Town of Middletown Press Release

The Town of Middletown is officially looking for concepts from developers to remake part of the West Main Road corridor.

Today, the Town’s Planning Department released a Request For Information package for those interested in potentially revitalizing the 15-acre stretch between Coddington Highway and Valley Road.

The property includes the now vacant Navy Lodge parcel at the corner of Coddington and West Main Road. Moving north, the West Main Road Recreational Complex, the Middletown Public Library and former Kennedy School sites are also featured. All are owned by the town in the heart of the community’s commercial corridor, with at least 52,000 vehicles a day driving by the location. 

The deadline for submitting a qualified RFI is July 1. That information must be mailed, emailed or hand delivered to Planning Director Ronald Wolanski no later than 4 p.m. on the day of the deadline. To view the RFI directly, visit online.

“We are looking for insight from potential developers on feasible options for future use of the property, potentially including the previously discussed mixed-use concept including small-scale retail, office, housing and municipal uses,” Wolanski said. 

Located in the heart of family friendly Middletown, the future of the property has been the subject of much discussion over the years.

In March 2008, the Navy notified area officials they planned to release several federal properties across Aquidneck Island they no longer had use for locally. One was the former 

Navy Lodge parcel, which had housed a hotel for base personnel and their families before those operations moved inside the fence line.

Following a lengthy federal review process, the town bought the three-acre parcel for $1.3 million in January 2018. 

The site is within a stone’s throw of what developers call one of the Top 10 most sought-after commercial intersections in Rhode Island at Two-Mile Corner where East Main and West Main roads meet.

Since then, there has been substantial interest in the area, but nothing has taken hold – yet. 

Previously, developers have said the town was losing at least $1 million annually by not developing the site and relocating existing uses like the library and softball field to other more suitable locations.

As part of the RFI packet, the Town is seeking a variety of information. That includes documents that outline who is pursuing the project, their understanding and approach as well as their leadership team. Qualified submissions must also include a statement of experience, a comprehensive discussion about the financial approach to the project along with an explanation of building and site development and other related issues.

 The Town is expected to select candidates for further discussion on July 28 to continue the process.

“Given its highly visible location, redevelopment of this property offers an opportunity to enhance this stretch of West Main Road by using high-quality design and providing uses that will meet the needs of the community,” Wolanski said. “And we hope whatever happens on this property will set the stage and promote redevelopment or upgrades to commercial properties in the surrounding area.”

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