Monday, January 7- OCDC Sets Downtown Goals for 2008

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) had a successful year and is looking forward to even more success in 2008, reported OCDC officials this week.

OCDC Executive Director Glenn Irwin and OCDC President Greg Shockley presented the Mayor and Council with an update on the OCDC last week, highlighting successes of 2007 and goals for 2008.

Seventy members, 10 committees, and 5,282 volunteers since 2002 make up the OCDC, reported Shockley.

“We’ve been very fortunate that people have committed their time to the OCDC,” he said.

One of the major undertakings of 2007 that will continue into 2008 is the OCDC Façade Program, which has brought renovations to 34 buildings south of 3rd Street and nine renovations from 3rd to 17th streets. Irwin reported that the OCDC has received an overwhelming amount of positive comments on the downtown renovations. Downtown buildings such as the Ambassador Inn, which was being considered for demolition a year ago, have been provided interior and exterior facelifts.

Public Art will continue to be a focus for the OCDC in 2008, said Irwin. The utility box decoration program continued in 2007, totaling 17 boxes painted in the downtown area. The OCDC received a major contribution to its public art program recently through the Eunice Sorin donation. A $130,000 donation was made and will be used to purchase a bronze sculpture of a child reading on a father’s lap. The sculpture is to be placed in the new Ocean City library and is expected to be on display by October 2008.

The Tarry-A-While Guest House re-opened in 2007, and according to Shockley has been a huge success. “That’s become our centerpiece, it’s a shining light in downtown Ocean City,” he said. Eight rooms were rented to 13 Beach Patrol employees this past summer. “It worked out great for them and it worked out great for us,” Shockley said.

Sunset Park will be further utilized for special events in 2008.

“We feel it’s important to use Sunset Park, it’s a great venue,” said Shockley. Five special events will be funded for Sunset Park this year, and will include music and ethnic festivals. “We just hope to create some traffic and buzz about Sunset Park,” Shockley said.

The Mayor and Council applauded the OCDC for all its efforts, noting the numerous volunteers that dedicate their time.

To read the full story, along with dozens of others, see The Dispatch on Friday