AURORA, Ohio — Plans for development near Geauga Lake will create an entirely new neighborhood. Probably not as much fun as a theme park, but better than nothing.
Pulte Group submitted plans to the city of Aurora for 245 acres of land currently owned by Cedar Fair that sits on the Aurora side of the property. Those plans include residential neighborhoods with commercial and retail space nearby. And 111 acres of the property will be given to the city to be used as park land.
Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin says the proposal has potential and aligns with what the city envisioned.
“There’s definitely, I think, potential with this plan,” Womer Benjamin said in an interview Monday. “And I’m looking forward to watching its progress.”
To date, there have been many failed ideas to deal with the 650 acres of land that is split between Aurora and Bainbridge Township. But Womer Benjamin is hopeful this one works – also believing residential can be a good fit in her city.
“Proposals have fallen through for the Geauga Lake Area. So you’re never sure what’s going to happen until it happens,” she said.
In terms of a need for residential, she added “Aurora is a very popular community with great schools. And we are attracting new residents now. That’s all positive.”
Pulte Group declined to comment on the proposal at this stage of the process. It’s now heading to the city’s planning commission.
Looking at the map that was submitted, development will encompass east parking lot which served Wildwater Kingdom and SeaWorld guests in its heyday. Development will continue east from that point – a majority of which is an undeveloped wooded area.
That means the land where remnants of Geauga Lake and Wildwater Kingdom sit will remain untouched by this project. Despite that fact, the likelihood of a comeback is miniscule.
“Geauga Lake park is not coming back,” said Womer Benjamin.
But if the proposed plan comes to fruition, the theme parks history will live on in future development of the area.
“I think it will certainly be part of the design process and discussions going forward.”
SeaWorld first closed in 2004 followed by Geauga Lake in 2007. After taking over the land where Sea World once was, Wildwater Kingdom closed in 2016.