Progress Continues on Mill at Middletown Project
Hudson Valley News Network / HVNN.com
By Kathy Welsh
The Middletown community is stirring with curiosity about the large construction project on the corner of Mill and Harding Streets. Sidewalks were poured soon after the New Year and windows are going in one by one. This 3-story factory building, long a vacant eyesore, is being converted into a workforce housing development.
In addition to the renovation, the “Mill at Middletown” includes a plan for community space as well as a culinary job training program. Designed by New York City-based Magnusson Architecture and Planning, the updated buildings will meet or exceed the New York State Energy Conservation code requirements.
This 21st century makeover, which will include a landscaped courtyard, is being organized in part by the local not-for-profit Regional Economic Community Action Program. The main building was built in 1875 and has sinc then housed the manufacture of hats, shoes, and wood furniture, as well as auto parts retail.
The project broke ground in early 2015. Other partners in the $14.7 million renovation include the Orange County HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Community Preservation Corporation, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc., the Federal Home Loan Bank, Urban Initiative, NYSERDA and the City of Middletown. The project was featured in the New York State HOME Coalition’s 2015 HOME Success Stories report as one of the region’s socially responsible projects.
RECAP is the non-profit owner of this tax credit project and posts regular updates on Facebook. Penny Theman, Director of Housing for RECAP’s Neighborhood Preservation Company, is currently focusing on design and construction of the kitchen for the agency’s Fresh Start Cafe program, to be located in the front of the building. She says, “When the kitchen and restaurant are completed we will have a wonderfully inviting cafe with classic brick and stained glass decor that will make the neighborhood proud.” The project is slated for completion in June 2016.
James S. Rubin, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said before the groundbreaking in late 2015, “One of the most significant things we can do to the improve the quality of life in communities is to turn the underused buildings and properties into strong neighborhood assets. By redeveloping the Mill at Middletown, we are addressing the need for more affordable housing for Orange County families, preserving an important piece of Middletown’s rich manufacturing history and transforming this long-vacant structure into state-of-the-art housing. Thanks to the HCR team, and congratulations to Mill Street Partners, the Community Preservation Corporation, and all of our partners in this exciting endeavor.
Mayor DeStefano said, “This is a fine example of re-adaptive use of industrial buildings in our City. Development of this vacant factory structure will include workforce training and housing for our citizens. We are happy to lend our support for this important project.”
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