After a nearly five-year wait, Gahanna residents are able to reap the benefits of the Creekside development.

After a nearly five-year wait, Gahanna residents are able to reap the benefits of the Creekside development.

The new locale, which features 100,000 square feet of retail and office space, 71 condominiums and 35,000 square feet of public and parking space, will welcome patrons beginning today for live outdoor entertainment.

Development director Sadicka White said she is ecstatic that the project is opening.

"We dreamed it, and now it's actually here -- and it's better than our initial dream," White said. "I'm most excited that it's actually been accomplished."

From Thursday to Sunday, patrons will be able to enjoy the weather and the surroundings with live music, karaoke, fishing, paddleboat rides and tours, according to www.creeksidegahanna.com.

New businesses such as The Shoppes of Portobello Row, Seekers Coffee House and Cold Stone Creamery will have official ribbon-cutting ceremonies from 2 to 3:45 p.m. today (Thursday), White said.

Stores will welcome customers for in-store specials and refreshments, she said. Many of the shops already are open to customers.

The first 1,000 people to attend the grand openings will receive a free gift from the city, White said, adding that a few tickets still are available for the inaugural Parks and Recreation Foundation gala at 7 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $100, and more information can be found at www.gahan-na.gov/creekside.

According to Tony Collins, director of Gahanna Parks and Recreation Department, the event will introduce the foundation to residents and allow people to donate to the department by purchasing tress, benches and naming rights to the parks. The revenue from the event will go to parks and recreation events.

The Stonehenge Co., which partnered with the city of Gahanna on the Creekside development, is picking up the cost of food and beverages at the gala.

For White, the Creekside development has been a long time coming.

"It's come from an idea from a vision to a reality," she said. "It's a new and vibrant experience for Creekside that is just the beginning of our downtown revitalization."