pictured back row L-R: Gary Reitter, Chuck Evans, George Harmanis
front row L-R: Don Hunter, Gary Schottenstein, Brian Schottenstein
Capitalizing on a talented team, innovative vision, financial stability, a rock-solid reputation, outstanding skills and a wealth of industry knowledge, Schottenstein Real Estate Group has built some of the area’s most outstanding apartment and condominium communities along with mixed-use developments.
These unique attributes have given them an advantage with renters and owners -- and helped them earn the BIA’s prestigious Developer of the Year award in 2012, making them the award’s only three-time winner, after having also been selected in 2006 and 2010.
In 2012, the company completed 600 for rent and for sale units. In 2013, they expect to complete 560 rental units and start over 750 units. This makes them one of the largest builders in Ohio.
Featuring beautifully designed and well-constructed projects in highly desirable locations, the company has a strong track record for creating trustful and honest relationships with their residents.
“We have a core philosophy that we really try to treat all the residents with a lot of empathy and respect,” says Gary L. Schottenstein, Chairman and CEO of the Schottenstein Real Estate Group. “We realize that where someone lives is a major part of their life and we want it to be a very satisfying experience. Whether they are purchasing a home from us or renting in one of our communities, we care about the residents.”
Gary absorbed the principles that have made him an industry leader while he was one of the original officers and board members of M/I Homes, the company co-founded by his father, Irving Schottenstein.
Treating the customer right was a hallmark of Irving Schottenstein’s philosophy and one that is practiced daily by the Schottenstein Real Estate Group team.
Says Gary: “My father always wanted to treat the customers right and be fair, and my companies have always tried to incorporate that in our philosophy.”
An industry leader and innovator, Schottenstein Real Estate Group currently has communities and upcoming projects in central and southwest Ohio, and southeast Florida.
“I think we’re building communities, designs and services which are attractive to our residents,” says Brian Schottenstein, Vice President of the Schottenstein Real Estate Group.
Schottenstein Real Estate Group offers amenities that reflect a good understanding of their residents’ needs and lifestyles. The company over the years has often been the first in the area to offer a particular amenity, such as car cleaning centers, community gardens, fire pits, outdoor grill patios, playgrounds and putting greens.
“We have some top amenities that are really innovative,” says Brian, “like 24-hour fitness centers, community gardens where residents can plant their own gardens, juice bars with free wireless Internet, conference rooms, media centers and resort-style pools.”
The company leads the way in resident-friendly policies. Says Gary: “We’ve always welcomed pets, we’ve welcomed short leases and we have month to month terms and renewals -- we have a lot of leasing options and a satisfaction guarantee warranty.”
Another plus for residents: Schottenstein Real Estate Group is especially adept at locating its communities in dynamic neighborhoods near new shopping, major roadways, work and entertainment districts.
“We have been fortunate to have a lot of great locations offered to us because we have a reputation for dealing openly and fairly with the seller, moving diligently to closing, and communicating well with the seller during the approval process,” says Gary.
The company’s financial stability is one of the reasons why they continued building during the recession and have been successful. Schottenstein Real Estate Group has established excellent banking relationships, including never having a project with any financial payment either late or unpaid. Their stellar reputation gives residents, lenders and contractors extra confidence and trust. The company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and offers residents a satisfaction guarantee warranty.
Optimum apartment living
One of the Schottenstein Real Estate Group’s newest projects is Lancaster Midtown, a 240-unit apartment complex that’s the first high-end rental community built in Lancaster. Lancaster Midtown features upscale one and two bedroom garden apartments and two and three bedroom townhomes.
The 24-acre community is well located on Ety Road near Rte. 33, next to Giant Eagle. It is conveniently close to shopping, restaurants and the River Valley Mall.
Lancaster Midtown features a state-of-the-art fitness center, beautiful swimming pool, business center with free WiFi, juice bar, community garden, outdoor terrace and fire pit. The community also has the convenience of 24-hour emergency services.
The complex drew such positive early attention that 40 apartments were quickly pre-leased before people even saw them. The first units were ready for occupancy in October 2012.
“Lancaster Midtown has been really successful,” observes Brian. “We plan on it being fully rented out upon completion in July, having moved in 240 residents within 10 months.”
The company’s focus on great design is evident throughout Lancaster Midtown. From the masonry in the exterior walls to the unique interior finishes, every element shines. The interiors feature well-thought-out floor plans with great flow, soundproofing and plenty of storage. And the units even have attached garages -- a unique benefit for apartment dwellers.
“We really like to focus on the details of our communities,” says Brian. “We want to give the renters a feeling of living in a home.”
Schottenstein Real Estate Group is also building an apartment community in Grove City on SR665 east of the new interchange with I-71. Grove City Summit will have a mix of one, two and three bedroom garden and townhomes, and will feature a fitness center with yoga room, resort style pool, community garden, café and business center.
Mason Grand in Mason, Ohio, a top Cincinnati suburb, is another upcoming development from Schottenstein Real Estate Group. When complete, Mason Grand will include 294 high-end apartments and townhomes, all with attached garages, and 20 acres of retail, offices and restaurants. Located just off of I-71 on Kings Mill Road, the community is close to retail and Kings Island with its water park.
Other current developments include a 46 acre mixed-use project in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a 32 acre mixed-use project in Orange Township and a new rental community planned for the Polaris area.
The company is working on future developments in Delaware County, Dublin, Jerome Township, Hilliard and Columbus.
Experienced, respected team
Gary has a B.S. in business administration from The Ohio State University and almost 40 years of building experience with Schottenstein Real Estate Group, M/I Homes and M/I Real Estate Co. (the name Schottenstein Real Estate Group was known by until 2003). He brings a great depth of vision, teamwork and marketplace savvy to every project.
Brian, Gary’s son, joined the Schottenstein Real Estate Group two years ago. After graduating from the University of Miami, FL with a BBA in entrepreneurship, Brian went to work for Marcus and Millchap, a Los Angeles real estate brokerage, where he covered retail real estate sales and acquisitions.
“I really wanted to be in development and I also wanted to be in our family business, so I moved back to Columbus and I’ve loved it ever since,” says Brian.
Brian’s industry knowledge and passion for design are evident in his work on the Schottenstein Real Estate Group’s projects. He currently focuses on land acquisitions, zoning and design for the company’s new developments. He also works on managing, leasing and marketing existing communities.
The driving force behind the Schottenstein Real Estate Group’s success is its skilled and experienced executive team. “We’ve got a very good executive team that understands the industry and understands that the residents are all important,” says Gary.
Along with Gary and Brian the team includes Chief Financial Officer/Senior VP, George Harmanis; Senior VP of Construction/Development, Chuck Evans; VP of Construction/Development, Gary Reitter; and Senior VP of Acquisitions and Development, Don Hunter.
This team played an integral role in helping the company win the BIA’s Developer of the Year for an unprecedented third time since the award was established in 2005. The award recognizes a developer for meeting the highest standards of their buyers, renters and industry.
“It’s a great honor for our company to be selected, especially by our peers in the industry, who have high standards,” says Gary.
“We’re really honored and humbled by winning the Developer of the Year for the third time in 2012,” agrees Brian. “All of our associates work really hard every day to reach all of our goals as a company.”
Across the board, company personnel strive to uphold the Schottenstein Real Estate Group’s dedication to integrity and trust. And their enthusiasm for their projects shows.
“We remain very bullish on central Ohio and on the real estate industry,” says Gary. “I think all of our people enjoy coming to work every day and contributing. I think we have a great team.”
Contact Schottenstein Real Estate Group