Middletown set to finalize $1.3M land purchase from Navy

MIDDLETOWN – U.S. Navy officials are scheduled to sign paperwork next week to finalize a $1.3 million transaction that will turn the former Navy Lodge property along Coddington Highway and West Main Road over to the town of Middletown, Sen. Jack F. Reed announced Friday.

The 3.25 acre property is currently vacant. The town plans to incorporate the property into the redevelopment of its adjacent 13.25 acres.

“This is great news. We have been working on this project for over a decade. This is one of the most important acquisitions the town has ever made, and it has the potential to be a long-term economic catalyst,” said Middletown Town Council President Robert Sylvia in a statement. “We appreciate Senator Reed’s support and help with the Navy. Going forward, we plan to seek public input in terms of how to best use the property to benefit the town and generate economic benefits and tax relief for our residents.”

The property is part of the 225 acres of naval property in Middletown, Newport and Portsmouth the Navy declared to be surplus in 2008.

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Middletown submitted a letter requesting acquisition of the property in 2014.

The town council has discussed turning the property into a mixed-use residential-commercial site.

“This is an exciting development for Middletown, and it is a smart, cost-effective move for the Navy and taxpayers,” said Reed in a statement. “I am confident the people of Middletown will put this space to good, productive use in a way that benefits both the community and enhances public infrastructure surrounding Naval Station Newport.”

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.