MIDDLETOWEN - Calico, the evil clown of Middletown, is staying.

An iconic 30-foot steel sign that residents in a New Jersey shore town feared would be trashed because of a new development project is safe.

That's according to the developer of a project that aims to create a 400,000-square-foot shopping center and 350 residential units in Middletown.

John Orrico, president of National Realty & Development Corp., tells NJ.com that Calico is a classic and will be a part of the development. The sign sits at the edge of a liquor store parking lot.

He says he's working with the state's historic preservation office on how to relocate the sign and make sure it stays in town.

An online petition has been created to save the iconic sign.