Middletown mill gets new life as workforce housing

By John Golden

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A private developer was joined by city of Middletown and state officials at a groundbreaking Wednesday for a $15 million project to convert a vacant Middletown factory building into workforce rental housing.

Mill Street Partners LLC will develop the Mill at Middletown, a 42-unit development that will occupy a restored and renovated main factory building at 34 Mill St. The factory was built in the late 19th century for silk hat manufacturing.

The one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments will be available to families earning between 30 percent to 50 percent of the area median income, according to a spokesperson for the project.

The renovated three-story building will also house Fresh Start Café, a café and job training program run by Regional Economic Community Action Program, an Orange County nonprofit serving low-income residents. One of the original factory’s accessory buildings will be converted into a community hall for Mill residents.

The redevelopment project was designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning of New York City. JJ Sisca & Associates Building Corp. in Brewster will oversee the construction and Rural Ulster Preservation Group will manage the property when completed.

The project is financed by several public and private partners, including the Community Preservation Corp., New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc., the Orange County HOME Program, the Federal Home Loan Bank, and Urban Initiative. Community Preservation Corp. provided a $7.4 million construction loan and is slated to provide a $1.8 million permanent loan through the state Common Retirement Fund.

“Restoring historic buildings like the Mill at Middletown is part of our larger effort to revitalize a downtown community that has seen housing and jobs evaporate,” said Mary Paden, vice president in Community Preservation’s Hudson Valley office, in a statement. “Factories or old buildings that have been vacant for years are common in many Hudson Valley communities. This transformation will not only meet the increasing need for affordable housing with easy access to necessary services that will help enhance residents’ lives; it will also bring new life to the city’s central business district.”

Patrick Normoyle, an executive at Ginsburg Development Cos. in Valhalla, is principal of  Mill Street Partners.

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About the author

John Golden
The Business Journal’s senior writer, John Golden directs news coverage of the county and Hudson Valley region as Westchester bureau chief. He was an award-winning upstate columnist and feature writer before joining the Business Journal in 2007. He is the author of “Northern Drift: Sketches on the New York Frontier,” a collection of his regional journalism.
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