PARK

The Columbus Dispatch - - Metro&state - Mfer­ench@dis­patch.com @MarkFerenchik

moun­tain bik­ing; climb­ing and rap­pelling; and ca­noe­ing, kayak­ing and pad­dle-board­ing. The site also in­cludes an old rail­road tres­tle and tun­nel.

The park sys­tem plans to de­velop ac­cess to the wa­ter­fall and a scenic over­look next year, Metro Parks Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Tim Moloney said.

Metro Parks plans to buy an­other 118 acres next year, Moloney said. Wa­gen­bren­ner will then do­nate 40 acres from the 607-acre site to the space that will in­clude a multi-use trail, bring­ing the park to 220 acres.

Wa­gen­bren­ner’s project will in­clude con­do­mini­ums, apart­ments, of­fices and re­tail. But that won’t hap­pen un­til the site is cleaned up. Mark Wa­gen­bren­ner, the com­pany’s pres­i­dent, said the plan could change once that is done.

Wa­gen­bren­ner said his com­pany plans to close on the sale of its part of the site by the end of the year.

“I’m su­per-ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity,” he said.

An eco­nomic-devel­op­ment agree­ment be­tween the city and Wa­gen­bren­ner Devel­op­ment is ex­pected to go be­fore the Colum­bus City Coun­cil on Mon­day. The Dis­patch asked to see the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion. But Cyn­thia Rick­man, the devel­op­ment de­part­ment spokes­woman, said the agree­ment had not been fi­nal­ized and the doc­u­ments won’t be ready un­til Thurs­day. The Dis­patch asked to see draft leg­is­la­tion, which is pub­lic record un­der state law.

“It’s a brown­field. There’s a mas­sive amount of in­fra­struc­ture and cleanup (needed),” Wa­gen­bren­ner said.

The site will be Metro Parks’ sec­ond park within In­ter­state 270, af­ter Scioto Audubon Metro Park south of Down­town. Metro Parks Com­mis­sioner Greg Lashutka called it a unique prop­erty that has fea­tures that can­not be du­pli­cated in cen­tral Ohio.

Moloney said ameni­ties at the new park will help the sys­tem stay rel­e­vant with the peo­ple who use the parks. Those who ride moun­tain bikes, for ex­am­ple, range from teenagers to older adults, he said.

“It’s not just hard-core 25-year-olds any­more,” Moloney said. “We’re al­ways look­ing at what is de­sired by our users.”

The park sys­tem is not look­ing at any other ur­ban sites for park­land right now, he added.

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