Since 2008, the three Aquidneck Island communities have been holding public meetings, hearings and gathering comments on how to best use roughly 175 acres of west side land parcels surplused by the Navy.
On Tuesday night, Middletown Town Administrator Shawn Brown told Middletown Town Council members that by this June, the project's initial models will be completed and councilors will have decisions to make. Brown said the project has moved into the implementation phase. “We no longer talk about what we want to do, we talk about the mechanics of what we want to do with the property,” said Brown.
Middletown has three potential development projects. How would you like to see these lands used?
Defense Highway, Middletown and Portsmouth
Straddling Middletown and Portsmouth, approximately 67 acres along portions of Defense Highway, Stringham Road, and Midway/Greene Lane. Up to the Portsmouth line, Middletown has around 25 acres. Brown says the plan is to build a park similar to Brenton Point with pedestrian activities and a kayak launch.
The Navy Lodge
The Navy Lodge is targeted for potential mixed-use development, to include retail, commercial and office space. Road improvements were also suggested for the corner of the property to allow a right-hand-turn lane at the West Main/Coddington and West Main/East Main intersections.
The site would have to be re-zoned for the intended uses, as it is currently zoned for residential use. Plans for redevelopment among adjacent municipal and private properties were also suggested.
John F. Kennedy School
There is an opportunity to develop parcels behind the JFK School.