Much like the rise of the motel in the 1950s, the growth of condominiums in the 1970s changed the look and lifestyle of Ocean City.
The first high-rise condo — the High Point South — was built by John Whaley in 1970 and within three years a stretch of beach in North Ocean City had become known as the “Gold Coast.” Over a mile of tall buildings towered over the beach and more restaurants, bars and shops sprang up to meet this new generation of property owners.
By 1973, high interest rates, overbuilding and the gas crisis combined to burst the bubble and the glory days quickly ended. Banks failed, developers went broke and sales dropped dramatically. The real estate market would eventually recover but there has never been another building frenzy like the Gold Coast condo boom of the early ‘70s.
Photo by Bill Fuhrer