WHITEHALL, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — As local, regional and state officials gathered last week to watch an excavator rip through a dilapidated condo building, there was a sense of new beginnings for the city of Whitehall.

The event — attended by officials from the Ohio Department of Development and the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corp. — marked the ceremonial start to what will eventually become a $300 million redevelopment of a major gateway into the city.

It’s an area that had been blighted for more than 15 years by hundreds of neglected condo units scattered across 154 buildings. But that’s changing now.

“That was the old Whitehall,” Mayor Kim Maggard told me. “We’re looking at the future, not the past.”

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