NorthGate Commerce District has been in the news during the past several years, but one key element that will make the retail development a reality is the yet to be built Interstate-71 and routes 36-37 Interchange modifications that would create a southern interchange near the closed ODOT weigh station on northbound I-71.
Columbus developer Pat Shivley had a vision for what NorthGate could become 10 years ago, and his patience and perseverance seems to have paid off. Shivley and his NorthGate Development, LLC Partnership recently announced the that they are moving forward with an upscale, residential, commercial, and recreational complex on property annexed over the past several years into the Village of Sunbury.
A recent NorthGate press release shows an inaugural footprint of The Shoppes at NorthGate Centre phase of the development with a host of amenities. Opening in 2019, The Shoppes at NorthGate Centre would be located at the Northeast quadrant of I-71 and the newly planned Sunbury interchange.
The Shoppes at NorthGate’s proposed site plan shows a mixed-use, open-air hospitality and retail complex, featuring 166,000 square feet of big-box discount stores, 82,000 square feet of strip center and outlets, 24,000 square feet of restaurant space, two hotels, and the ability to add up to 140 residential units.
According to the release, the design will mirror the small-town ambiance of Sunbury and will offer a splash pad fountain, a performance stage for local talent, Wi-Fi service, cell phone and EV charging stations, and shaded seating located among the surrounding retailers.
During a March 28 meeting of the Sunbury/NorthGate New Community Authority Board of Directors, Shivley said an environmental impact study is the only hurdle to be crossed before a final master development agreement and a sewer agreement could be crafted.
“We hope by this time next year we’re pushing dirt for the southern interchange and a 38-acre auto mall,” Shivley said at that meeting. “We’ve been working with the village to expand sewer services to service our area out at the freeway.”
During the same meeting members of the NCA board approved spending $75,000 to acquire the final sanitary sewer easement that would allow the construction of a sanitary sewer line to service commercial customers at The Shoppes at NorthGate Centre.
Shivley said one key element of getting sewer service to NorthGate is to get the developer of the Price property moving forward; he said that developer and Vince Romanelli, developer of a 150-home development on the former Sunbury Golf Course on Golf Course Road, should have formal applications at Sunbury Zoning in two the three months.
Because the sewer’s 36-inch line is so deep, Shivley said it would cost $1.6 million to install.
The contract to install that sewer line has already been awarded to Facemeyer Construction.
“Sewer is complicated, and the county has been very aggressive about wanting that sewer,” Shivley said. “But with the Sunbury Meadows Pump Station we know the village’s wastewater treatment plant has the capacity to service our area, and the village wants this.”
Shivley said Wilson Road would be extended 1,800 feet to the south at a cost of $3.8 million.
With the Wilson Road extension, construction of The Shoppes at NorthGate and one auto dealership would be permitted prior to the construction of the I-71 southern interchange.
Phase A of the southern interchange would cost $54 million, Shivley said; and Sunbury Parkway, a road leading from the I-71 southern interchange into Sunbury would cost $14 million to build.
“The total cost for the southern interchange when it’s done is $162 million,” Shivley said.
“Delaware County gave $8 million for the Simon-Tanger improvements, but are paying zero dollars for this phase of improvements. At this point, it will be paid for by the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Village of Sunbury, the developers, the Sunbury/NorthGate NCA, and others.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.