Plan of Action
The OCDC Board of Directors has discussed many issues related to the downtown area. The following items are related to addressing these issues and our recommendations to revitalize a designated area from the Inlet to 17th Street. This area is classified as a Community Legacy Area and Neighborhood Revitalization Area by the State. These designations allow the OCDC and Town of Ocean City to pursue specific state funding sources to implement our revitalization efforts.
- Work with redevelopers
- The OCDC recognizes that private sector investment will be the key ingredient in revitalizing the downtown area of Ocean City. The major role of the OCDC, in this capacity, is planning for quality development to occur. The OCDC expects to continue to work with such property owners and businesses looking to redevelop properties in the downtown area.
- The OCDC aims to be the first point of contact for prospective redevelopers in the downtown area and to work with such developers to promote quality development and assist them through the City process.
- The OCDC will work with the Town of Ocean City to coordinate these efforts.
- For well-designed and quality projects, the OCDC will assist potential developers to pursue public funds, if eligible.
- Facade Program
- The OCDC Facade Program has provided financial assistance to numerous businesses and property owners in this district. This program has been warmly received and promotes the design standards of the "Old Ocean City" architecture. This program should be continued and expanded to other areas of the downtown area.
- The OCDC provides architectural services to interested participants in the Facade Program at no charge to the applicant.
- The Town of Ocean City waives its permit fees for program participants.
- Somerset Street
- The OCDC will continue to work with business and property owners along this street segment to attract good quality retail uses to the street.
- The OCDC will propose and work with the street retailers to bring special events to the Somerset Plaza.
- Redevelopment of Worcester Street lot
- The Worcester Street lot is presently used as a surface parking lot and contains 175 parking spaces.
- The OCDC believes a multi-purpose use for this City owned property would increase the area tax base, provide better building design, and bring additional activity to the downtown area.
- The OCDC will work with the Town of Ocean City in finding the necessary funding to construct this project.
- Land acquisition Program
- Although the OCDC possesses limited funds, it believes the purchase of strategic properties is very important to its revitalization efforts.
- Such uses may be for public use or for private uses that would provide a longterm public benefit.
- Public Art Program
- Public art has a strong place in the redevelopment efforts for downtown Ocean City. The OCDC believes public art will add interest to the downtown area and increase pedestrian traffic, as the area becomes better known for its public art offerings.
- The public art projects completed to date include: white marlin sculpture and water feature at Entry Park, seahawk sculpture at Philadelphia Avenue and 4th Street, wall murals on Dorchester Street, enlarged postcards on Caroline Street, fifteen Delmarva Power utility boxes that were designed and painted by the Art League of Ocean City and area high schools, and brick pavers along the west side of Philadelphia Avenue. The OCDC has also provided public art north of its district. The majestic bronze eagle sculpture is located 142nd Street and the attractive "The Educator" sculpture is located at the Ocean City library.
- Wrap around Boardwalk project
- This project is a long-term goal of the OCDC.
- As Bayside and Inlet projects are designed and pursuing site plan approval, the intent is to obligate an easement or construct a boardwalk to allow public access to the Bayside properties.
- The goal is to promote additional pedestrian traffic throughout the bayside and to the boardwalk would be the linkage to accomplish this.
- Revise and expand design standards
- To consider and assist with design standards in other sections of Ocean City.
- To revisit the downtown design standards and upper downtown design standards and to provide additional recommendations.
- To update these design manuals for each of these two design districts and distribute to potential developers, architects, engineers, and general public.
- Fiscal Impact Model
- In 2002 the OCDC commissioned a consulting firm to develop an economic and fiscal impact modeling program.
- As new projects are proposed the OCDC will apply this model to better evaluate the financial impacts of these new projects.
- Public information
- The OCDC will continue to complete an annual OCDC newsletter that will be made available to OCDC members, development community, and general public describing OCDC activities.
- The OCDC will continue to provide presentations and walking tours of downtown Ocean City to inform the general public as well as specific groups that have an interest in downtown Ocean City.
If you have any comments or suggestions on these elements of our proposed work plan or other ideas, please e-mail me at email@example.com at your earliest convenience. Thank you.
Glenn Irwin, Executive Director
Ocean City Development Corporation