Middletown waives $6,000 in fees for new downtown project

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Middletown waives $6,000 in fees for new downtown project

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Middletown City Council approved the waiver of up to $6,000 in permit fees for the developer of the O’Reilly Auto Parts store project downtown. The nearly $2.4 million project could begin in 60 to 90 days and will include the demolition of two buildings in the 1800-block of Central Avenue. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Middletown is working with a developer to build a new auto parts store downtown following a lengthy approval process.

City Council approved a waiver of certain permit fees for the planned O’Reilly Auto Parts store in the 1800 block of Central Avenue.

City officials have recommended waiving permitting, water and sewer connection fees up to $6,000 for the nearly $2.4 million project.

The developer is planning to build a 9,262 square-foot building where two existing structures are located at 1811-1835 Central Ave. In addition the developer and city officials had been engaged in various design negotiations involving various downtown stakeholders that resulted in significant costs for the project that required approvals from the city’s Historic and Planning commissions.

“There has been a considerable amount of negotiation for this project, which resulted in significant dollars in additional cost to the developer,” said City Manager Doug Adkins. “This waiver is for fees that have not already been paid up to $6,000.”

At its March 2 meeting, the Historic Commission denied a Certificate of Appropriateness regarding demolition, building placement and signage for the proposed store. While it approved the demolition of the two current structures, the commission denied the building placement in the center of the two parcels as well as the building materials to be used, transparency of windows, not having enough architectural breaks, and the site plan.

The Historic Commission gave its approval in late May for the project after changes were made on the building design and site plan.

Adkins said in an email that the demolition of the old structures and construction could start within the next 60 to 90 days.

Zoning Director Jeffrey Green said the project has nearly all of the building permits and approvals to begin the project. However, he said the developer still needs to obtain a permit for a free-standing monument sign.

A development agreement that the city and Simon CRE Carp XII, LLC is for the redevelopment of two lots at 1800 and 1835 Central Ave. to build the 9,292 square-foot building.

According to a staff report prepared by Alexis Fitzsimmons, assistant economic development director, the developer is planning to demolish the two existing buildings, and after the new building is constructed, it will be leased to O’Reilly Auto Parts.

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She said the new store will hire seven full-time employees and five part-time employees and an estimated new payroll of $273,000. Fitzsimmons said the project cost total includes: $485,000 for building/land acquisition, $1,275,000 in new construction, $39,000 in machinery and equipment, $50,000 in furniture and fixtures, and $525,000 in inventory.

The development agreement also requires the new payroll to be completed over a three-year period. In addition, if the construction of the new building is substantially completed and an occupancy permit for the facility is issued by the city on or before Dec. 31, 2017, the fees shall be waived. However, if either construction is not completed or an occupancy permit has not been issued by Dec. 31, 2017, the developer shall pay the fees within 30 days.

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