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Whitehall Pushing for Density at Broad and Hamilton

Brent Warren Brent Warren Whitehall Pushing for Density at Broad and HamiltonA conceptual rendering of the proposed development, with a central promenade/plaza leading down to a lake. Renderings by DPZ.
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New renderings have been released and an overall development plan is starting to come into focus at the northeast corner of Hamilton Road and East Broad Street in Whitehall.

Phase one of the 50-acre mixed-use development will hold 300 apartments and townhomes, as well as about 25,000 square feet of commercial space centered around a pedestrian plaza.

The plan calls for the site to eventually hold about 1,000 residential units, a number that is almost twice what the developer originally proposed, according to Zach Woodruff, Whitehall’s Economic Development Director.

The push for more housing on the site came from the city, said Woodruff.

“We are fully embracing the need for density,” he said. “We view that not as a negative – something to be worried about or fearful of – we view it as a good thing.”

That total number of units could also increase, Woodruff explained, if the market eventually grows to support building parking garages on the site instead of relying mostly on surface parking lots.

The development team includes Florida-based NR Investments and DPZ (also Florida-based), the planning firm best known for pioneering the concept of New Urbanism.

The site, which is owned by the city, is comprised of the former Woodcliff Condos and a portion of the former Four Seasons Golf Center at 5000 E. Broad St. Directly adjacent to the site is the 80-acre Whitehall Community Park.

A development agreement between the city and the developer was signed in September, and site work could start as soon as this fall, although there are still details to work out; approvals from both the planning commission and city council are still needed.

They next few years will see about $10 million invested into infrastructure improvements at the intersection of Broad and Hamilton, adding medians and eliminating several curb cuts. More changes could be on the way, too, if East Broad Street is selected (instead of East Main Street) as the route for the east-west Bus Rapid Transit corridor that is currently being planned as part of the LinkUs initiative.

Woodruff said that he is hoping to see the new transit line run down Broad Street, but even if it doesn’t, the new development is close to many large employers and will still be served by a COTA system that he thinks will continue to improve in the years to come.

One idea that Whitehall has explored is creating something like the C-Pass program – in which some Downtown employees get free bus passes – for residents of the development. Also planned is an eventual connection to the Big Walnut Trail and the larger Central Ohio Greenways system.

Within the site itself, Woodruff said that the city has secured funding and low interest loans to build a large pond and an amphitheater built into the slope leading down to the water (although the tall structure looking over the pond shown in the renderings below is not funded and likely won’t be a part of the project).

As announced previously, Whitehall will require that 20 percent of the housing in the new development is affordable to those making 80 percent or less of the area median income.

At the southwest corner of the Broad and Hamilton intersection, work wrapped up last year on the first phase of Norton Crossing – including 360 apartments and an Old Bag of Nails restaurant – with more offices and retail planned for the development in 2021.

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