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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Commercial use sought for former Berlin Tyson’s plant

BERLIN—Every town has that one “white elephant” commercial building that proves to be tough to turn into an ongoing enterprise, but Economic and Development Director Michael Day is not giving up on the site of Berlin’s former Tyson’s Food chicken processing plant.
The building is located on a 60-acre lot at 10009 Old Ocean City Blvd. (Map 0025, parcel 0057).
Local developer Troy Purnell bought the property in 2003 to develop into housing and retail just as the real estate bubble burst, and said he is open to Day’s ideas for using the site.
“Everything he has in mind are great ideas,” Purnell said, adding that the property was a perfect spot for an amphitheater or a group event that could hold about 1,500 people. It’s in the right part of town for that sort of thing,” he said.
Day said the massive size of the property makes it difficult to sell, so he focuses on selling the great small town community of Berlin, rather then the building and its lot. But he said that property has its advantages, such as its own water treatment plant and at least 35 EDU’s (equivalent development units). The property’s frontage is annexed into the town, he added.
According to Purnell, the size of the building totals 52,000 square feet, including 32,000 square feet of warehouse space, 10,000 square feet of office space, and 10,000 square feet of restaurant space.
Day said he could envision the site being used as an event center, outside concert venue, or sports center for skateboarding or tennis courts. He said the town has used the property to host a Dew Tour after party, two Jeep Jamborees, and several birding weekend events.
“I would like to see us either having events there or attracting a business that could bring a lot of jobs to the area,” he said. The property has drawn inquiries from a brewery and a solar energy company, Day said.
In the interim, Purnell said the organizers for the Dew Tour are planning to set up their skateboarding ramp for maintenance and repairs in February and March and have offered to use it as a public skate park until the event in Ocean City later next summer.
The total asking price for the sale of the entire property is $2.9 million, according to Purnell. By parcel, the back piece where the lagoons are would sell for $2 million, while the building upfront that includes office, cafeteria and warehouse is $1 million, he said.
“We can mix and match these parcels however it works with the buyer and town” Day said.
For more information on the former Tysons property on Old Ocean City Boulevard, contact Troy Purnell by telephone at 410-726-8043, or by e-mail at