The next phase of the Home Road extension project was launched Thursday morning when representatives from a public-private partnership ceremoniously broke ground for the new east-west connector for the southern half of Delaware County.
Among the partners represented in the groundbreaking were the Delaware County Board of Commissioners, Delaware County Engineer’s Office, Orange Township Board of Trustees, Olentangy Local School District, Delaware County Finance Authority, the Kerbler family, Schottenstein Real Estate Group and The Robert Weiler Company.
According to Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman, the project had been looked at on many occasions over the past 20 years, but there were several obstacles that needed to be cleared before moving forward.
“We’re challenged by having three reservoirs, two major rail lines, an interstate highway (I-71) and a U.S. highway (U.S. 23) all going north (and) south through this region, and it creates obstacles for poor east (and) west movement,” he said. “Today, we’re addressing that, at least in this first part of this important connection, that will open next year in 2020. It builds a really important piece of infrastructure for our community.”
County Administrator Mike Frommer said the project is extremely important to the community, because it helps construct a vital east and west corridor, among other things.
“In the process, it’s creating over 100 acres of prime commercial manufacturing land here in the heart of Delaware County and Orange Township,” he said. “But, what I want to focus on more is the manner in which the project became a reality.”
Frommer told the crowd that it all started with the Delaware County Board of Commissioners building a professional team within the county and working hand-in-hand with them to develop the needed partnerships to take the project off the drawing board and make it a reality.
“This project is a perfect model of a successful public-private partnership,” he said. “As the benefits are many, have no doubt that we will use it in Delaware County as a blueprint moving forward.”
The over “100 acres of prime” land will first see the development of Orange Grand Communities, which will feature 288 units of up to 3-bedroom garden and townhome apartments with some having attached garages, 68 empty nester attached rental homes with two first-floor master suites and two-car garages. The development will also include amenities such as an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse, heated resort-style pool, 24-hour fitness center, multiple lounges, a fire pit, game room, putting green, bocce ball court, dog park, business room and community gardens.
“The location of Orange Grand Communities is right in the path of growth and will be the nicest rental community in the area,” said Schottenstein Real Estate Group President Brian Schottenstein. “This was a true team effort and a great example of a successful public-private partnership. Thanks to the leadership of Delaware County, Orange Township and Olentangy Schools, the Home Road Extension has now become reality.”
The Home Road extension is the first major project undertaken by the county’s Transportation Improvement District (TID). In this phase of the $10 million project, a nearly one-mile long, four-lane roadway from U.S. 23 to just west of the Norfolk Southern/CSX railroad tracks will meet Home Road. The new roadway will also feature extensions to Graphics Way and Green Meadow Drive. In addition, the project includes a one-mile sanitary sewer extension.
TIDs are tools used by county governments to obtain state funding for transportation projects and to streamline the processes for project bidding, selecting contractors and consultants, locating utilities, and more. The benefits also apply to projects undertaken by a partnership with private developers and with other jurisdictions in the county.
For more information about the Delaware County Transportation Improvement District, visit https://tid.co.delaware.oh.us/.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.