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Op-ed: People of Delaware County will never recover from Planet Oasis

Sean Buzenski

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“Queuing on the exit ramps at the interchange routinely extends onto the freeway mainline, causing operational and safety concerns. Stopped traffic on I-71 northbound during the afternoon peak hour is a near-daily occurrence as traffic waits to exit onto US 36/SR 37. Unfortunately, the resulting increase in traffic is crippling the potential for future growth.” -Ohio Department of Transportation on the Improved Interchange at I-71 & Routes 36/37 & Proposed Sunbury Parkway​​​​.

“We call this the ultimate entertainment experience,” developer David Glimcher told The Dispatch. He went on to say Planet Oasis is “the biggest project in Ohio for the past 40 or 50 years.”

“So many varied experiences in one area will be a magnet for 100 million people within a five hour drive to unwind and enjoy adventures together,” Matt MacLaren director of Ohio tourism told The Dispatch.

Before delving into these quotes, let me first start out by saying I am a resident of Delaware County and I am very much concerned about Planet Oasis, the entertainment complex planned for my area.

Now, I have honed in on these quotes because they seem to be the most concerning examples from professionals about what is going to happen to the place my family and I call home.

Let’s break them down.

Fact 1: The interchange at interstate 71 and US36/SR37 is overwhelmed in its current state and it seems to be the opinion of the Ohio Department of transportation that the potential for any growth in the area has been crippled.

Fact 2: This is the biggest project in Ohio in the last 40 or 50 years.

Fact 3: The target audience is 100 million of our closet neighbors within a five hour drive.

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When considering all these facts, the most glaringly obvious issue that surfaces would be the total lack of preparedness of the highway system.

Time and time again, we all have seen road construction plans become outdated and crews becoming overwhelmed while trying to meet the completion deadline. This is, of course, made evident by the constant presence of our beloved orange barrels.

This will no doubt be the case again.

And not only will my newborn child be graduating from high school by the supposed completion date of 2035, but the plan for the new exit from 71 N, south of 36/37 will cut a wide gash through Berkshire Township and Sunbury leaving no area unscathed.

There are already questions arising as to how Berkshire township’s infrastructure and it’s 3,085 residents (according to the 2010 census) are going to be able to coexist and even survive next to this gargantuan project boastfully projecting 4,000 to 5,000 hotel rooms, at least 70 restaurants, and the 15,000 to 25,000 jobs that will be created.

Which leads me to my next point: Planet Oasis seems to be shoving the job creation aspect of the complex into the forefront but I don’t believe this should be a bragging point at all.

It is my humble opinion that the majority of those jobs will be low paying hourly wage/part time jobs owing nothing to the employees in terms of healthcare or any other benefits for that matter.

Lastly, I would like to personally thank Planet Oasis for making it all too obvious how little concern they have for our beautiful land and nature in general with their helium balloon launch at their kickoff event at A.D. Farrow Harley Davidson.

There are so many causes for concern that have not even been openly considered, too; water consumption, air and light pollution, rise in crime rates, police and fire that will be responsible for the safety of all of these employees and visitors, etc. etc.

Developers haven’t even broken ground yet and I believe we already have enough evidence to know this is a project the people of Delaware County will never be able to recover from.

—Sean Buzenski, concerned Sunbury resident

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Biz + Dev

1 popular restaurant, 1 secret bar planned for Bridge Park concept

614now

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Two separate hospitality companies are to expand to Bridge Park; one you may recognize, one you may not.

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants will be opening a second Pearl location in the western portion of the Dublin development, reports Columbus Business First. The original Pearl is located at 86 N High St.

In the lower level of the restaurant will be No Soliciting, a members-only bourbon bar. The flagship No Soliciting bar is located at 119 E Chestnut St, Columbus. This bar comes to us from Rise Brands, the company behind 16-Bit Bar + Arcade and Pins Mechanical Co.

The Pearl at Bridge Park will be two stories and offer a view of the Scioto River from its patio. Similar to the Short North location, their menu will revolve around seafood. This will be CMR’s third venture at Bridge Park with Cap City Diner and The Avenue Steak Tavern already operating.

Rise Brands already has a presence at Bridge Park, also. The company opened Pins Mechanical Co. on the east side of the development in 2017, and 16-Bit followed last year. Rise Brands is planning to add a yet-to-be-named quick-service restaurant there, too.

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The original No Soliciting opened in 2017. Membership applications are accepted online and must be approved by No Soliciting’s founding members. Members can then access the bar by ringing up the old rotary phone at 119 E Chestnut St.

At the Bridge Park location, members will enter via a private entrance. Plans call for an outdoor patio/grotto area, more square footage than the downtown location, and a room where sporting events will be shown.

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Biz + Dev

Updates on Dublin’s North Market project

614now

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Construction has just begun on Block D of Dublin’s Bridge Park development which is to include a second North Market concept.

Crawford Hoying design director Russ Hunter told Dublin News in :90 that we can expect Dublin’s North Market to open in spring 2020.

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Hunter says guests will recognize some places from the original North market at 59 Spruce St, but promises there will be some new names, too. It will be located on the ground floor of the Block D parking garage on Longshore Street between Tuller Ridge and John Shields Parkway.

Block D will also feature all the other amenities we’ve come to expect from multi-use projects like this: retail, offices, restaurants, apartments.

To learn more about what’s going on at Bridge Park, click here.

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Biz + Dev

Confirmed: Google surfing into central Ohio

Kelsey Lawrence

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed big plans today that involve the city of Columbus. As part of a $13 billion expansion of the company, Pichai confirmed with Columbus Business First that a data center in New Albany will open this year. This has been speculated for months now.

Back in October, a Google affiliate called Montauk Innovations LLC acquired more than 440 acres of land north of Morse Road and west of Beech Road in New Albany for a potential $600 million data center—about a mile from where Facebook’s $750 million data center is being built.

The data center is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs during the construction and once it opens.

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The City of New Albany is jazzed about the news, posted on Facebook how excited they are for the new addition to the New Albany International Business Park.

“You are going to love being a part of our technology cluster, and the $750,000 in new annual revenues the city will receive beginning in 2021 is equivalent to a $37.5 million payroll,” they wrote. Our community will also love the fact that our two school partners will share more than $1 million annually in new revenues once construction is complete. Thank you!

Welcome to #NewAlbanyOhio, Google! We are excited about your investment in the New Albany International Business Park,…

Posted by New Albany, Ohio Government on Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Thirteen other states are also part of the expansion plans.

Read more about the Google expansion in a blog post written by Sundar Pichai himself.

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