Navy Scheduled to Finalize Deal with Middletown Next Week & Turn Over Former Navy Lodge Property

MIDDLETOWN, RI -- Calling it a win for Rhode Islanders and the United States Navy,
U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, today
announced that Navy officials are scheduled to travel to Rhode Island next week to
sign paperwork finalizing a $1.3 million transaction to turn over the former Navy
Lodge property -- located along Coddington Highway and West Main Road -- to the town
of Middletown.

"This is an exciting development for Middletown and it is a smart, cost-effective
move for the Navy and taxpayers," said Senator Reed.  "I congratulate the Town
Council, particularly Council President Bob Sylvia, as well as Town Administrator
Shawn Brown, and everyone who helped work collaboratively to make this deal
possible.  I am confident the people of Middletown will put this space to good,
productive use in a way that benefits both the community and enhances public
infrastructure surrounding Naval Station Newport."

"This is great news.  We have been working on this project for over a decade.  This
is one of the most important acquisitions the town has ever made and it has the
potential to be a long-term economic catalyst," said Council President Robert
Sylvia.  "We appreciate Senator Reed's support and help with the Navy.  Going
forward, we plan to seek public input in terms of how to best use the property to
benefit the town and generate economic benefits and tax relief for our residents."

From the 1990s through 2002, the Navy used the 3.25 acre parcel of land to house its
off-base lodge.  But the building was torn down in 2002 and the Navy replaced it
with new on-base lodging.  In 2005, the property was used as a temporary staging
area to help provide relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina, but it is currently

This deal for the site, which has been over a decade in the making, began during the
2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), when the BRAC
Commission evaluated Naval Station Newport and determined the Navy no longer needed
the use of all naval property on Aquidneck Island.

The Navy declared over 225 acres of naval property in the Town of Middletown, the
City of Newport, and the Town of Portsmouth to be surplus in 2008, including the
Navy Lodge site.

On December 5, 2014, the Town of Middletown submitted a letter requesting
acquisition of the property via negotiated sale and subsequently agreed to the
purchase price of $1.3 million.

Last February, the Town Council voted unanimously to put down a $130,000 deposit for
the property and has discussed holding public hearings on redeveloping the former
lodge property into a mixed use residential-commercial site.  Middletown will
incorporate the property into the redevelopment of its adjacent 13.25 acres.

Reed, who also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, noted that
under the terms of the agreement, the Navy is responsible for all environmental
cleanup costs.

In August of 2017, the Newport Daily News reported that "From an environmental
standpoint, the former Navy Lodge in Middletown is clean and ready to be
transferred.  During a tour this week of Naval Station Newport properties, base
Environmental Director David Dorocz said there are no environmental concerns at the
more than 3-acre site at the corner of Coddington Highway and West Main Road."