By Susan Bromley
The township could be a recreation mecca in the future if all goes according to businessman Steve Nannoshi’s plans, which are “100 percent” in synchronization with what Supervisor Bob DePalma envisions.
“We want to brand Dixie Highway as the Dixie Byway,” said DePalma on. “It’s a Route 66 concept. We are ideally situated for recreational opportunities… “
Nannoshi, a West Bloomfield resident and businessman who bought his first piece of property in the township 27 years ago, agrees. He has since acquired more parcels and plans to close in January on his purchase of Oak Haven Farm on Dixie Highway from Nick and Pam Nichols.
On Tuesday, DePalma and representatives from Oakland County Parks joined Nannoshi at one of the two gas stations he owns in the township, both named after his late son Alex, to discuss a vision for the township that the supervisor said would include “the largest outdoor recreation venue in the United States” when fully developed.
The township is already preparing for the 2018 opening of the Oakland Mines State Park, which will feature an off-road vehicle course on what was a former gravel mine near the Groveland Oaks County Park and south of the Mt. Holly ski slopes.
But an additional “playground” could be found even sooner at a 36,000 square-foot, three-floor recreational facility that Nannoshi proudly shows architectural plans for.
The complex, which would feature a restaurant, 101 beer taps, batting cages, bumper cars, 18 holes of miniature golf, bumper boats, a go-kart race track, string bowling, billiards, laser tag, arcade games and more, would be located on a 7.5 acre parcel of land at the northwest corner of I-75 and Grange Hall Road, formerly the Stuckey property. Nannoshi has been in discussions with the Oakland County Health Division and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regarding a septic system to service the massive facility, but if given approval, construction would begin next spring with the complex open by the end of 2017.
Nannoshi may have even bigger plans for the Oak Haven property, for which a water park to rival that of Kalahari’s in Ohio is being researched, or perhaps something similar to Great Wolf Lodge.
Both he and DePalma are in lockstep on the vision.
“This is very exciting for us,” said Nannoshi. “This is not a box store area. We need to appreciate that we have all the amenities of being up north here. Mt. Holly is here, the Renaissance Festival is here— our recreation plans all fit in.”
“His plans are not just close (to what the township envisions), they are in 100 percent synchronization with us and Oakland County Parks,” said DePalma. “So many people can be drawn here and on 75, we are easy to get to. We believe this will be a quality of life enhancing facility. We are a great recreational area, it’s why most people move out here. When you enhance recreational opportunities, it brings property values up.”
DePalma hopes to incorporate Nannoshi’s ideas into the master plan the township will be updating in coming months, with public hearings to get input from residents. For more information on what the township is up to, visit YouTube.com and search Groveland Township.