Ocean City Today

South Philadelphia building delayed until February 2020

By Greg Ellison | Dec 07, 2017
Courtesy of: Bill Neville The Planning Commission approved a third two-year extension for a proposed redevelopment project at 210 South Philadelphia Avenue, which dates back to Aug. 2012, to build a more than 5,800 square-foot three-story commercial building with office and retail spaces.

(Dec. 8, 2017) Development of a 4,000-square-foot site plan at 210 South Philadelphia Avenue, originally proposed in August 2012, received its third approval extension from the Ocean City Planning Commission on Tuesday.

Christopher Reeves, who owns the parcel, currently operates a parking lot on the northwest corner of Dorchester Street and South Philadelphia Avenue. After demolishing the original structure, Reeves’ plan was to break ground on a 5,850-square-foot, three-story commercial building to include space for offices and three retail stores.

Frank Hall, zoning administrator, said the continued delays stem from unforeseen economic conditions, which stymied the redevelopment of several adjacent vacant parcels Reeves hoped would coincide with his project.

“It just hasn’t happened the way Mr. Reeves had hoped as far as when things were going to break ground around his site,” he said.

Hall said the planning commission granted initial approval for 18 months in August 2012, with Reeves receiving a two-year extension in February 2014, which was reissued in February 2016 and set to expire in 2018. Reeves explained his intention all along has been to coordinate with neighboring properties to pursue shared architectural design standards.

“There’s a big property behind me … that will be torn down soon and other vacant lots right adjacent to me and behind me,” he said. “That is my wish to make downtown aesthetically correct and not just build to build.”

Questioned about a potential groundbreaking date, Reeves offered no exact estimate but said he continues to negotiate with neighboring property owners.

“My lot is small compared to the adjacent properties,” he said. “I don’t want to come back for another extension if I don’t have to, but unfortunately when I tore the building down there was the great recession.”

By a vote of 4-0, Reeves was granted an extension until February 2020. Planning Commission members Peck Miller, Palmer Gillis and Christopher Shanahan were absent.

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