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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bainbridge Leaders Reviewing Meijer Proposal to Build Atop Geauga Lake Park Land

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 2:57 PM

You can stop with the Kickstarter campaigns and Throwback Thursdays now. It looks like Geauga Lake Amusement Park will truly never return. Michigan-based superstore Meijer put the last nail in the beloved park's coffin by offering to buy 41 acres of the roller coaster graveyard in Bainbridge.

After thriving for 120 years as an amusement park, Geauga Lake called it quits in 2007. Since then the property, owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment, has been pursued by movie theater chains, mega-marts and theme parks. Now it seems as though Meijer is the first business to seal the deal by submitting its application to build to the city's zoning committee. 

The corporate retailer is known for selling everything from groceries to home goods and is in the last steps of getting approved to build by the city.

The proposed store will look something like a miniature Crocker Park with a coffee shop, gas station and several other small Meijer-owned businesses.

While the proposition looks quaint, the big corporation has had no problem letting Bainbridge know it isn't a mom-and-pop shop. Meijer submitted demands to the city to ban a string of businesses from buying up the rest of Geauga Lake. If the list is approved, movie theaters, gas stations, coffee shops, pharmacies and a host of other viable shops would be prohibited from buying or building within 200 feet of Meijer. Zoning inspector of Bainbridge Karen Elders said it's unlikely the retail giant will get its wish to ban other businesses from the area. However, the city is still negotiating.

To sweeten the pot and maybe to soften the blow of banning businesses, Meijer has offered to build a road as well as a sidewalk to its proposed location and turn it over to the city once completed. 

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