BERKSHIRE TOWNSHIP — In June 2018, with much fanfare, plans to construct a $2 billion sports and entertainment resort in Delaware County were announced. Nearly two years later, the 350-acre project remains undeveloped.
Whatever happened to Planet Oasis, or as it later became to be called, Arcadia?
“This is the entertainment venue of the future. We’re bringing everything together, because Columbus is the center of the universe,” developer David Glimcher said at the time during a press conference inside the A.D. Farrow Harley-Davidson in Sunbury and Berkshire Township.
Planet Oasis was going to be the largest combination of action sports, attractions, dining, entertainment and health and wellness facilities in the country, Glimcher said. It was going to be built across from the Tanger Outlet Mall at the intersection of Interstate 71 and state Routes 36/37.
You name it, Planet Oasis would have had it — a giant ferris wheel, a roller coaster, saltwater lake with sand beaches and a boardwalk, amphitheater, conference center, e-sports facility, nightclubs, indoor skydiving, indoor water park, indoor multi-sport facility, shooting gallery, butterfly museum, BMX biking, climbing, skateboarding, surfing, paddle boats, karting, virtual golf, laser tag, video games, movie theater, bowling, 75 restaurants, spa, fitness center, grocery store, nutritional supplement lab, retail shops, and up to 5,000 hotel rooms. Best of all, there would be something available at every price level, Glimcher and his partners said.
On an economic level, it was said that Planet Oasis would attract up to 25,000 jobs and hundred of millions of dollars in tax revenue to Delaware County. The largest construction project in Ohio in the last half-century would only take a year to build for the first phase and open at the end of 2019.
Berkshire Township, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and possibly other agencies would have had to approve the plans before any construction could begin.
While there was initial enthusiasm for Planet Oasis from local officials, there were more mixed reviews from the public. Many did not like the amusement park aspects of the development, and others were concerned the area would be subject to urban sprawl.
Later in 2018, there was a contest to rename the redesigned development, which had ditched some of the carnival-like features. Arcadia, a name that blended nature and gaming, was selected.
The reason for the name change was squabbling over development rights between Glimcher (Planet Oasis) and Tony Sekulovski (Arcadia). On Nov. 9, 2018, Sekulovski filed suit against Glimcher in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
At the State of County address in February 2019, Commissioner Jeff Benton addressed Planet Oasis/Arcadia. He said the two groups have filed their dispute of ownership in court, and the board of commissioners has not seen any plans that would enable the project to break ground.
“When and if progress is made by whichever party deemed by the courts to be involved, we assure you that all the issues that we have control over — roads, sewers and platting — will be addressed,” he said. “We will expect whatever is built on the site to meet (county) requirements.”
On Oct. 11, 2019, the lawsuit was settled, with Tony and Alex Sekulovski’s Blue Horseshoe Ventures named the sole developer by Judge James P. Schuck. Glimcher and his Blue Horsehoe Development was said to hold no contractual rights and could not interfere with the project’s development.
Yet more than six months later, nothing has happened.
Officials from Delaware County and Berkshire Township recently told The Gazette that no plans to date have been brought before them.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.