Middletown council to meet developer, tour Goetz Tower in hopes of creating downtown residences

The Goetz Tower stands at the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue in Middletown. Middletown City Council will hold a special meeting there at 4 p.m. April 5. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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The Goetz Tower stands at the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue in Middletown. Middletown City Council will hold a special meeting there at 4 p.m. April 5. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Special meeting April 5 at downtown building, followed by regular council meeting

Two first-year Middletown City Council members have called a special meeting in hopes of consulting with the developer of a downtown property and touring the building.

Council members Zack Ferrell and Rodney Muterspaw requested a special meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. April 5 at the Goetz Tower, 1 S. Main St. Council will convene and receive and file the special meeting documents, then meet with developer Steve Coon and tour the building, according to city officials.

Then at 5:30 p.m., in Council Chambers, the regular council meeting will be held.

Last year, the redevelopment of the former First National Bank building was put on hold until the completion of the redevelopment of the Goetz Tower.

ExploreHistorical society asking residents their thoughts on future of Manchester Inn, downtown landmark

Chris Xeil Lyons, Middletown’s economic development director, has said the city envisions the First National Bank redevelopment to be mixed use with the first floor as commercial and the rest of the building possibly office and residential space.

City officials have said they’d like for the seven-floor, 92-year-old Goetz Tower to offer first-floor commercial space and market-rate apartments.

In May 2019, the city reacquired the former First National Bank building from Cincinnati State’s Board of Trustees for $2, the same price the college bought the building from the city.

Ferrell, elected to council along with Muterspaw in November 2021, said for the redevelopment of downtown to continue, residential must be available.

“We can open businesses all day long,” Ferrell said, “but until we have people living there, we can only move forward so far.”

That means potentially redeveloping the Goetz Tower, the Manchester Inn and the Snider Building, he said. Former City Manager Jim Palenick has said it would be cheaper to demolish the Manchester and rebuild than renovate the 100-year-old hotel.

“We need to stop thinking about the history of what was and think about the future of what can be,” Ferrell said.

He said with the state of Ohio offering special tax incentives, it’s “imperative” to move these projects forward in the next few years.

Ferrell, a Realtor, was asked if he’s interested in redevelopment due to his profession.

“I have an agenda,” he said. “I want to make my city better and this is a step in that direction.”

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