Whitehall state of city: Development plans announced for Broad, Hamilton site
Development was the cornerstone of Whitehall’s state-of-the-city address, with plans for the northeast corner of East Broad Street and North Hamilton Road taking center stage.
During the livestreamed March 18 event, Mayor Kim Maggard said phase 1 of redeveloping the 140-acre site would include office, retail and 276 mixed-income residential units with a large piazza as a major gathering point.
The overall plan calls for three phases. A total of 1,000 residential units will be built at the end of the third phase.
The first phase is a 35-acre property to be developed by N.R. Investments that will include an adjacent 15 acres previously home to an indoor golfing facility.
“The impact of having this kind of development at Broad and Hamilton and the scope of it are going to have positive ripple effects in development for decades to come,” said Zach Woodruff, the city’s development director.
In other development news, Maggard said Whitehall is planning “an aggressive capital-improvements campaign in 2021, totaling over $4 million in city-funded projects and another $5 million in state-funded projects, thanks to our partners at the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Public Works Commission.”
In the speech, titled “Decade of Opportunity,” the mayor, Woodruff, Shannon Sorrell, the city’s director of parks and recreation, police Chief Mike Crispen and fire Chief Preston Moore relayed what they see as major past accomplishments and plans for the future.
Maggard noted that Buckeye Ranch and Cérélia Bakery moved into the city, adding nearly 400 jobs.
She also said the 2020 opening of the $50 million mixed-use Norton Crossing, a development featuring an Old Bag of Nails Pub, 360 market-rate housing units and Whitehall’s newest community park and pavilion.
Woodruff said the city has seen $120 million per square mile in public and private investments over the past decade.
The mayor and department directors said the COVID-19 coronavirus played a significant part in the city’s response to residents and to certain projects, which were delayed because of the pandemic in 2020.
“There were a lot of things that happened we had to adapt to and overcome, but I think we came out of it a stronger division for doing it,” Moore said.
On the topic of safety, the Division of Police’s three-year Safer Whitehall Strategic Plan wrapped up in 2020. During that time, Crispen said, Whitehall saw a 27% reduction in violent crime, a 38% reduction in robberies and a 46% decline in burglaries compared to the prior three-year period, he said.
Among the parks department’s highlights of the upcoming year, Maggard said, will be the implementation of a community arts program and the first phase of construction of a dog park at Washburn Street and Beechwood Road across from Lamby Lane Park.