Middletown City Council appears to be lukewarm about a major apartment complex being built in the East End on undeveloped property that has been for sale since 1979.
Art Harden from Calibre Engineering, of Centerville, made a presentation at last week’s City Council meeting regarding building a 240-unit apartment — 10 buildings each with 24 units — at the corner of Market Avenue and Union Road across the street from Atrium Medical Center and less than one minute off Interstate 75.
Calibre Engineering, on behalf of the property owners, S. Broadway Development and Paradigm Development Group, asked for preliminary development approval from City Council. The property is zoned Business Center Hub Subdistrict. If approved, as part of the planned development process, the property would be rezoned to planned development district to acknowledge there is a development plan associated with the property.
The city’s Planning Commission unanimously approved the plan, while city staff was against the proposal, according to documents.
Based off their comments, some members of council appear more interested in commercial development than residential.

The project would also include two acres at the northwest corner of Market Avenue and Union Road that would be reserved for commercial development, according to the plans Harden presented.
When asked if the property would be better suited for commercial use, Harden said there is not enough traffic in that area to support businesses. He said having commercial space on the first floor and raising the apartments would be too costly.
The Atticus Apartments, a gated community, would be built on 12.6 acres and include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, a recreation center, swimming pool, walking trails, dog park and bike parking, Harden told council.

Harden didn’t know how much the apartments would rent for, but said it would be a “high dollar community.” He said the apartments with no Section 8 housing would attract professionals and medical staff from nearby medical facilities.
The apartments would feature 10-foot ceilings, stainless steel appliances, and granite counters, according to Harden.

Sandy White, who lives near the proposed development, spoke in favor of the legislation during the public hearing. She reminded City Council that years ago, the developer of Austin Landing off Interstate 75 in Miami Twp., proposed building that project in Middletown, but council rejected his idea.
She called that decision “short-sighted” and said apartments should be built because “Middletown needs some nice.”

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