The intersection of Broad Street and Hamilton Road will "shape Whitehall for a generation," Development Director Zach Woodruff told city employees and residents during the annual State of the City address March 13.
During the event, Woodruff, Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Sorrell, police Chief Mike Crispen and fire Chief Preston Moore shared the successes and initiatives of their own departments between comments from Mayor Kim Maggard, who, barring a write-in candidate, will be unopposed for election to a third term in November.
Maggard and city staff members delivered their comments at the Wasserstrom Co., 4500 E. Broad St.
Part of the mayor's address focused on Woodcliff Condominiums, a 317-unit, 35-acre residential complex at the northeast corner of East Broad Street and South Hamilton Road.
City Council in January appropriated $10.3 million for the purchase of the property and related expenses.
The city has taken possession of 292 units and continues to negotiate for the purchase of the remaining units after the complex's court-ordered sale last year.
"It's been a long time coming (and was) the longest-running case in the history of the (Franklin County Environmental) Court," said Maggard, ticking off the number of judges, court-appointed receivers and other activity since the city first filed a nuisance complaint against Woodcliff in 2007.
When coupled with the city's $5 million acquisition in 2016 of the Commons at Royal Landing, a 42-building, 270-unit apartment complex on the south side of East Broad Street just west of South Hamilton Road, the city is poised to redevelop 75 acres.
"Over the next 10 years, the city will redevelop 75 acres (at Broad and Hamilton) with a vision of new businesses, new parkland (and) architecture that reflects current design standards with integrated transportation and residential housing to seize on the population growth to come," Maggard said.
The city's future housing stock, Woodruff said, will be inclusive, providing housing opportunities "for those who buy the $4 cup of coffee and those who make the $4 cup of coffee."
Construction is expected to begin in the next 30 days on Norton Crossing, a $50 million mixed-use development that will be built on the site of the Commons of Royal Landing, where demolition was completed last year, Woodruff said.
Construction also is expected to finish in late 2019 on the $5.5 million, 9,000-square-foot addition to Whitehall Community Park, 402 N. Hamilton Road, which will open as the Whitehall Community Park YMCA, Sorrell said.
Planning for the city's first dog park will continue in 2019 and is scheduled to open next year, he added.
Crispen used the annual address to outline the success of the division's A Safer Whitehall program, including reduced reports of burglaries, robberies and other crimes.
During Moore's turn at the podium, he described the lives saved through the division's SAFE stations that provide opiate addicts a path to recovery.
Residents in attendance appeared pleased with what officials had to say.
"I like their plan going forward. I'm glad that Woodcliff (Condominiums) is going to disappear; it's been a long-time eyesore," said Kim Braucher, a 30-year resident of Whitehall.
"I like what I heard, especially about the parks," said Sharon Hout, a nearly 50-year resident of the city.
"I'll use the dog park and look forward to the YMCA and more programs at the senior center."