OCEAN CITY — The on-again, off-again, 150-room, eight-story hotel under construction along the south side of Route 90 is back on after a new contractor has been hired to finish the project, the developers announced this week.
The Residence Inn by Marriott along the bay adjacent to the Route 90 bridge was first approved by resort planners in 2014, but has seen its fair share of obstacles through the construction process. In late August, with the project about 90 percent complete, the developer, Inns of Ocean City LLC, became at odds with the general contractor and work on the hotel stopped near the finish line when it was about 90 percent complete.
Last spring, it appeared the new hotel project would have been ready for the 2016 season, as was the stated goal of the developers, but the summer came and went without a firm completion date. In late August, it was learned the project was in limbo because of conflict between the developer and the general contractor and work stopped. The project has remained largely idle since although Inns of Ocean City LLC officials this week announced it was back on again after a new general contractor had been hired, according to a statement from the developer.
“We are happy to inform the area and community that the construction of the hotel is back on and we are getting closer to our opening day,” the release reads. “The principals of Inns of Ocean City LLC, owner of the Residence Inn by Marriott project at 300 Seabay Lane, have announced that construction is resuming on the 150-room hotel.”
The Inns of Ocean City LLC has now contracted with Whiting-Turner, a general contractor and project manager with numerous other resort development projects under its belt, including the ongoing expansions of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, for example.
“They are pleased to welcome the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company as the new construction manager for the project, working with the bonding company to take over the construction of the project and bring it to completion,” the statement reads. “The hotel is expected to be open for the 2017 season.”
In July, the Ocean City Planning Commission took the developer to task somewhat for a perceived design flaw on the new hotel’s north façade. Some on the planning commission characterized the north façade Route 90 as a charmless expanse of white wall with few windows or other design features. After considerable debate, the developers agreed to implement a new design for the north façade featuring an undulating, multi-colored wave pattern.