County will host a commercial bus tour of the Lower Eastern Shore on Sept. 27
to highlight areas ripe for commercial development and familiarize potential investors
with the area.
Economic Development Director Bill Badger said the tour will begin at
Harrison’s Harbor Watch at the Ocean City Inlet and commence up the length of
the boardwalk by tram with a guided tour of “iconic Ocean City” to 27th Street.
The group will include investors and local and county officials and is
scheduled to travel through Ocean City, West Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Berlin,
will be briefed on commercial sites that are ready for development or
redevelopment and sites that officials would like to see developed or
redeveloped in the future. Badger
said the tour concept was meant to provide a fun and different way to remind
investors of why the Eastern Shore is a great market for business investment.
City, the tour will include the site of the former George B. Cropper Concrete
Company at the foot of the Route 50 bridge that was purchased by the Gudelsky family
in 2011. The bus tour will also make a stop at the Ocean City convention center
and along Route 90, before heading westward toward the Route 50 corridor in
West Ocean City, Route 589 in Ocean Pines and Route 113 in Berlin.
of the Casino at Ocean Downs will meet the bus to discuss plans for expanding
the casino, after the group returns from lunch at the Sunset Grille in West
Ocean City, Badger said.
Pines Plaza in Ocean Pines is very important to the county, he said, and the
county commissioners have authorized construction for water and sewer at the
property. County officials are
expected to complete the bid approval process shortly so construction can be
completed in late spring 2014. “We
need to breathe new life into that property,” Badger said.
county has already signed an agreement to expand water and sewer service to West
Ocean City properties along Route 50, including in front of the Wal-Mart retail
complex at Ocean Landings, and is primed to encourage development of a grocery
or big box store further down the road to the former Harley-Davidson building
site, Badger said. The McDonald’s adjacent to the building at the Seahawk Road
and Route 50 corner is expected to eventually relocate to the frontage property
at the Ocean Landings complex where Wal-Mart is located, he said.
said the county was in the process of deploying the infrastructure for
distributing natural gas to Berlin, including a pipeline installed across from
Stephen Decatur High School.
developer John Derrickson will be on the bus to make a presentation on his property
along Route 113 in Berlin, Badger said. Derrickson has already developed part
of his real estate holdings in the area with the openings of an upscale
Sunshine Laundry and beer and wine store, both adjacent to Derrickson’s other
owned by developer Troy Purnell along Old Ocean City Boulevard will also be
highlighted during the bus tour, Badger said. Purnell owns a prime piece of
commercial property that was the site of a former chicken processing plant,
located across from Burley Oak Brewing Company. County officials would like to
see that developed, Badger said.