OCDC Preparing For Move To Renovated House

OCEAN CITY – As completion of the newly renovated
Tarry-A-While house on Dorchester Street finishes up this month, plans for the
Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) to move in to its new home are
already underway.

At the Mayor and City Council meeting Monday night,
council members voted unanimously to approve the leasing of the building to
OCDC for a total of five years with an automatic option to renew. According to
OCDC officials, the group plans to use the first floor of the building to house
its offices while the nine bedrooms on the second floor will be leased out over
the summer season to members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol.

The lease begins on May 1 when OCDC plans to move in and
conditions of the lease require it to set a housing rate and payment schedule
for the nine rooms as well as putting the revenue earned from those rooms back
into the building for future improvements, maintenance, furniture for the
upstairs and insurance policies. Both the inside and the outside of the
building must be maintained by the OCDC as well.

The project has taken over two years and involved the
moving of the entire structure from its ocean block property to its new home on
the model block of Dorchester Street back in 2004.

The model block is an area located between Somerset and
Dorchester streets on the north and south and Philadelphia Avenue and Baltimore
Avenue to the east and west. The goal of the model block, according to city
officials, is for the city to eventually own all the property on that block
hoping to send out a request for proposals to major developers to renovate the
entire block.

The city itself already owns half the block and future
initiatives by the OCDC may include the purchasing of more property with its
own funds to combine with the city’s, pushing the model block concept one step

Funding for the project has come from various sources over
the years but mainly from the town and grants applied for by the OCDC.

In its early stages of renovation, OCDC applied for the
state’s Community Legacy Program, a grant awarded to projects aimed at
revitalizing a city, but without hearing anything from the state after some
time, city officials worried the project wouldn’t be able to stay on track
without enough funding.

It was then that the council unanimously approved the
forwarding of $150,000 from the Inlet Parking Fund to keep the project moving

In June of 2005, OCDC was given the  $200,000 from the state through its Community
Legacy Program, half of which went straight toward much needed renovations on
the Tarry-A-While structure.

According to OCDC Executive Director Glenn Irwin in a
recent update to the Mayor and City Council on all of OCDC’s projects, another
grant just recently awarded for the amount of $75,000 from BusinessWorks has
assisted OCDC in finishing up work on the project.