By Dustin Ensinger
The boundaries of the Village of Sunbury could soon extend west of Interstate 71.
The developer of the proposed Northgate Centre has filed a third petition to annex Berkshire Township land into the Village of Sunbury.
The latest annexation request covers 255 acres of land from South Galena Road to Three B’s & K Road.
The annexation will not only pave the way for the development, it will also allow for another interchange to be constructed, according to Phil Craig, a spokesman for developer Pat Shivley.
“It essentially take us from Sunbury all the way across (the interstate) and prepares us for the southern interchange that most people agree is the best option to relieve traffic off of (U.S.) 36 and (Ohio) 37,” he said.
The development plans had originally called for an outlet mall, along with 20 full-sized soccer and lacrosse fields, eight to 12 baseball fields, a 60,000-square foot indoor sports facility with an adjoining hotel, and in the future, a natatorium with a fitness center. The plans also call for six to eight hotels with between 600 and 1,000 rooms within walking distance to the outlet mall and sports facilities.
However, Craig said the outlet mall has been nixed from the plans as NorthGate Centre will work national outlet mall developer Tanger Outlets who has already gained approval to build an outlet mall to the north of the area proposed for annexation.
“There’s only so much room for an outlet mall to be developed and that’s the one that’s going to be developed,” Craig said.
Craig also said the most recent annexation request will not be the last.
The Sunbury Village Council has already approved one annexation, covering 128 acres. Another annexation covering 184 acres has yet to be taken up by council.
“The project is moving ahead with the full faith and support of the Sunbury Village Council,” Craig said.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.