Monday, September 30th, 2013
By William Kincaid
New development for West Bank Road
Plans include resort-style housing, restaurant, business space
  CELINA -   A condominium/hotel-style resort is planned for West Bank Road on the site of Big Bamboo's Dockside Grill.
The first phase of the The Boardwalk development is expected to be operational by summer, William and James Edmonds of Lakefront Maritime Developers of Mansfield told the newspaper.
The Edmonds did not provide an estimated dollar amount for the project.
Celina Mayor Jeff Hazel said he supports the project and believes the Edmonds' timelines are realistic. William Edmonds is a "mover and shaker," who has developed scores of properties during his career, including condominiums at Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, he said.
"He's got things really in line," Hazel said.
"Currently we are in the final planning stages of developing the project we call 'The Boardwalk' on Grand Lake's west shore in Celina," James Edmonds said. "The first phase of development, which will include the new bar and restaurant Big Bamboo's Dockside Grill and one condominium hotel building, will begin as soon as the planning is completed, the permits are received and once our group has pre-sold enough units."
The Boardwalk will include four condominium-hotel buildings with a total of 150 units, two resort-style swimming pools, retail space for offices, general retail and restaurants and a conference area.
William Edmonds - the father of James Edmonds - said Celina is one of the state's best-kept secrets, a status he intends to change by expanding its appeal with the new development. He believes The Boardwalk will spur additional development around the lake.
"It's a very aggressive plan and it's going to be good for our entire region," Hazel said. "It's going to be a cornerstone in the tourism market for Celina and Grand Lake."
The developers need to apply for zoning variances and setbacks, and work with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources since they're building on West Bank Road along state-owned Grand Lake, Hazel said. He doesn't foresee any other major obstacles, he added.
According to the Edmonds, the condominium-hotels will be a profit-sharing venture. The 330- to 600-square-foot units - ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 each - will be operated as condominiums when the owners stay there. When the owners are away, the units will be rented like hotel rooms.
Hazel said local hotels are usually fully booked during city events and noted The Boardwalk will provide additional options for tourists.
The father-son developers envision the resort as a vacation getaway - condominium owners will be assured a place to stay while enjoying lake activities like the Governor's Cup Regatta, while potentially earning profits when their units are rented out by guests.
"Dockside Grill will be a two-story bar and restaurant with room in the upstairs for events, including a pool and swim-up bar facing the west shore of Grand Lake," a project summary states.
According to the Edmonds, 8 million people reside within a 100-mile radius of the site, making it an ideal spot for the project. Vacationers today are willing to drive one and a half to two hours for recreation, they said.
In addition to the generation of new property and sales taxes, local businesses such as gasoline stations and restaurants will benefit from the development, Hazel said.
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