BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) – Excavators are tearing out remnants of what used to be the Geauga Lake amusement park, making way for new development on the property.
Where a go-cart track, wave pool and roller coasters once stood, the heavy machinery is clearing the way for new apartments and stores.
The park was closed for good in 2007. Since then, buildings and rides that once stood there have gradually fallen. The Big Dipper roller coaster was demolished in 2016.
“Everything has been demolished and it’s basically just concrete floor covering so to speak, but yeah, it’s rewarding. It’s taken a long time, obviously, to get to a point to where a developer has come forward and is not only committed to just developing it for their own interest, but to be willing to work with the township to facilitate some restoration of memories and nostalgia and incorporate that into the future projects that will come there,” said Bainbridge Township Trustee Jeff Markley.
The first new development on more than 19 acres, the Bainbridge Township site of the former amusement park is likely to be a community of apartment homes.
The community is being developed by Vision Development of Columbus with the expectation that it will pay homage to the park and the memories that were created there.
“We’re never going to see an amusement ride or an amusement park there, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still try to find a way of recreating some memories by maybe, I don’t know, stands that have a picture of what the place might have looked like. Maybe that plays against what’s there now. Maybe it’s something that might have been donated by the park,” said Markley.
Public access is expected to be permitted to the lake on the property, about three-quarters of which is in Bainbridge Township, according to Markley.
“Reminds me of a resort kind of setting because it includes the volleyball courts and maybe pickleball, you know, cabana playground area. There’s some stormwater wetland basins, there’s green space. It’s just super exciting to see that,” he added.
At the same time, land is being cleared for Solon developer Industrial Commercial Properties, on which the expectation is for stores including Meijer and Menards will be built.
Markley says plans for an additional residential development have also been proposed.
“Short-term I would say 2022-2023 we are going to see construction of the Vision homes as well as, probably in the spring of ’23, I would anticipate Menards and who knows? Maybe Meijer as well,” said Markley. “At least this is going to bring not only the tax dollars but the people and hopefully a vitalization of the history and culture of what that place was, make it exciting again. That’s our goal.”