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Towne Mall master plan project continues as Middletown eyes adjacent property

The planners behind Middletown's Towne Mall Galleria project are eyeing an adjacent property potentially to expand its footprint.
Posted at 2:44 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 14:44:16-05

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Middletown is eyeing the purchase of an additional 5.9-acre parcel adjacent to the Towne Mall Galleria as redevelopment efforts continue in the area.

The city of Middletown, George Ragheb, of the California investment group that owns of the Towne Mall Galleria, and the Warren County Port Authority entered into a partnership to redevelop the Towne Mall area into a town center, mixed-use development.

City Manager Jim Palenick said the mall area consists of 31 acres and has seen a steady decline in occupancy and economic activity over the past decade.

Palenick said some developers have made efforts to make plans for the area over the past three years but failed in negotiating any site control with the mall’s ownership.

In November, the partnership contracted with RINKA, a Milwaukee-based company, to develop redevelopment plans with help from the Warren County Port Authority. Plans could include luxury, multi-family housing, entertainment and sports, dining and mixed-use destination retail. The two-phased, master planning process is expected to take 13 to 18 weeks.

He said the amendment will add $15,900 in costs for a total of $108,900.

He said the third partner and stakeholder in the process is the Warren County Port Authority, which sees the creation of significant investment in sales tax-producing activity. Officials said the port authority can assist with certain financing and economic development incentive tools as well as offering expertise in the sports and entertainment component of the planned redevelopment.

Journal-News is a news partner of WCPO 9.