Growing Middletown business to triple floor space with move to empty Target store

The former Target store building in Middletown will become the new home of Middletown Cycle which is changing its name to Octane Outlet of Middletown. The motorcycle and powersports dealership will have more room for sales, parts and service. ED RICHTER/STAFF
The former Target store building in Middletown will become the new home of Middletown Cycle which is changing its name to Octane Outlet of Middletown. The motorcycle and powersports dealership will have more room for sales, parts and service. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Middletown’s largest and oldest motorcycle and powersports dealer is making a major expansion in the former Target department store on the west side of the Interstate 75/Ohio 122 interchange.

Middletown Cycle said it purchased the former Target store at 6775 Roosevelt Parkway, which is adjacent to the city’s Kohl’s and Lowe’s stores, and plans to make improvements to the 93,000-square-foot building. It hopes to open in the spring.

Aaron Brown, the company’s’ president, said that making the move will enable his dealership to more than triple its floor space from its location on Commerce Drive, just east of the I-75 interchange. He said it will allow the more than 40-year dealership to expand its brands, products, services and more. He expects the renovation to take about three months.

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“We have been working, expanding our store for quite awhile, and the Target property here in Middletown truly meets our needs for our long-term plans,” Brown said. “Plus, we have had a great deal of support from our city officials as well as the Target Corporation. …The store will be increasing its number of employees in sales, parts and service which is also good for the city.”

Brown said the name of the dealership, Middletown Cycle, will be changed to reflect its business in powersports beyond just the motorcycles. It will be called Octane Outlet of Middletown. He said that there is another Octane Outlet of Eastgate that he opened five years ago.

“Being known now as Octane Outlet really drives the message that we are offering more than just a single brand or two. Right now, we offer Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, and BRP brands,” Brown said.

He said the business is one of the largest dealers in the entire Midwest for the Can-Am products.

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In addition to the current brands of motorcycles, Octane Outlet also offers side-by-sides, watercraft, ATVs, clothing, accessories and more. Brown said there will be updates in the storefront, color scheme and signage along with a complete renovation of the interior.

“The more exciting part of moving into the former Target store is that we will be able to dramatically increase both our parts and service departments.” Brown said.

Brown worked with Lenny Robinson, president of Robinson Inc. Commercial Realtors, to secure the purchase and also worked with the city of Middletown and its Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to help make this 26-year old building much more energy efficient.

“The program is something that is statewide to help property owners make energy improvements to their buildings, and Middletown is so well-versed and prepared in the implementation of this program,” Robinson said. “This is very attractive in bringing more development to Middletown.”

Opened in 1993, Target closed the Middletown store in May 2014 and has been empty since. The closing affected about 80 employees.

In 2015, StarTek “seriously considered” the Target building to locate its call center that would employ nearly 700 employees. However, an agreement could not be reached which led StarTek to acquire the former Elder-Beerman building at 150 High St. in downtown Hamilton.

“We will be able to offer more brands and products than ever before including used power sports vehicles for which we have a strong demand,” Brown said. “If you are into power sports, motorcycles, and lots of really cool gear and accessories, Octane Outlet will certainly ‘Fuel your Passion.’”