Local couple seeks tax break to redevelop Middletown building

Richard and Lydia Montgomery are seeking a tax abatement to redevelop a building in downtown Middletown located at 1201 Central Ave. The couple are proposing a bicycle shop in the street level retail space and a single family residence on the upper floor. ED RICHTER/STAFF

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Richard and Lydia Montgomery are seeking a tax abatement to redevelop a building in downtown Middletown located at 1201 Central Ave. The couple are proposing a bicycle shop in the street level retail space and a single family residence on the upper floor. ED RICHTER/STAFF

A local business couple is seeking a tax abatement to redevelop a building in downtown Middletown.

Richard and Lydia Montgomery, who own three local small businesses in Middletown, are seeking a 12-year, 100 percent Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement for their project at 1201 Central Ave.

The Montgomerys are proposing to redevelop the three-story building into a retail bicycle shop on the ground level to be called Spoken Bicycles LLC and will transform the upper level into a single family residence.

The total investment by the Montgomerys for the property and building improvements will be about $180,000, according to city documents.

The CRA tax abatement request is also within the previously negotiated agreement between the city and the Middletown Board of Education.

“We have full faith in downtown and that the downtown will be restored one day,” said Lydia Montgomery.

In her report, Assistant Economic Development Director Alexis Fitzsimmons said, “This property is in a strategic location and would continue the expansion of the downtown’s redevelopment that is currently gaining momentum.”

In her report, Fitzsimmons said the Montgomerys are local entrepreneurs, with three successful businesses: Society and Bright Ideas Properties, both located at 1626 Central Ave., and Hinkle Electric Construction Company.

Fitzsimmons said the Montgomerys would like to continue investing in downtown Middletown and have acquired the 1201 Central Ave. building.

Also as part of the proposed agreement, the Montgomerys will expected to complete construction and installation of the improvements by Dec. 31, 2017. In addition, one full-time job must be created in the retail store by Dec. 31, 2018.

Middletown City Council Tuesday heard a first reading of the tax abatement agreement and will consider approval at its April 4 meeting.

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