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Towne Mall remediation gets $1 million grant from DeWine

Towne Mall middletown
Posted at 3:06 PM, Apr 26, 2022

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced Tuesday that $1 million of $60 million in brownfield remediation grants will go to the Warren County Port Authority for the redevelopment of Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown.

Brownfield remediation grants are designed to assist with fixing up vacant sites that have fallen into disrepair.

Towne Mall Galleria, located just off the Interstate 75/Ohio 122 interchange, the city’s front door, is expected to be redeveloped as the Middletown Entertainment and Sports Venue. Part of that plan calls foran electric go-kart racing area inside the complex.

In January, Warren County commissioners approved about $73,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding toward a feasibility and marketing study to determine the size and scope of the project, said Martin Russell, deputy county administrator and executive director of the Warren County Port Authority.

One of the goals would be to bring a North American Hockey League Tier 2 junior hockey franchise as a tenant at the proposed sports and entertainment facility, Russell said in January.

Officials want to make a “go/no-go” decision this fall to pursue the financing, design and construction of the sports and entertainment venue as a destination anchor to the Towne Mall redevelopment.

Last year, the City of Middletown contracted RINKA to do a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the Towne Mall property.

In total, 78 brownfield remediation projects received grants from DeWine’s office. Some of the others awarded today by the state include:

  • Port Authority of Allen County: $710,000 for asbestos abatement and demolition of the former Allen County Home, vacant for more than a decade, to open the site for future redevelopment.
  • Community Improvement Corporation of Belmont County: $84,150 for remediation of asbestos at Bellaire Hospital located n pipe insulation, window glazing, caulking, and floor tile to allow for future safe renovation.
  • Westinghouse-Breakwater Properties (Cuyahoga County): $2.6 million for the abatement of hazardous materials and demolition of hazardous sites on a 3.6-acre property that houses an industrial facility, factory buildings, and warehouses constructed in the 1890s. The site, most recently home to Paramount Stamping and Welding, is expected to be redeveloped into a mixed-use development space.
  • Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (Hamilton County): $900,000 for asbestos abatement at the Shillito West Building, formerly a department store at a key corner in the downtown central business district in Cincinnati. Once completed, the property can be rehabilitated or demolished for redevelopment.
  • Lucas County Land Reutilization Corporation: $1 million for asbestos abatement and lead-based paint removal throughout the Spitzer Building in downtown Toledo, which was constructed in the 1890s as one of the earliest skyscrapers in Ohio. The site is expected to be redeveloped as a mixed-use residential and commercial space.
  • Piketon Village (Pike County): $1.1 million for the removal of an underground fuel storage tank, asbestos abatement, and soil remediation at the site of the former Piketon High School. The original 1975 gymnasium is expected to be renovated into an event center, and there are plans for a new building to be constructed for commercial and office use.
  • Portsmouth City Health Department (Scioto County): $151,500 for asbestos abatement at the former Martings Department Store in downtown Portsmouth. Constructed in 1909, the location has been vacant since early 2000. After abatement, the site is expected to be rehabilitated and opened as developable space.
  • Century Plaza Hotel (Stark County): $3.4 million to remove materials containing asbestos from the city’s first skyscraper, the 1914 Renkert Building. The removal of toxic asbestos from the 10-story building will allow for the planned redevelopment of the building into a 92-room extended-stay hotel across from Canton’s Centennial Plaza.
  • Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation: $3.4 million for the environmental remediation and demolition of the former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital. The site will be revitalized for residential or commercial/industrial development.

Journalists Ed Richter and Rick McCrabb contributed to this report.