Real estate deals and development dominated headlines for northwest Columbus residents in 2019 as they saw a deal finalized for park land, said goodbye to a "gentleman's club" and learned of plans for yet another apartment complex. Here's a look back at the top five stories of the year:
"SHEEP FARM" PURCHASE -- Much to the delight of residents, Columbus purchased what commonly was called the "sheep farm," a research facility owned by Ohio State University for $5.3 million. The city is scheduled to take possession of the nearly 60-acre parcel at 2425 W. Case Road on Dec. 31.
No money has been earmarked to pay for development of the park, and no timeline has been set.
CONNECTING PATHS -- The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department made a connection from the Bethel Road corridor west of state Route 315 to the Olentangy Trail east of the freeway, which puts 20,000 residents in direct access to the multipurpose trail.
The project included a 100-foot tunnel under the ramp from Bethel to 315. The tunnel is lighted and includes an ADA-accessible ramp.
A new multipurpose lane, separated by a concrete barrier, was built on the north side of Bethel Road for access to and from the trail.
400 APARTMENTS -- Plans to build roughly 400 apartments at the northwest corner of Henderson and Olentangy River roads were put on hold while the city researched potential effects on a sewer system that runs through The Knolls, subdivision south of Henderson.
Residents in the Knolls for years have griped about storm- and sanitary-sewer backups, with hard persistent rains sending effluent through the streets and blowing off manhole covers. The residue, they say, has to be professionally treated by people wearing HAZMAT suits.
KAHOOTS KAPUT -- Residents bid adieu to brass poles and gyrating dancers when local developer Preferred Living turned the former Kahoots "gentlemen's club" into a pile of debris at 4522 Kenny Road.
Construction of 218 apartment units is underway on the 5.5-acre site, which included six parcels total, between Henderson and Old Henderson roads east of Kenny Road.
TACKLING TRAFFIC -- The Northwest Corridor Mobility Study, which will take a look at transportation issues along Olentangy River Road between Bethel Road and West Broad Street, got underway in December.
It is expected to take 18 months and would identify the best high-capacity transit option to move people efficiently and safely along that corridor.