Bainbridge -- Meijer intends to have an artist create a mural focusing on the former Geauga Lake Park for the entrance of a proposed store in the parking lot of the former amusement park on Route 43.

The store, which has not been officially approved by Bainbridge Township trustees, would be on 41 acres in Bainbridge Township, just across the Aurora border.

"Meijer would put the mural inside the store," said Bainbridge Township Zoning Inspector Karen Endres. "That is part of the nostalgia package. The mural would commemorate the park. They're working on that with the Bainbridge Township Historical Society."

No size has been listed for the mural.

Bainbridge Township trustees have been in discussion with Meijer officials for months in hopes of bringing the superstore to the township.

Meijer proposes to purchase the land from Cedar Fair, based in Sandusky. The company owns the former Geauga Lake Park property. Meijer, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., sells groceries, clothing, pharmacy items and electronics.

Local officials are working on a joint economic development district (JEDD) agreement that would allow Aurora and Bainbridge Township to collect and split income taxes from store employees. Typically, employees in a township do not pay income tax.

"Aurora would supply water and sewer for the new development in exchange for certain tax and revenue sharing with Bainbridge Township," Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said.

Bainbridge Township trustees requested Geauga Lake Park-type nostalgia in the proposed store, and Meijer officials responded. In addition, Meijer is planning antique-style light posts outside the store, along with seasonal banners focusing on the former amusement park.

Endres said Meijer plans to put benches in an area inside the main door for senior citizens and handicapped to wait for their transportation.

In addition, Meijer intends to have a phone-in grocery service with a planned area where customers can pick up their items, which would be bagged, Endres said.

"That's a new service they're going to offer," she said. "People can pick up a phoned-in order. They can drive in and drive right back out."

InSite Advisory Group is assisting the city and township with design standards and zoning plans for the property and in other areas of Aurora.

Aurora's portion of the Geauga Lake property was rezoned to mixed-use development by Aurora voters in 2014. Cedar Fair is marketing about 548 acres that lie in the city and township.

Bainbridge trustees could discuss the Meijer situation at its next meeting April 21.


Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187


Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC