July, 15, 2013 - Samoa's bio added. Keto's bio updated.
March 06, 2013 - Bios for Kalina, Keet, Keto, Kasatka, and Katina updated.
March 05, 2013 - Geauga Lake land will be sold -- in pieces
Cedar Fair's new strategy for 500 acres of closed amusement park property is taking offers for parcels as small as 3.5 acres
About 500 acres at the closed Geauga Lake amusement park in Aurora and Bainbridge is back up for sale as the real estate market makes its slow ascent from the depths of the recession, though at a far shallower rate than the roller coaster that made the park famous until it closed in 2007.
By STAN BULLARD
About 500 acres at the closed Geauga Lake amusement park in Aurora and Bainbridge is back up for sale as the real estate market makes its slow ascent from the depths of the recession, though at a far shallower rate than the roller coaster that made the park famous until it closed in 2007. Marcus & Millichap associate Cliff West has started marketing the property, but with a new strategy he believes suits today's slow-go real estate market better than past efforts to locate a single buyer for all the land. This time, Mr. West said, landowner Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. will consider offers for smaller parcels, including those as small as 3.5 acres. There's much more interest in three to 30 acres you can immediately develop than 500 acres you have to master-plan to develop,” Mr. West said in an interview. With less than two weeks of marketing efforts under way, Mr. West said he already has a contract to sell 3.5 acres on state Route 43 in Aurora to a national retailer. Mr. West said he believes land on Route 43 will be most attractive to buyers because of other commercial development on the highly trafficked artery. Mr. West said he also is in serious talks with a homebuilder who wants to buy 30 acres near Depot Road on the west end of the former park. He said he won't identify prospective buyers until individual transactions close. Mr. West said which parcels move first likely will be dictated by their proximity to existing utilities. However, there are roads on all sides of the park to assist in its sale, he said.
An expert in land sales, Mr. West said interest in land purchases among home builders and developers of lots for homes has increased in Northeast Ohio in the last six months compared to none a year ago. Bill Sanderson, a principal at Chardon-based Eclipse Homes and an executive at the land group of Forest City Enterprises Inc. until last Dec. 31, said he expects national and a few regional home builders will be interested in portions of the site. He said he expects that interest to rise slowly as builders exhaust existing supplies of land in attractive areas with municipal and township approvals in place. “Only a few builders have the resources and energy to go through the entitlement process for large parcels of land today,” Mr. Sanderson said. He said he believes portions of the land that have value for residential use will sell faster than commercial uses. Mr. Sanderson agrees that breaking up the site suits the current market's appetite for the risks and rewards of land development, particularly with underwriting standards for real estate lending remaining strict. In times past, Forest City itself would have been a natural prospective bidder for such a massive land opportunity. However, the Cleveland-based real estate giant has exited that market and is trying to sell most of its land portfolio.
Mr. West said the sale price for Geauga Lake sites will vary according to location and how much land a buyer wants. However, he said the land carries an asking price of $15 million for the entire property, or $30,000 an acre. About 300 acres is in Aurora in Portage County. Another 200 acres is in Bainbridge Township in Geauga County. Mr. West said the offering excludes about 200 acres that are part of Cedar Fair's Wildwater Kingdom water park, 1100 Squires Road in Aurora, which remains in operation.
Source: Crain's Cleveland Business
Editor's note: the 200 acres retained by Cedar Fair is the land that SeaWorld Ohio was formally on.
February 24, 2013 - Former SeaWorld Ohio orca, Kasatka, gave birth to her 4th calf in SeaWorld San Diego. The unnamed male calf was born on Valentines day and is the result of A.I. (artificial insemination) using sperm from a male in a South American park. This is also the second time Kasatka has given birth successfully after being AI'ed (first time was with her eldest son Nakai in 2001). Congrats Kasatka! (Image copyright SeaWorld Inc.)
Source: SeaWorld Inc