West OC Business Eyes Berlin Property

BERLIN – A West Ocean City sign and printing company could be moving to Old Ocean City Boulevard.

Plak That, the West Ocean City company known for its signs, could be moving to a vacant lot on Old Ocean City Boulevard, just west of the railroad tracks. Owner Wyatt Harrison met with the Berlin Planning Commission last week to talk about the concept.

“He’s just trying to get some guidance to get moving,” Planning Director Dave Engelhart told the commission.

Harrison said he currently had the property — two acres at 9933 Old Ocean City Blvd. east of Cheers! — under contract. He’d like to eventually move Plak That, which is currently housed in various contractor shops in West Ocean City, to the Berlin site.

“My number one concern is getting a new building so I can have more interior floor space to do the operations I need,” he said.

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The building he’s planning for the property would feature a little bit of retail but primarily would be for production.

“We do have some customers that come and order things at our storefront but it’s mostly going to be a production facility,” he said.

Harrison said that in planning the design of a new building, he was considering issues that had plagued his existing operation. Details like having dumpster space, tractor trailer turnarounds and complying with property line setbacks are being taken into account.

“I’d like to come back later on when I own the property and have a full site plan,” he said.

Harrison added that while a new headquarters for Plak That was his priority, he was also planning to eventually develop the full site. He said the front of the property could house businesses as well.

“I’m not absolutely set on an office here, or a café,” he said, adding that he was also considering mixed use buildings that would have residential space on the second floor.

Commission members suggested he work with a land planner to determine the best use for the entire site and to maximize its footprint.

Commission member Ron Cascio said that one general piece of advice he’d offer for that area would be to put buildings on the street and parking behind them.

“You need to find out what your wetland situation is, then stormwater issues, so you know how much you have left to work with and where it is,” he said. “That’s going to enable you to determine beyond your own business what you might have.”

Harrison encouraged officials to reach out to him if they had any thoughts about the project as it moved forward.

“I want to create something that’s aesthetically pleasing that I’m not going to have to come back three times to the planning commission on,” he said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.