expired in June 2015 without plans being submitted, and the township hired Juniper more than a year later.
Juniper told township officials it would be targeting “aerospace and defense companies quite heavily,” as well as medical, high-end offices, and hospitality and retail businesses as part of “a patient pursuit” lasting three to five years.
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