The developers and city officials are proposing new housing that could include new three-bedroom loft homes and three-to four-bedroom townhouses, condominiums and row-houses ranging from 1,500 to 2,400 square feet on the former middle school site.
Cohen said the remaining properties will be offered as part of redevelopment efforts in attempt to attract additional economic development opportunities.
Local landlord Dan Tracy spoke in opposition to the resolution for the second time in two weeks, saying the city should do their own appraisals and not rely on the school district’s appraisals.
“We elect people to represent us and we’re asking council to listen to the people,” Tracy said. “We’re asking council to table this. Let’s not rush this and let’s get this right. It’s a 10- to 15-year plan, why the hurry?”
Tracy said council should not let other people hold the city “hostage” to get rid of property.
Vice Mayor Joe Mulligan said the city and Middletown City Schools have been working for many months to sell the former middle school site for the Oakland project. He said the city will be strategic with the vacant land.
“It was sold as a package,” Mulligan said. “We anticipate we’ll be able to sell the property and recoup the money.”
He agreed that “the city in the real estate business can be problematic” and while the city has been judicious, not all of them have been good deals.
Condrey said she had a problem with the city spending money on properties without getting independent appraisals.
“I feel like we owe it to the citizens to get our own appraisals,” she said.
After the vote, Tracy said, “that’s the council we’ve got. She said why and they still approved it. It’s stupid.”