By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
Ocean City Today and Bayside Gazette erroneously reported that Fisher Architecture was the contract purchaser of properties on Pitts and Main Streets as well as which companies Frank Willing and Chris Davis represented in last week’s paper. Corrections have been made to the article to reflect the most accurate information.
(Aug. 10, 2020) Plans for renovations on building facades in downtown Berlin have been dropped by developers Frank Willing of Paul Davis Restoration and Chris Davis of NAI Coastal, who reportedly decided not to sign a contract because of unforeseen costs of the project.
Mayor Gee Williams said he learned on July 24 that the developers did not want to purchase and renovate the properties owned by Jack Burbage. The properties included storefronts on Pitts Street and Main Street.
“It was obvious from conversation that the financial numbers didn’t work out for the potential investors, who were going to totally renovate the property,” Williams said. “They have to take in account the cost of purchasing the property plus the cost of revitalizing it.”
The Berlin Historic District Commission approved the proposal presented by Keith Fisher of Fisher Architecture, after a compromise on June 3. Willing and Davis were also in attendance for the meeting with the commission.
During the meeting, the commission voted to approve the project provided that the Pitts Street corner included as much brick as possible, was reduced a foot in height and included more cornice detail to fit the style of the town.
“I think the folks proposed a very practical and beneficial plan, and I do believe this will happen sooner or later,” Williams said. “Quite frankly, I think most citizens of Berlin would obviously like to see it happen as soon as possible. I do think it will, but like anyone else, I’m not sure when.”
Williams said he is interested in seeing the project proceed, whether it be with Paul Davis Restoration or other investors.
“In the long run, it’s certainly to the community’s benefit, to see this last major revitalization project be completed,” he said.