Thursday, June 7, 2018

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“Race for Space” is on for Middletown's Rail Trail Commons

DeStefano looks at a rendering of what the restored Woolworth Building could become

MIDDLETOWN – The redevelopment of the former Woolworth building on North Street in the City of Middletown is continuing and expected to be completed by September. It will include four retail spaces of under 2,000 square feet each and a 16-foot-wide promenade separating each pair of storefronts. That walkway will be part of the Heritage Trail being extended from Harriman to Middletown.

As part of that project, Mayor Joseph DeStefano announced on Wednesday the “Race for Space,” a competitive effort to select four boutique businesses to locate in the new Rail Trail Commons.

“As you know, urban centers are lacking with retail; it’s very tough business right now,” DeStefano said. “So, we are trying to create a niche market and get ideas, see what’s out there. The program is not completely directed at retail, but that is our preference, but we are looking for ideas, a unique sell for downtown.”

The city will accept proposals until August and within a month, screen and select four of them. Those businesses will receive a $20,000 matching grant to build out their space and two years of discounted rent at $6 per square foot.

The $3.1 million in funding for the project, which will include additional parking, is coming from the state’s $10 million downtown revitalization initiative grant the city won over a year ago.

 


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