A former Middletown senior center took the next step to becoming a BMW motorcycle dealership this week as the owner said he’s making progress on updating the building.
The project could get an extended deadline for a tax abatement and a Small Business Economic Development Grant because of some delays in transferring the property ownership as well as additional structural changes needed in the building, said owner Mike Allen. The city council heard that request this week.
“We’ve been working on this for a year,” Allen said. “It has to look really bad before it can look really good.”
Work on the project started in early 2018 and was expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2018. Allen is requesting to extend the completion date to Dec. 31, 2019.
The CRA tax abatement is for 12 years at 100 percent in real property improvements; and the $50,000 is for the Small Business Economic Development Job Creation Grant.
Council is expected to take final action on the ordinances at its April 2 meeting.
The project includes an investment of $1.273 million in construction and upgrades to the facility, including separating all utilities from the city’s municipal building, and will create 12 new full-time jobs and $375,000 in new payroll. If the extension is approved, Allen said the new jobs will be in place by Dec. 31, 2021.
“Middletown welcomed me with open arms,” Allen said. “I like the building because its in a central location to Cincinnati and Dayton.”
The building has been empty for the past decade since a new senior center was built on Central Avenue in 2007.
He said replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system was the “Achilles heel” of the project that delayed progress on the project. That required him to separate the building’s HVAC system and other utilities from the Middletown City Building’s system since both buildings were built in the late 1970s.
However, Allen is confident that the building will be ready for a BMW motorcycle demonstration weekend.
The former home of the Middletown Senior Citizens Center at 140 N. Verity Parkway is adjacent to the Middletown City Building. The building is being remodelled and includes a large showroom window and entrance which is under construction. A garage door has been constructed on the north side of the building for the new service and parts department on the lower level. A lift is being installed to take motorcycles from the first floor to the lower level.
Once completed, the new dealership will have a 22,000 square-foot showroom for sales with an apparel shop and cafe on the first floor; a service and parts department on the lower level; and a residence for the general manager on the upper level. Allen’s son Kirk will be the general manager for the new dealership.
The Columbus-based Allen family also owns Motohio, a dealership with multiple lines of motorcycles including BMW. Allen said his family owns the BMW motorcycle dealership rights for the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton regions. Other than Columbus, the nearest BMW motorcycle dealerships are in Indianapolis and in Louisville.