Middletown City Council took the final steps this week to continue construction of possibly hundreds of new homes in subdivision whose progress stalled because of multiple issues.
The Sawyer’s Mill residential housing project will move forward with 16 or 17 additional new homes on 25 acres on the east side of the Sawyer’s Mill development near northwest of the intersection of Dixie Highway and Manchester Road because of a financing agreement approved on Tuesday.
As many as 260 new homes are being proposed for the project over the next three years, which officials hope can reenergize Middletown home construction that virtually stalled after the Great Recession.
On Tuesday, council approved five emergency ordinances to spur the project that included:
• Creating a Residential Tax Incremental Financing agreement, which will help fund the project.
• Approving a cooperative agreement with the Warren County Port Authority, the city of Middletown, Huntington National Bank and Sawyer’s Mill Project I, LLC for the issuance and repayment of $2.8 million of port authority revenue bonds to cover the public infrastructure improvement projects. The bonds will be repaid by property owners, who will pay a service fee in lieu of property taxes.
• Approving separate compensation agreements with the Franklin Board of Education and the Warren County Career Center Board of Education. The agreements are for 10 years.
The emergency ordinances took immediate effect upon passage Tuesday night by council.
Public hearings were also held Tuesday for requests to amend the development plan for a total of 122.41 acres located near South Dixie Highway and Manchester Road and rezone two parcels at 5583 S. Dixie Highway.
“We’re excited about the project,” said Jonathan Bills, president of Dayton-based DDC Management, which is developing the project. “The project is off to a good start.”
The streets, curbs, gutters and other infrastructure construction are nearing completion and home lots have already been plotted.
The Middletown Planning Commission reviewed both requests and recommended final review and approval by council. City Council will consider legislation on both requests at its meetings in December, according to Shelby Quinlivan, city spokeswoman.
In an effort to spur the project along, council approved an ordinance waiving 50 percent of the water and sewer tap-in fees.
The city was approached in 2016 by Republic Development, the developer of the Sawyer’s Mill subdivision at the time, to reengage in a conversation about development.
After 2 1/2 years of meetings, negotiations with three different developers, and a court battle, city officials said there is now a path to move forward on the build out of this subdivision.
Construction of model homes could begin later this year with new home building beginning in 2020. The price range for the new homes will be between $150,000 and $220,000.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.