Bainbridge Township Trustees for years have been working to find the right fit for the former Geauga Lake Amusement Park site.

The popular park with its iconic wooden rollercoaster closed in 2007 after SeaWorld Ohio left in 2000. What has made this expanse of land different from other vacant areas is its history of being a recreational site dating back to the 1880s.

A surprise came on Sunday. Industrial Commercial Properties, LLC, known as ICP, and Bainbridge Township Trustees announced a breakthrough after settling a legal dispute over zoning issues.

The result was a partnership between ICP and trustees for a mixed-use development at the 377-acre site on the Bainbridge side of the expansive Geauga Lake land.

This is a major step forward. Looking at the initial renderings of the proposal, we are excited about the project and optimistic that it will benefit Bainbridge, Geauga County and Northeast Ohio. The plan calls for ICP to purchase the land from Cedar Fair, L.P. and then build a cohesive community, called the Geauga Lake District, with houses, retail and much more. Trustees point out that the public will have access to the lake and developers will pay homage to the history of the land.

ICP’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Salata talked about the emotional connection longtime residents have with Geauga Lake. We know that this understanding of the area has been important to trustees.

Initial plans call for Menards to purchase 24 acres and build a new concept store that could open in 2022. Mr. Salata hinted that there would be high-end apartments right on the lake but not any single-family homes. The renderings show parkland, boardwalks and docks.

We look forward to hearing more details and seeing the project unfold. At last, there is a future for Geauga Lake.

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