OCEAN CITY – A new management team says it hope to restore the Montego Bay Shopping Center back to its prior distinction as being the premiere uptown shopping destination.
”We are excited to be managing an Ocean City landmark that has served residents and tourists for over 30 years,” said Jerome B. “Jerry” Trout, III, Principal of Trout Management and Trout Daniel. “Our goal on the leasing side is to have a number of attractive new tenants and improvements in place before the summer season begins.”
Trout said that his team is actively seeking both national, local and regional retailers to be part of the uptown shopping plaza known best for being the home of the Super Thrift, True Value, Tequila Mockingbird, Duffy’s Tavern and Higgins.
“We feel that we can bring in some national retailers that will augment what’s already in the plaza without coming in taking it over,” said Trout. “No one is getting thrown out, but we are trying to get some bigger retailers to pay attention to what Ocean City has to offer as far as a business opportunity.”
There are currently four vacancies in the plaza Trout and his team are hoping to fill by the time the summer season rolls around, and he said that though there won’t be a change in the operational aspects of the plaza, he hopes the changes will bring a “new and fresh level of professionalism to one of the town’s most well established shopping plazas.”
Trout Management manages hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail space throughout the Mid-Atlantic, and their resume ranges from freestanding buildings and office space to large big-box retail centers.
Trout said that the company’s “deeper connection with national and regional retailers” is a huge advantage in its hopes to revitalize the property.
“It’s in good condition, and we’ve been in contact with the current tenants like the grocery store (Super Thrift) and the hardware store (True Value),” said Trout, “and though we can’t say right now which businesses we are in talks with, we are excited to announce the new developments when that magic time comes.”
The Montego Bay Shopping Plaza on 128th Street boasts 70,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Trout hopes his Baltimore-based company will add some value to the plaza and to the town as a whole.
“I’ve been coming to Ocean City for 30 years,” said Trout, “and I remember a time when that uptown area had nothing but sand dunes, and now there’s a real opportunity to bring the plaza back to where it once was.”