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The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
A $2 billion sports-and-entertainment complex is in the works for Delaware County. And though the plan for Planet Oasis lacks a firm timetable, it doesn't lack organized opposition.
Traffic is at the heart of neighbors' concerns.
After the park was announced June 28, a group of concerned Delaware County residents created a Facebook page called Protect Delaware County from "Planet Oasis."
"This is not at all what any of us anticipated by moving to a rural community," said Austin Slattery, 58. He is a part of the Facebook group against Planet Oasis, which has more than 600 likes.
He lives in Berkshire Township, about a mile and half from the proposed Planet Oasis site. He said the entertainment center will lengthen his daily commute to his job in Downtown Columbus.
"This is definitely going to bring traffic issues," he said.
The Planet Oasis will be located on 350 acres adjacent to the Tanger Outlet mall on the east side of I-71 in Delaware County, an already busy area.
"There is always going to be impact if any type of development takes place," said David Glimcher, CEO of Blue Horseshoe Ventures, developer of the project.
The Ohio Department of Transportation and Delaware County have requested a traffic-impact study, Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman said.
ODOT has not yet received the study from the developers, ODOT spokeswoman Nancy Burton said. Mark Mann, of CT Consultants Inc., said it will be completed toward the end of the year.
"We're going to see what impact, if any, any development has on the roadway system," Mann said.
The average daily traffic count was 89,915 on I-71 at the Rts. 36/ 37 interchange in 2017, Burton said.
Glimcher said Planet Oasis plans call for improvements to Rts. 36/ 37 . The improvements would extend east of Wilson Road to Galena Road -- the full length of Project Oasis. There will be a four- to five-lane cross section along Rts.36/ 37 and there will be a road that will run parallel to existing Wilson Road through the site.
"Obviously, we are aware of what is necessary to provide the best traffic conditions," he said.
Glimcher has experience with large commercial projects, having once led Glimcher Realty Trust, which developed Polaris Fashion Place.
The Planet Oasis complex, as envisioned, would include indoor skydiving, go-kart racing, rock climbing, an indoor water park, skate park, BMX racing and e-sports, as well as other attractions. A wellness center, hotels, a conference center and at least 70 restaurants also are in the plans.
Nearly half of Planet Oasis is expected to open by December 2019, Glimcher said.
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