A proposed townhouse development in downtown Middletown has taken another step forward.
Last week, Middletown City Coucil approved providing two small pieces of property near the intersection of Reinartz Boulevard and Clark Street, which will be consolidated for the new $2 million townhouse development.
Construction on the project is expected to begin this spring near two adjacent houses on Clark Street, which will remain as part of the project, according to City Planner Ashley Combs.
Last July, developer Brett Oakley announced his company, Oakley Property Group LLC, plans to build 16 townhouses and rehabilitate two existing homes as part of a gated development on 1.3 acres it owns in an area bounded by Clark Street, Plum Street and Reinartz Boulevard. He said it will be the company’s first project in Middletown.
“We’re trying to bring something different to downtown,” he told the Journal-News at that time.
The $2 million to $2.5 million project will provide the types of housing that have been identified as a need by city officials.
“I’m really excited about this project,” Oakley said. “It’s a gamble, but I have faith in Middletown, and we’re trying to be supportive of Middletown.”
According to a housing study completed in early 2017, it is estimated that Middletown has an annual demand for 127 new homes ranging in price between $150,000 and more than $500,000. The city is working to complete its housing plan later this year as part of the new comprehensive master plan.
About 70 percent of Middletown’s housing stock is valued at less than $150,000, according to city officials.
The new townhouses will have about 1,500 square feet of living space and are being designed by Middletown architect Ron Decker.
The new homes will help increase foot traffic at downtown restaurants and businesses, according to Oakley. He also said he hopes this project will spur other developers to make investments in the city.
The Oakley Property Group works in residential and business properties in Montgomery, Butler, and Warren counties and in Middletown, Miamisburg, Germantown and Carlisle.
City officials hope this project and renovation of the existing homes will be an example for other vacant residential land in the future.