The final remaining residents are moving out of a long-blighted Whitehall condominium complex. The city bought the Woodcliff development and plans to tear it down after years of complaints.
Dorothea Pelfrey’s family spent last weekend packing up a quarter century of memories. Pelfrey lived in the Woodcliff complex with her daughter and grandkids and planned on spending the rest of her life there.
“I had no problems," Pelfrey said. "I loved the place and stuff, but once they started selling them off to certain owners and stuff, they just let them go.”
Pelfrey purchased her condo for $40,000 back in 1994. She was paid $45,000 for it when the city took possession of the complex in February.
For years, the complex has been the subject of complaints, including failing roofs, backed-up sewers, and management using an empty swimming pool as a dumpster.
In June 2018, the owners of the Woodcliff Condominiums voted 172-77 to sell the property to the city, and a Franklin County Environmental Court judge approved the sale later that summer.
Whitehall's development director Zach Woodruff said in a statement that after the complex is demolished, the city plans to build around 700 residential units and 100,000 square feet of office space at the site. Twenty percent of the housing would be workforce or affordable units, while Woodruffs says they are also working to connect the site to the Central Ohio Greenways trail network.
“To ease the transition, we extended leases to May 31 for nearly 50 tenants with children to coincide with the end of the school year,” Woodruff said. “Our property management company has worked with more than 100 tenants to establish weekly payments for rent, lower monthly rents, make short term lease extensions and in some cases waive complete months of rent to allow residents to utilize those funds to move.”
Meanwhile, Pelfrey says she bought another house closer to downtown Whitehall.