Planning Board hears pitch for six-story condo project

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Parking lot across from Flanders envisioned as 92-unit second home project

OCEAN CITY — With hopes of developing a six-story structure offering 92 condominium units on a parking lot across 11th Street from The Flanders Hotel, a group of investors made a pitch to the Ocean City Planning Board at a Wednesday, May 14 meeting.

Planning Board Chairman John Loeper said the informal presentation was conceptual.

“This was the first blush,” he said. “We are just listening, just learning about the project.”

The investment group brought plans for the project, but did not present a formal application to the planning board.

“This was basically an informal workshop,” Loeper said. There was no opportunity for public input, but Loeper said there would be down the road should a formal application be filed. “They presented their proposal. No vote was taken, no decisions were made.”

Select Properties, Inc. hopes to build 88 four-bedroom, 1,570-square-foot units and four three-bedroom, 1,175-square-foot units on the 1.98 acre parcel, which is bordered by 11th Street, Ocean Avenue and a row of stores along the boardwalk.

According to the Ocean City Assessor’s office, the total value of the three parcels that make up the property is close to $5 million.

For the project to move forward, the group would have to get permission from both the planning board and City Council.

The project would be marketed to attract individual owners, to be used as second homes or rental investment properties. The condominium complex would include a four-deck parking garage, swimming pool, lobby, deli/restaurant, rental/sales office and exercise facility, as presented to the planning board.

A five-story project was approved for the site in 2005 through a redevelopment plan, and approval was granted for the project, called The Soleil, to include a hotel and spa. The project was delayed and ultimately abandoned for financial reasons. 

There is a deed restriction on the property requiring the owners to maintain 152 parking spots for condominium owners at The Flanders Hotel.

The proposed project is outside the purview of the original redevelopment plan. If the project moves forward, the investment group would ask the planning board to allow a residential zoning designation. The existing redevelopment plan does not permit residential use, so the planning board would have to approve a new redevelopment plan. City Council would also need to pass an ordinance permitting the new plan for the project to move forward. 

Select Properties purchased the parcel three years ago. Previous owners, Russell Trier and Joe Ernst bought the property in 2003 and applied for permission for the Soleil Hotel and Spa in 2009.

The parcel has long been used as a commercial parking lot. 

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