OC Renews Street Lease With Seacrets

OCEAN CITY — In what was called a win-win situation for both parties, resort officials this week approved a lease renewal for a portion of 49th Street for a popular midtown restaurant and nightclub.

The Mayor and Council had before them on Feb. 9 a request to renew a one-year lease with Seacrets for a roughly 250-foot section of city-owned roadway at the west end of 49th Street. The town leases the 250-foot section on the west end of 49th Street for $2,400 on a year-to-year basis and the time to renew the agreement had been reached.

The lease agreement is considered a win-win situation for both parties. It allows Seacrets to control and manage the area directly in front of the establishment. Restaurant staff directs pedestrian foot traffic, regulates vehicle movement and stages areas for taxi cab pickups and deliveries and other management and control crowds.

“The town owns a portion of 49th Street of about 250 feet,” said City Manager Doug Miller. “We’ve come up with a win-win situation in which we lease that area to them for $2,400 per year.”

Miller said the benefit to the town, apart from the modest $2,400 lease, is the assistance provided to the Ocean City Police Department in that area. With Seacrets’ vast bar security operation controlling the area for the most part, the OCPD does not have to devote as much attention to it.

“The win for them is they control and maintain the entrance to their facility,” said Miller. “The win for us is it makes crowd control and alcohol enforcement easier.”

The Police Commission had forwarded a favorable recommendation to the full Mayor and Council at its last meeting. On Tuesday, the Mayor and Council approved extending the one-year lease for $2,400 unanimously with little discussion. The approval extends the lease for another year with the term ending Jan. 1, 2022.

The actual lease is lengthy and full of legalese, but lays out the conditions by which Seacrets can utilize the portion of city-owned roadway. The leased property can only be used by the establishment for the purposes of controlling pedestrian and vehicle traffic and only signage for that purpose is allowed. No tents, tables or other usage is allowed on the property without prior consent from the town, for example.

The area cannot be used for parking, with the exception of deliveries. In addition, the lease as written indemnifies the town against any liability for loss, damage, injury or death in the leased area.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.