Why did southern Delaware County grow so fast?

newspaperA local newspaper reporter called me this morning to discuss the housing growth that has occurred in southern Delaware County this decade. I’m usually nervous about talking with the media for fear of being mis-quoted. I hope he doesn’t do that.

After our conversation was over, I thought more about why the growth has occurred into southern Delaware County. I think there are several events that occurred that set the stage for it.

  • I-270 made it easy to go from one suburb to another. Businesses (jobs) built up around the various interchanges. Suburbs located inside 270 were land-locked with limited room to expand further housing.
  • Suburbs, like Dublin or Powell close to the freeway, had room to expand their borders. They also had easy access to the freeway with major roads such as Rt 315, Sawmill Rd and Rt 33 already in place.
  • Lewis Center’s growth was impacted when Banc One (now Chase) built the huge employment center and the nearby Polaris Mall was added, both outside of I-270. Old State Rd provided access to that employment so many housing subdivisions were built off of that road.
  • Golf Courses have played an important part to the housing growth as well. Dublin already had Jack Nicklaus’ huge Muirfield Village but then Arnie’s Tartan Fields was built north of Muirfield. Powell began with Wedgewood, then added Scioto Reserve and Kinsale (Golf Village). Shamrock and Safari are nearby, but they are not lined with homes the way the other courses are.
  • The southwest part of the county contains both the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. I’m not a geologist but it seems there is more variance to the terrain between the rivers, providing more opportunity for the wooded, ravine lots that many home buyers like.
  • The southeast part of the county has the big water reservoirs with Alum Creek and Hoover. Both offer boating opportunities, albeit they have different motor restrictions.
  • Dublin and Powell already had groceries and retail, but those types of commercial buildings have expanded to keep pace with the housing. Dublin added Perimeter Mall and Powell added the shopping at Powell Rd and Sawmill Pkwy.
  • Some of the northern most housing developments in the Lewis Center area were several miles from groceries, gas stations, and fast-food eateries, but with the recent addition of some new stores along Rt 23 at Lewis Center Rd, that is changing.
  • Columbus State Community college recently opened along Rt 23 and Ohio Health is at a certain stage of providing convenient health care for the area.
  • More growth along Rt 23 between Powell Rd and Cheshire Rd was on the drawing board but it has been put on hold due to the economic downturn.
  • Southern Delaware County is primarily served with four school districts: Dublin, Olentangy, Westerville and Big Walnut. Olentangy covers the largest geographical part of the southern part of the county.

Like thousands of others, I’ve found the county to be a great place to live and work. If you would like to join us, give me a call and we’ll go house shopping.

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