COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus is planning to turn 78 acres of land near Eastland Mall into a new park.

“Not a lot of parkland out here, and with this acquisition, 5,000 residents will be within a 10-minute walk of a city park,” said Kerry Francis, spokesperson for Columbus Recreation and Parks.

Francis said the land was acquired by Columbus City Council earlier this week for the price of a little over $1.5 million, the majority of which will be paid through a $1 million grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

“We’re really excited about what comes next, because at this point now, our Rec and Parks department gets to collaborate with residents in the neighborhood,” said Elizabeth Brown, President Pro Tem for Columbus City Council.

City council said it is seeking input from those in the Eastland Mall area with plans to build playgrounds, bike trails, sports fields, and conservation spaces.

“The parkland is right there, and it would be the perfect match,” said Scott Hurlburt, a local resident. “So this parkland would be a nice compliment to the housing and residents around here, and the businesses, and give people a place to take their lunch break and, you know, it would just be great.”

The city said the park is expected to be completed in the next two to three years.