Though Geauga Lake and SeaWorld have been closed for well over a decade, a development is set to inject new life — and amusement — into the unused property in Aurora and Bainbridge Township. We spoke with Chris Salata, chief operating officer of Solon’s Industrial Commercial Properties, to find out what’s on tap for these 377 acres.
Work, Live and Play: The new Geauga Lake District is intended for those who want to put down roots on this historic property. Plans show a new Menards prototype and over 400 housing units, including high-end homes right on the water. “Once you have the people there, that will lead to more entertainment-type destinations like restaurants, lakeside retail and entertainment venues,” Salata says.
Touch of Nostalgia: The spirit of the historic park will show up in a series of design choices incorporated into the plan, including landscaping, streetscaping and construction materials. Signage and lighting reminiscent of the park will complete the throwback scene. “There is a substantial set of design guidelines negotiated with the township to ensure that the future will pay homage to the past,” says Salata.
Water Feature: At the center of the project is the 50-acre Geauga Lake — where people pyramids of water skiers once dazzled spectators — and the design is intended to honor that body of water. Visitors will be able to walk around the lake, with stops at possible lakeside amenities like a park and a beach. “The goal is to activate and highlight the lake and all the resources it presents,” Salata says.