Model Block Aims to Revitalize Downtown Ocean City - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Model Block Aims to Revitalize Downtown Ocean City

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OCEAN CITY, Md.-The Ocean City Development Corporation's model block project will demolish 9 buildings in Ocean City by the end of 2015. There will be 4 buildings demolished on Somerset Street, and 5 demolished on Dorchester Street. 

The idea behind the model block is to revitalize downtown Ocean City.  

The Executive Director of the OCDC Glenn Irwin said revitalizing the 35,000 square-foot space is an idea they've had since 2000. 

"There will be a total of 9 buildings demolished. Most of them are in fair to poor shape. Before the summer 4 of them will be demolished. We'll make a temporary parking lot then. After the summer 5 other ones including the former Beach Patrol headquarters will be taken down," said Irwin. 

Once the buildings are demolished the OCDC wants to build the area back up in a fresh way that will draw more people to the area. 

"It could be a mixed use project. It could be a hotel. It's got to be something that's going to bring a lot of people into the inner blocks of downtown. It will connect the bay to the boardwalk and create a lot of energy," said Irwin.

Timur Unal works at Piezano's on the boardwalk and said drawing more people downtown could mean drawing people away from businesses on the boardwalk. 

"We want people to be on the boardwalk. The beach is super nice, and then all the stores are on the boardwalk. It's been established. I mean everything is over here. We don't want people away from it. We want people on the boardwalk. That's what brings money and business to Ocean City," said Unal.

Irwin said the inner blocks need some special attention. He said once the model block is completed it won't look much different than Ocean City does now.  

"They'll be required to play off that old Ocean City architecture," said Irwin. 

Irwin said all the buildings will be demolished by the end of the year.
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