Riazzi said the terms of the agreement are structured so that event operations in the space will be separate from the building. The new owner will sign his 10-year lease for the space and take ownership of the building upon its termination.
Riazzi will own the property for 10 years.
“I think it's natural,” he said in an interview. “They have been working with us for the last few years. They are our largest caterer in terms of the number of events we do annually. We started working exclusively with them about 10 to 12 months ago. We had a catering contract in place. It seemed like a natural progression.”
Molly McConnell said the deal was a “no-brainer” for her and her husband.
“This is a first-class place,” she said. “I'm so excited to be a part of it, to be a part of this area. It's growing so fast. I love seeing all the changes that are happening.”
The City of Dayton sold the power plant to Riazzi's St. Peter Partners LLC for $10 in September 2015, requiring the plant to invest “several million” dollars in remediation and reuse.
The most recent transaction price was “just around $10 million,” Riazzi said Friday.
“Not a bad return,” he said.
Riazzi spent approximately $3.8 million renovating the very former Dayton Power & Light Steam Plant at 617 E. Third Street into upscale office and event space, anchoring the Webster Station neighborhood revitalization .
DP&L closed the plant in the 1980s.
The site, which opened in 2017, has proven to be a popular place to rent for special events such as weddings, parties and Are O Ween.
McConnell said the catering company's administrative and kitchen functions will remain at Moraine's Mandalay Banquet Center.
In November 2019, Riazzi was sentenced in federal court to two years' probation and a $40,000 fine for illegally removing asbestos-containing material from the venue's roof.
Mr. Riazzi pleaded guilty in summer 2019 to a federal felony charge of failing to thoroughly inspect the facility before making renovations.
In a statement at the time, Mr. Riazzi accepted responsibility for his actions but said he did not intend to cause any harm and did not know or believe an asbestos test was required.
But in a draft press release shared with the Dayton Daily News, Riazzi said he was “hate to settle” and called the situation a “great injustice.”
“Today's sale is not about that,” Riazzi said Friday. “It's no secret, but I felt like I was dragged into the mud by the EPA. I just want balance…At the end of the day, I feel like I've really contributed to the community. When I first started, Webster Station wasn’t what it is now.”