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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Time and time again, we all have seen road construction plans become outdated and crews becoming overwhelmed while trying to meet the completion deadline.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

German Village property owner looking to bring new restaurant to the area

614now Staff

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A property owner in German Village hopes to fill a vacant storefront in the next few weeks. What do you think should go in the space at 277 E Livingston Ave.?

Edward Mershad told This Week News he is updating the structure of the property with hopes a restaurant will move in and open by early summer.

The building was formerly occupied by the Happy Dragon. It was to become a Philco Diner + Bar by restaurateurs Randy and Tina Corbin, who also own Club 185, but plans fell through.

For more information, visit This Week News.

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Biz + Dev

Two popular restaurants announced for New Albany development

614now Staff

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Two tasty vendors were just announced for a new development in New Albany. Market & Main is pleased to welcome Katzinger’s Delicatessen and Harvest X Three Tigers to its unique mix of offerings.

Katzinger’s Delicatessen will be located in the Market & Main 2 development on Main Street between Johnson’s Ice Cream and the Heit Center.

Harvest X Three Tigers is a unique collaboration between Harvest owner Chris Crader and Three Tigers Brewing Co. partners Lonnie Hill, Rick Moller and Scott Wilkins. It will be located on 1.5-acres at the former New Albany Mill site at the corner of Main Street and Dublin-Granville Road, which will maintain its historical character in homage to New Albany’s heritage and rural history, according to a release.

Katzinger’s seating capacity is expected to be around 60 and Harvest X Three Tigers will hold even more in approximately 8,000 square feet of interior space as well as an outdoor bier garten area, according to a release.

New Albany’s Market & Main area in the heart of town now has 220,000 square feet of commercial space. Tenants there include corporate office users like Wallick and UBS, as well as independent operators like Truluck, Elliott Cooper, PetPeople, Whit’s, and Fox in the Snow.

“We’ve partnered with companies who provide tailored products and services that our residents want,” said New Albany Company President Bill Ebbing. “These tenants know that New Albany is a place where they can succeed, especially between our 11,000 residents and the more than 15,000 employees who work in the New Albany International Business Park.”

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Biz + Dev

New batch of stores, restaurants announced for New Albany development

614now Staff

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Hamilton Quarter, the hot new development at Hamilton and Dublin-Granville roads in New Albany, will be welcoming several new stores and restaurants.

Aqua Tots, Nail Boutique, Great Clips, Clean Juice, Shred 415, Sprint, and City Barbeque are all expected to open this month, reports the Columbus Dispatch.

And in April, GLAMhouse and Beerhead Bar & Eatery, and Chili’s restaurant are planning to open their doors.

Hamilton Quarter's anchor stores include Target, Hobby Lobby, and Five Below.

The 40-acre retail center is part of a larger development, which will include a 500,000-square-foot Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center facility.

For more information, click here.

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