New mixed-use developments in Middletown aim to encourage people to ‘eat, live, play’ near home

Over the last six weeks or so, scores of people driving by Route 66/Washington Street near the Staples plaza have watched the felling of trees and construction crews clearing a 15-acre formerly forested plot that borders Carabetta Apartments on Plaza Drive. Developer Robert Kempenaar II of Rhode Island plans to build retail or office space and four market-rate apartments on the second floor: two two-bedroom apartments and two one-bedrooms. “We want to make communities where people can easily access the amenities they need without having to jump in a car and traveling out of town. We want people to be able to — as the saying goes — eat, live, play in one location,” said Middletown Planning, Conservation & Development Director Joseph Samolis.

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