Historic Middletown firehouse sees new mixed-use future
MIDDLETOWN — Broad Street Leasing and Clark Construction recently unveiled plans for their latest project in the heart of downtown Middletown: transforming a historic firehouse into a mixed-use building.
Preliminary plans designed by Breckstone Architecture show a four-story retail and apartment building for 14 S. Broad St. The idea is to have three floors of apartments above retail, mirroring a similar project at 9. W. Main St. with two retail suites on the first floor and luxury apartments on the second floor.
Right now, the plan is for six retail suites in the 6,200-square-foot first floor. Clark Construction would add a fourth floor to build 18 apartments total, said Adam Cofield, general manager and property manager for Broad Street Leasing.
“We are huge fans of restoring what is typically there and building off of it … [and] we are huge fans of providing a shell and not getting too far ahead before we understand the potential tenants’ needs are,” Cofield said during the Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission’s Aug. 20 meeting.
The Broad Street building was built in 1867 as a bank, but was later bought by the Middletown fire department in 1925. The fire department eventually moved a building on West Green Street in 2000. The Middletown Boys & Girls Club used it up until 2019.
This venture is the latest entry in Middletown’s revitalization encouraged by Clark Construction in recent years. Since 2015, Rick Clark, the owner of Clark Construction, has been buying and renovating property in what he sees a boom town. Last fall, Clark and RM Hospitality Group opened La Banca, a Tuscan restaurant in a 1918 bank building on the Middletown center square. Peach Tree Station, a 25,000 square-foot shopping center, has landed several tenants but still has space to lease.
There is no timeline for 14 S. Broad Street so far, although Cofield said that tentative talks with potential retail tenants had started.
“It’s a great building in terms of its location, and we’re looking to retain its historic presence in Middletown,” Cofield told the Delaware Business Times.
By Katie Tabeling
Editor’s note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the The Middletown Boys & Girls Club used 14 S. Broad Street until 1999, not 2019. We regret the error. The story has since been updated with additional information about the property.