The Tanger outlet-store mall is tentatively scheduled to open to the public the morning of June 24. That was one of many updates provided in a “State of the County” address Thursday by Delaware County commissioners.
“This is probably the most frequent question I get,” said Commission President Barb Lewis on Thursday. “Thanks to the mild winter, everything is on track for the grand opening in June.”
The mall, at 400 S. Wilson Road, is 90 percent occupied, Lewis said. The 80-plus tenants include: Ann Taylor Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Coach, Gap Factory Store, J. Crew Factory, The North Face, Talbots Outlet, Under Armour. Tanger is in the process of hiring full-time staff.
Wilson Road from Routes 36/37 to Rider Road is open to the public. In addition, work has begun on a new, mile-long lane to the exit ramp on Interstate 71.
The other major retail development is IKEA, which Lewis said should break ground this spring and open next summer.
“It’ll have all the bells and whistles,” Lewis said of the 354,000 square-foot furniture store, which will employ 300. In order to improve traffic in the area, there will be an extension to Gemini Parkway; and widening Bale Kenyon, Powell and Worthington roads.
Commissioner Gary Merrell said the county’s new judicial building, currently being built next to the Hayes Building, is expected to be finished by mid-summer 2017. The building will house the county’s two existing common pleas courts, a new common pleas court for domestic relations, adult probation services, clerk of courts operations, the state’s Fifth District Court of Appeals and three levels of parking (two indoor, one outdoor).
“The city worked with us, and we made it happen,” Merrell said. “We’ll have a really great judicial campus.”
The Sawmill Parkway extension project is expected to be completed in October, but Merrell said: “A lot of the work is already done. I won’t be surprised if it opens early. This will open up Delaware city to south.”
The $30.4 million project will extend Sawmill Parkway from Hyatts Road to U.S. 42 North.
Commissioner Jeff Benton spoke about other development in the county, including the MC Fitness & Health complex that opened in January and a possible Big Walnut interchange along I-71.
Seven years ago, a feasibility study said the project would cost $80 million to $90 million. A study six months ago said the project could cost $30 million to $40 million.
“A construction project is still at least four years off, but the goal will be to facilitate commuter needs, not economic development,” Benton said.
“There is a lot going on in this county, so much to get excited about,” Merrell said.
“I think Delaware County is the best county in the state to live, work and play in, and we want to keep it that way,” Benton said.
The “State of the County” address took place at SourcePoint as part of the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Third Thursday luncheon. Chamber executive director Holly Quaine said this was the eighth year county commissioners have given the presentation, but this year’s turnout was the largest yet.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.