First step set for demolition of Christian Brothers buildings

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OCEAN CITY — Asbestos abatement is expected to begin next week on the first of two buildings at the historic Christian Brothers Retreat at 31st Street and Central Avenue.

The rambling beachfront buildings, more than a century old, are slated for demolition, of which the asbestos removal is the first step.

Duplexes are planned for the site, which long served as a summer retreat for members of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, District of Eastern North America.

According to Philip DeRita, a spokesman for Christian Brothers, it looks like asbestos removal could begin by Monday, April 7. He was not sure how long that would take, but the demolition would start immediately after, and at that time, the asbestos abatement would begin on the second building.

Last year, the Ocean City Planning Board approved a subdivision plan for four duplexes to be built on the property. Christian Brothers representatives said at the time that they could no longer afford the upkeep on the buildings.

Earlier this year, Ocean City Council approved two ordinances that were part of the conditions for Planning Board approval of the duplex plan.

The first vacates a portion of the beachfront property between from 31st Street and 30th Street occupied by the Christian Brothers Retreat. The second deeds a 20-foot-wide paved alley on the site to the city for public use.

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