MARION, OH-New York City-based Mascia Development LLC has moved into the Central Ohio investment market in a modest way but that ripple could spread throughout the state.

The investor in multifamily, retail, student housing and mixed-use properties in several East Coast markets paid $2.5 million for the 11,920-square-foot Shoppes at East Lawn retail center in Marion this month across Mount Vernon Avenue from the Ohio State University regional campus.

“The strategy is to expand and to move west,” Mascia Development CEO Mark Mascia told me.

The fully leased property’s tenants include Kay Jewelers, Aspen Dental, Tan Pro and the Iron Chef Japanese restaurant.
Properties with such national tenants “make it easier for us to enter a market,” the Dayton native said. “They help shortcut the underwriting.”

Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus are the target cities.

Mascia Development actually acquired its first Ohio property in May 2012 when it paid more than $1 million for a retail building with high-end apparel retailer Lululemon in the Hyde Park urban commercial district east and a bit north of downtown Cincinnati.

“We’d love to find 20 more properties (in Ohio) in the next three to four years,” said Mascia, who still has family in the Queen City. “There’s not a lot of properties priced where we’d like them to be.”