Bainbridge -- A potential Meijer store moved one step closer to reality when the Bainbridge Township trustees unanimously approved the company's application for a lot split recently.
Meijer plans to split 41 acres at the former Geauga Lake Amusement Park on the Aurora-Bainbridge Township border to build a proposed 200,000-square-foot store.
"The next steps include finalizing the lot split and consolidation of the parcels, so Meijer can proceed with the application process," said Jennifer Syx of inSITE, a consulting firm that is assisting Aurora and Bainbridge in drafting the design standards for the Geauga Lake area.
Bainbridge Township trustees have been in discussion with Meijer officials for months in hopes of bringing a Meijer store to their township.
Syx said Meijer, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., is expected to have 250 full-time equivalent jobs at the store.
A Meijer spokesperson could not be reached for comment by the Advocate's press deadline.
The Geauga Lake land that was rezoned to mixed-use development by Aurora voters in 2014 is owned by Cedar Fair of Sandusky. The proposed Meijer location is on the Bainbridge portion of the property.
The rezoning created a mixed-use district for 548 acres in and around the former Geauga Lake property in the northern part of the city and Bainbridge Township. The property includes about 200 acres in Bainbridge.
"Bainbridge Township is creating a vision for the Geauga Lake District that includes a new mixed-use development concept yet that will be unique to the township," Syx said. "We have spent a great deal of time in the planning phase to ensure both the Meijer and the rest of the project include aspects that are important to the community."
Syx said deed restrictions might be finalized by May 15.
"It appears that Meijer has agreed to reduce its deed restrictions to only those that would be objectionable to the township and now are acceptable to the board of trustees," Trustee Jeff Markley said.
Examples of appropriate deed restrictions would be no pawns shops and tattoo parlors, trustees said.
Meijer officials intend to have an artist create a mural focusing on the former Geauga Lake Park for the entrance of a proposed store located on the parking lot of the former amusement park on Aurora Road.
"Meijer is going to put the mural inside the store," said Karen Endres, Bainbridge Township zoning inspector. "That is part of their nostalgia package. The mural will commemorate the park. They're working on that with the Bainbridge Township Historical Society."
No size has been determined for the mural.
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