A movie theater is still on the books for Westown, Developer Rick Woodin said at the June 1 Middletown Town Council meeting.
Middletown Mayor and Council approved plans to reconfigure 19.57 acres on which the theater would be built so that it is closer to U.S. 301 from its original location.
“In discussing with one interest of a movie theater, what they want to do is create that open vista from 301 for visibility,” Woodin said. “We felt the end result would have more synergy and be more attractive.”
He said as part of the change, the total building footprint has been reduced by almost 30,000 square feet and 120 parking spaces.
Mayor Ken Branner asked if there really was going to be a movie theater.
The theater was part of the original Westown plans, but was taken out of the plans when Promenade announced there would be a theater at that location on the east side of Middletown.
Kristen Krenzer, public relations officer for the Town of Middletown, said since construction of the promenade is on hold, the theater has been added back to the Westown plans.
“It’s a tough market, but they’re telling us they want to go,” Woodin said.
The theater would be located to the north of Kohl’s.
The Mayor and Council approved subdivision plans for the towncenter portion of the Westown plans for the purpose of financing.
“We’ve come across a situation where the bankers would like to allocate their funding to various parcels,” Woodin said. “It came to light that we really needed to have these parcels separately created so finances could be created to fund those parcels. This allows them to tell us what they’ll give us on that parcel.”
Middletown resident Sonya Comstock asked about the status of Target coming to town. The business is proposed for the corner of Bunker Hill Road and U.S. 301.
“They still retain an interest in Middletown and in particular our property, but they have their current plans on hold until they assess their nationwide situation,” Woodin said. “They haven’t said, ‘No.’ They said if anything, please wait. So we’re waiting.”
Westown Business Park
Mayor and Council also approved plans for Westown Business Park, which will be set on about 107.5 acres on the southern side of U.S. 301 east of the former Levels Road.
Woodin said the plan includes an internal street and utility system.
“It puts us in a ready position to attract businesses,” he said. “This would help us be more competitive in the marketplace trying to attract businesses to the area.”
Woodin said there will be access off U.S. 301 through the extension of Merrimac Avenue. Secondary access will be off of Levels Road.
Page 2 of 2 - “You’ll be able to traverse through this site and stay off 301 if you have deliveries,” he said.
Habitat for Humanity
Mayor and Council approved the rezoning of just more than half an acre on East Lake Street from single-family residential to multi-family residential to allow for the construction of six Habitat for Humanity town homes.
In accordance with Vice Mayor Jimmy Reynolds’ request at the May meeting, Roger Brickley of Bakhsh, Inc. said plans for sewer and water at the site will be completed before the town begins repaving East Lake Street.
“We’re glad to have another [Habitat for Humanity] parcel,” Branner said.
A-2 Cleaners will move from their location in the Market Place shopping center on U.S. 301 to 400 W. Main St., the former Hollywood Tans location.
The business will use all organic, biodegradable solutions and produce no toxic air pollutants or vapors.
A firewall will be installed between the cleaning business and Sunrise Bagel Café next door.
Middletown Police Chief Hank Tobin said there was a spike in accidents during May.
“We saw an increase out in the 301/Main Street area with construction,” he said. “Most of it was inattentive driving for the most part. There was a lot of confusion and we’ll be working with the town planner to get the barrels moved and traffic routed a little better.”
Tobin said there also has been an increase in calls for service at the Middletown Wal-Mart Supercenter and there has been a problem with graffiti in The Estates at Saint Annes neighborhood.
He said one Middletown resident’s pick-up truck was stolen, but was later recovered in Philadelphia occupied by an adult male and his juvenile son.
“They were selling stolen equipment out of the back of it – fishing poles, videotapes,” Tobin said. “The two of them are looking at a number of charges.”
He said the basketball league recently finished up. He commended the more than 50 volunteers who got 178 kids to participate.
Christine Brenner, MPD Crime Prevention officer, said she will host a second basic self-defense course for women over four days – Monday, June 15, Wednesday, June 17, Monday, June 22, and Wednesday, June 24.
The course is first-come, first-served and trains women in how to defend themselves against aggressors.
To register, call Brenner at 376-9950.