New Ocean City Mixed-Use Project’s Plans Approved

New Ocean City Mixed-Use Project’s Plans Approved
The image depicts a Coastal Highway elevation of the proposed redevelopment project on 78th Street. Rendering by Fisher Architecture

OCEAN CITY – A new K-Coast Surf Shop with an attached restaurant is expected to be built on 78th Street and the hope is to be open by spring of 2015.

The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed a site plan Tuesday of the proposed mixed-use project consisting of a restaurant and mercantile units to be located on the west side of Coastal Highway and south side of 79th Street. The applicant was listed as Chris Shanahan for Sandbox Apts. LLC. Shanahan serves on the commission and recused himself from the site plan review. Shanahan’s partner in the project and K-Coast is Mark Pugh.

The property, which is a combination of two parcels, currently is home to K-Coast Girl, which will be demolished. To the north on the corner was the Senor Cigars building, which was recently removed.

The proposed building is two stories with the majority of square footage being mercantile space on both floors that will become a new K-Coast Surf Shop, as well as a restaurant on both floors with a kitchen, bar and indoor and outdoor seating.

Building Administrator Blaine Smith explained the original use of the property was deficient in the number of parking spaces. The new project would require 28 parking spaces by the current parking code but is deficient by 11 spaces.

However, Ocean City code allows for the parking deficiency to be carried onto the new project because the use of the property is not intensifying with the restaurant size being so minor compared to the size of K-Coast.

Commission member Lauren Taylor asserted the property is changing to a mixed-use and Ocean City code should require parking to become compliant when the use changes and asked for a future discussion over the matter.

“They are constructing wider sidewalks so hopefully that will help the walk-in traffic from the beach,” Commission Chair Pam Buckley said. “I don’t see this being an issue but I can see other projects coming through that could be.”

The building will be placed in the southwest corner of the property with surrounding landscaping and a garden on the corner of 79th Street.

“The style of the building and the corner landscaping is quite an upgrade for that site,” Buckley said.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the site plan subject to staff recommendations.

“It is a good looking project,” Buckley said.

Shanahan and Pugh also currently own K-Coast Surf Shop on 35th Street that is similar to the new project on 78th Street with a two-story surf shop and adjoining is Crazy 8s restaurant.

According to Pugh, the plan is to run the 78th street store as a smaller full service K-Coast and tear down the existing shop in September to start construction and have the new K-Coast completed by spring 2015.

In other news Peck Miller, developer of 67th Street Town Center, requested a minor site plan adjustment of a 460-square-foot outdoor dining deck and porch addition to Longboard Café that is located on the south side of the shopping center. Miller also serves on the commission but was absent that evening.

With no discussion, the commission voted unanimously to approve the addition of a covered deck to Longboard Café.