Home sales have started in the neighborhood of Bluestem, part of the 1,800-acre mixed-use Northstar Community in southern Delaware County.

Bluestem will complement Northstar's Kenley neighborhood, seen above

Development activity is ticking right along in southern Delaware County, where Nationwide Realty Investors yesterday announced the first lots within Northstar Community's Bluestem neighborhood are available for purchase.

The housing news follows the opening earlier this summer of the Tanger Outlets mall off Interstate 71 at the state Routes 36/37 interchange. The outlet mall is considered a linchpin for commercial and residential development near the village of Sunbury. This area of central Ohio also includes the similarly named NorthGate development, whose 2,000 acres are expected to include an automotive mall, a 250,000-square-foot retail center and a hotel.

Bluestem, on the south side of Wilson Road, features residences by three builders: Fischer Homes, Schottenstein Homes and Rockford Homes. The first phase of sales will focus on 55 of the 114 Bluestem lots, which will have views of the NorthStar Golf Club and a wooded ravine, according to an NRI release. Pricing for the Bluestem residences start at about $350,000, says an NRI spokesperson.

When complete, the 1,800-acre mixed-use Northstar Community, a partnership between NRI and the Robert Weiler Company located off of I-71, north of Interstate 270, is expected to include 1,300 homes and condominiums, 400 acres of commercial development, a site for elementary and middle schools and 800 acres of green space, including parks, paths, preservation areas and the NorthStar Golf Club, an 18-hole, semi-private golf course designed by former Ohio State University and PGA golfer John Cook that opened in 2007.

In addition to Bluestem, Northstar's Kenley neighborhood, site of the 2015 BIA Parade of Homes, is active and includes 43 lots on the NorthStar Golf Club course. Pricing for these residences starts in the $500,000 range, says a NRI spokesperson.

Delaware County is Ohio's fastest-growing county and the 20th-fastest growing in the country. The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission reports that Sunbury, Berkshire Township and nearby Berlin Township have all experienced significant population growth since 1990; a NorthGate Centre-funded study by Columbus-based Regionomics shows population in the three jurisdictions will jump by 11,000 during the next 20 years.