When I approached this, I wanted to create a mathematical model that made it possible to reach our $3.8 million new revenue goal by 2020. If we can do that, we can pave and do all the other city services needed each year in a sustainable fashion.
In the prior We Need New Revenues post, I laid out several sources of new revenues that would start rebuilding our ability to provide all city services in a sustainable, year to year fashion. So now we are up to new families needed by 2020. I hope to bring to Middletown, over the next five years, 425 new families with an average household income of $40,000 per household. That, in turn, would bring in an additional $297,500 per year in new income tax revenue.
I’ve read some of the comments on Facebook and other sites about potential job losses during the time I’m adding new business and I’m sure the same comment will be made about new families. “Hey Adkins, what about the families that leave the city during the next five years?”
If it makes everyone happier, let’s say we need a net increase of 1,400 new retail/service jobs, a net increase of 950 other jobs, and a net increase of 425 new families to meet the goal after taking into account that some jobs and some families will leave during the same period. This is a model, a starting way to reach the end goal, not a brick by brick, set in stone plan. All of this will be impacted by good and bad things that happen in the city during the next five years. So back to the 425 families…
Nicholas Place Apartments is under construction on Towne Boulevard. This is a $20 million, 216 unit luxury apartment complex offering new, upscale apartment living in the City, including 144 two bedroom units and 72 three bedroom market rate units. It puts us well on the way to adding new housing to the city.
Fischer Homes is currently building about 15-20 new homes in Renaissance each year. If that continues, that represents 75-100 potential new families moving to Middletown by 2020.
The downtown housing study completed last year suggests that downtown housing demand will support up to 1,080 new housing units downtown in the next decade. I’ve said before that I’m not sold on that number, but even 100-200 new housing units occupied downtown helps in meeting this goal.
The developers of Sawyer’s Mill have approached the city to restart construction in that subdivision with new housing. There are likely to be several months of discussions on this subdivision, but it offers the potential for new housing being built and occupied in Middletown.
Finally, we will be undertaking a comprehensive housing study in 2016 to define how to fix our housing stock to be competitive in today’s market. How do we improve property values to existing housing stock in the city, and how do we handle the neighborhoods with significant demolitions of blighted housing over the recession? Do we rebuild with in-fill housing, create pocket parks, etc? I am reaching out to local realtors, home builders, and landlords (they own almost 50% of our housing) to ask, “What problems do you encounter in the local real estate market and what could the city do to help alleviate them?” We will incorporate their concerns and recommendations into the housing study to hopefully find ways to improve both property values and vacancy rates throughout the city. Retaining families and making our existing housing stock more attractive to incoming families is one of the answers to this goal.
All of the above will help us do everything possible to keep our housing stock viable and to recruit new families to Middletown. Over five years, I believe we can bring 425 new families to the community.