Middletown officials hope to get historic tax breaks to help renovate O&W Train Station

Middletown officials say the O&W Train Station could be fully renovated and repurposed sometime in 2025.

News 12 Staff

Apr 19, 2023, 9:49 PM

Updated 432 days ago


Middletown officials have a new plan to renovate an old, broken-down train station into something they say the community sorely needs.
Town officials say the O&W Train Station could be fully renovated and repurposed sometime in 2025.
The station closed in the '60s. There were some tenants in the '80s and '90s before it was completely abandoned. A fire then damaged it in 2004.
Michael Jones, manager of the restaurant supply store next door, says he would like the vacant building to look like it did when he was a child and his grandfather worked at the station.
"I remember as a child, the place was beautiful. The place had a nice clock in the front of it. It got robbed after the place burnt down…Hopefully they can get it back to its former glory,” Jones says.
Officials say the total cost to renovate the building will be around $20 million.
The city is devoting about $6 million in state aid and $4 million in federal pandemic relief funds to the renovation.
The mayor says the city also created a separate land trust company to run the property, which could make the project eligible for up to $8 million in tax credits meant for historic properties. Municipalities themselves can't get those tax breaks.
Mayor Joe DeStefano told News 12 that the city's land trust company would rent much of the building to a Head Start program for migrant children whose parents are farm workers.
"It's not just education, it's a way of assisting families as they move into our community and working in the agricultural field,” he says.
DeStefano says all the city's attorneys and consultants tell him that by creating the land trust, the project should get those historic property tax breaks, which are crucial to the plan.
The mayor says the land trust should get confirmation in writing on those tax credits soon and then the first phase of the project would begin immediately after.

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