New Middletown tax incentive to assist in relocating homeless shelter

Plans are in the works to relocate a homeless shelter from downtown Middletown to another area of the city that will include the construction of a new $5.68 million facility

Middletown City Council recently approved an emergency ordinance that created a Community Reinvestment Area to allow 100 percent tax abatements for new construction and renovations, as well as a waiver for all related permitting, building inspection and engineering fees up to $25,000. Fees exceeding that amount will be covered by the applicant, according to a city staff report.

The city and Grove Street PSH Associates, LLC and/or Hope House Mission to develop the financing package for the project to be located at former Abilities First facility at 1001 Grove St., according to a staff report prepared by Jennifer Ekey, the city’s economic development director.

“The city has been working with the Hope House for a number of years on this relocation out of downtown,” Ekey wrote in the report. “We believe that the Grove Street location provides a suitable alternative and allows for an expansion of programming.”

Last year, council approved a memorandum of understanding with The Model Group. That organization has done redevelopment projects through public/private partnerships in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and has worked with City Gospel Mission that provides short term housing needs and services.

The new CRA is bounded by Grove and Young streets, and Calumet, Penfield and Jacoby avenues. Depending on the size of the new construction or renovation, the CRA will provide 100 percent tax abatements for periods between 10 and 15 years.

City officials said the project will include the removal of current structures located at the site and the building of a 35,000-square-foot facility with two components: a 50-bed emergency shelter where men are offered physical, behavioral, and spiritual support with the goal of transitioning into safe, stable housing; and a 30-unit of permanent supportive housing for men transitioning from the shelter. The project also includes office space for administration and program delivery.

Officials said that the 11 full-time equivalent jobs, 100 percent of the current employees, will be relocated to the new facility and the creation of two new positions with a payroll of $40,000. City officials said construction is expected to begin in late September.

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