BERLIN – The purchase of property in Ocean Pines could bring Coastal Hospice at the Ocean to reality two years sooner than anticipated.
Coastal Hospice currently has a contract in place to purchase the property in Ocean Pines that is home to The Point Clubhouse. Though there are a number of contingencies, including regulatory approval, officials from Coastal Hospice are optimistic that the sale will move forward.
“If we’re successful, what was originally built as The Point Clubhouse will become Coastal Hospice at the Ocean,” said Maureen McNeill, director of development for Coastal Hospice. “We have an attorney working on our behalf and we are hopeful all will go well.”
Coastal Hospice has spent the past several years promoting a capital campaign to raise the $5 million needed to build a hospice residence in the Berlin area. The project was originally planned for property on Prospect Drive in Berlin, as that piece of land was purchased by the organization through a generous donation. With the opportunity to buy The Point Clubhouse at “a tremendous bargain,” however, Coastal Hospice officials are now planning to do so and convert the existing building into the new facility they’ve been working toward.
McNeill says the organization will hold onto the Prospect Drive property for now. She said hospice officials wanted to make sure plans were moving ahead and the organization was in a position to continue its existing programs before making any major decisions.
“That’s why there are contingencies to the contract and we still own the property on Prospect Drive,” she said. “Call it an abundance of caution. When you consider that more than 1,000 patients and their families rely on Coastal Hospice each year, caution only makes sense.”
Coastal Hospice at the Ocean, once built, is meant to serve the area as a hospice residence — with individual rooms — as well as through outreach and by acting as a base for the organization’s home hospice care program.
McNeill says the community has shown plenty of support for the endeavor, as $3.5 million of the $5 million goal has been reached so far. The organization has benefited from bequests as well as from fundraisers held by local people and organizations.
“There are a lot of worthy causes in our community and we’re delighted so many people have chosen to invest in Coastal Hospice at the Ocean,” McNeill said.
Though it’s too early to say when the new facility will be up and running, she said if the regulatory process went smoothly work on The Point Clubhouse could begin later this year. While the building appears complete from the outside, even featuring a tower and covered entryway, the interior is completely unfinished. McNeill said it was left that way by the developer, who lost the property when a bank foreclosed on it.
She says finishing the interior and making into a space usable for hospice is expected to take 12 to 18 months. While Coastal Hospice officials expect the endeavor to cost roughly the same amount as building a facility from the ground up, McNeill says having a building shell and site work complete will save the project a significant amount of time.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us,” she said.