City Centre Mall. The shift of retailers away from downtown Middletown started in October 1958 when the Middletown Shopping Center opened along Breiel Boulevard on the eastern edge of the city. Middletown city officials tried to thwart the continuing exodus from its core with a city-sponsored downtown mall, approved by city commissioners Dec. 27, 1968. The enclosed City Centre Mall was dedicated Nov. 23, 1973. Aided by state and federal funds, the $30 million project involved 75 acres bounded by Main and Clinton streets, Verity Parkway and Manchester and First avenues. Streets closed to vehicle traffic were roofed in a climate-controlled shopping complex, and a parking garage was built. But Middletown's downtown makeover didn't stop development on the city's fringe. Towne Mall opened Feb. 7, 1977, in adjacent Warren County, just west of I-75. The 500,000 square foot enclosed mall, with more than 35 shops, was built on 612 acres and included 3,350 parking spaces.
Starting July 19, 2001, the roof was removed from City Centre Mall. Restoration -- including reopening streets -- cost more than $13 million.