From barren ground at the southwest corner of East Broad Street and South Hamilton Road, $50 million worth of apartments, shops and restaurants began to rise in 2019. But the continuing development of Norton Crossing wasn't the only big story to come out of Whitehall this year.

Here's a look back at the five top stories of 2019:

2020 VISION -- Whitehall officials say Norton Crossing will look sharp in 2020, but its physical construction began in spring 2019.

The $50 million mixed-use development is strikingly visible to motorists driving south on North Hamilton Road between Poth Road and East Broad Street.

City officials hope Norton Crossing will change the city's landscape and demographics as they seek to attract a new generation of residents to live, work and shop here.

WOODCLIFF WANES -- Whitehall closed on the $10.3 million purchase of the troubled Woodcliff Condominiums at the northeast corner of North Hamilton Road and East Broad Street early this year, with a future eye toward its commercial development.

The city had filed multiple code violations against the 317-unit, 35-acre condominium community dating back to 2007. The complex today lies vacant; all leases expired in 2019 and were not renewed.

WILD FOR THE Y -- The $6.5 million Whitehall Community Park YMCA opened in November at the park, 402 N. Hamilton Road.

The 25,600-square-foot YMCA is more than double the size of the original 10,500-square-foot activity building from 1962 that was incorporated into its design.

The Y's opening weekend brought out a crowd eager to sample its myriad amenities and programs.

A NEW SPOT FOR SPOT -- Although Whitehall's first dog park was announced late last year, Whitehall spent 2019 gathering input from residents and then designing the park at the northwest corner of Beechwood Road and Washburn Street, adjacent to Lamby Lane Park.

The 2.3-acre park is expected to open in 2020.

SURPRISE DEPARTURE -- Whitehall-Yearling High School will have to find a new principal in 2020 after Paul Smathers resigned in September to accept a position with Groveport Madison Schools.

The district plans to post the job in the spring; until then, Crystal Johnson will serve as interim principal.