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Middletown's Race 4 Space Competition For Businesses Is Underway

Architect’s rendering of the Rail Trail Commons, Middletown, New York.
Architect’s rendering of the Rail Trail Commons, Middletown, New York. Photo Credit: Contributed

Finding the perfect retail location isn’t always simple. Location and rent are major factors to consider when finding the perfect space for a business. But the City of Middletown, New York is making the process a little bit easier.

The City of Middletown and Mayor Joseph M. DeStefano recently announced the Race 4 Space Competition at the Rail Trail Commons: a business attraction competition designed to fill four newly created retail spaces in the former Woolworth’s Department Store on North Street. Applicants will compete for one of these spaces along with a matching grant of up to $20,000 per space for fit out/build out. Winners will also receive a 50 percent discount on the rent for the first 24 months. Through this competition the city hopes to attract new and exciting businesses that are unique to the downtown, active and pedestrian-oriented.

In 2016, The City of Middletown became a first round winner of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative through the State of New York, a $10 million grant competition created by Governor Cuomo to help revitalize downtowns throughout the state. The city will be using the $10 million to fund six major projects, and the redevelopment of the Woolworth’s building into the Rail Trail Commons is the second project to commence. Façade Improvements, Streetscape Improvements and the redesign of several parking lots were some of the other funded projects.

The Rail Trail Commons will also act as a spur of the incoming Heritage Trail, leading users of the trail through the center of the building and right into the heart of the downtown. “Our goal is to bring people into the city and encourage them to explore what our downtown has to offer,” said Mayor DeStefano. “The businesses in the Rail Trail Commons will greatly benefit from the foot-traffic created by the Heritage Trail.”

Applications for the Race 4 Space are currently available for pick up at the Office of Economic and Community Development in City Hall, 16 James Street, 3rd floor, Middletown, New York. The due date for applications is August 6. Applications and guidelines can also be downloaded at the following websites: or

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