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Demolition Plans: Former Montgomery Ward Building?

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Category: Middletown City Government
Forum Name: City Manager
Forum Description: Discuss the city manager administration including all city departments.
Printed Date: May 20 2024 at 12:19pm

Topic: Demolition Plans: Former Montgomery Ward Building?
Posted By: Analytical
Subject: Demolition Plans: Former Montgomery Ward Building?
Date Posted: Aug 20 2018 at 11:35am
Last week city council approved Doug Adkins request to EMPTY the CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Revolving
Loan Fund to expand downtown commercial demolition activity.  Will the $500,000 be utilized to partially pay
for the recent Strand/Studio Theater demolition.  Will the balance be earmarked to demolish the long-standing,
seriously blighted city-owned former Montgomery Ward Building on N. Main Street?  Any thoughts?

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Aug 20 2018 at 12:22pm

Well, let's see. The city leaders over the years delight in obtaining property, offering the properties for sale, then discovering there are never any buyers for the asking price. Then, leaving those properties in limbo for long periods of time before offering them for a dollar to any and all takers when reality hits.

Among the victims to the wrecking ball in the downtown area include:

The Studio Theatre
The old YMCA
The old Swallens building
The old Orman building warehouse I believe
Ligon's Service Station
The Paramount Theatre years ago
Office Outfitters property
The Duncan Oil fiasco properties (Jack's Rec Center?)
More properties around the old Dohn's Hardware store perhaps???
I would think the old Rose Furniture location is upcoming
......more I'm sure.......

All are still vacant locations with only an O'Reilly's and an Auto Zone on Central as replacements for the demolished buildings as replacements.The UDF has been one of the bright spots. The Manchester Hotel, the old Seniors Center, the old Journal building and the Goetz Tower have not produced any positives at this time. Aerial views have revealed a "bombed out WW2 look" to the downtown area. Too many open areas that get your immediate attention. The problem, IMO, is not necessarily the demolished portion as the result but rather the open greenspace abundance that is now easily noticed. If the city had as much success replacing structures as they do demolishing them, it wouldn't seem quite so devastating in the result. Doesn't seem that the downtown is that appeasing to outside investors in risking their money in that location. That, in turn, must mean that there is still no opportunities for them to make money to recoup their development costs in the over spent/producing little downtown area. Just wonder if city leadership and downtown supporters see this as reality. Bottom line....their extremely expensive downtown utopia hasn't produced anywhere near a break even ROI to date......and that makes any investment downtown a bad investment. They still haven't found the secret as to what will lure people downtown in any sizable numbers to attract potential business owners to risk an investment. Clearly, the arts and culture theme is not the answer but they still keep trying to force fit the concept. Why?

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

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