Middletown seeks proposals to redevelop former Lincoln school site

The City of Middletown is accepting proposals through Dec. 15 to redevelop nearly six acres of city-owned property at 2402 Central Ave., the former Lincoln Elementary School, according to city officials.

Lincoln School closed in 1980 when students were moved up Central Avenue to Roosevelt Elementary School, which closed in 2008 and was also demolished. Lincoln was then sold to Middletown Dental Group, which maintained a dental practice in the building until 2011. Several small businesses operated out of the building during that time.

The large brick structure built in 1927 continued to deteriorate and caught fire several times. After years of discussion, it was demolished in 2021 due to its dilapidated condition.

The property now offers an opportunity for redevelopment, located adjacent to the Highlands Historic District to the east and serves as an endcap to the light retail corridor along Central Avenue to the west, according to Middletown officials. The site has street access to both Central and Edgewood Street.

The City envisions land as a residential development opportunity with proximity to a resurging commercial area along Central. The property holds significant potential to enhance the overall community vibrancy.

“This site presents an opportunity for developers to create a signature property that will add value to our city, aesthetically and economically, for many years to come,” said Assistant Developer of Economic Development Lisha Morlan. “We want to be able to look back 20 years from now and see that this project helped to change the trajectory of Middletown’s residential inventory.”

The request for proposals seeks developers with expertise to create a project that aligns with the city’s goals, which include:

  1. Revealing opportunities and gauging interest in the redevelopment of the property.
  2. Exploring the qualifications and financial capabilities of potential development partners.
  3. Selecting a highly qualified partnership team to execute and complete the approved proposal.

Interested parties are encouraged to review the complete RFP details on the City of Middletown’s website at https://www.cityofmiddletown.org/194/Planning-Zoning.

Staff Writer Rick McCrabb contributed to this report.

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