City Hall Annex—the ugly younger sister of Ocean City's century-old City Hall—crumbled Tuesday under the power of a backhoe.
The shoebox-shaped building, directly across Ninth Street from City Hall, is being demolished to make way for a rebuilt facility.
The new building will be part of a public-private partnership between the City of Ocean City and the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The new City Hall Annex will include public restrooms and an information center for visitors of Ocean City and its downtown shopping district. A paved parking area along Ninth Street will be replaced by a grassy area with benches and tables for the public. The building will include offices for both city employees and the Chamber of Commerce.
On Thursday (March 8), City Council will vote on the second reading of a bond ordinance that appropriates $275,000 (among $6 million in other improvements) for the project. At the same public meeting, City Council will vote on a resolution to advertise for bids on a modular building.
Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michele Gillian said the Chamber and the city are working on details of a lease plan that over time would reimburse the city for the full cost of the renovation.
"We're really looking forward to being there," Gillian said.
She said the Chamber will staff information centers (and beach tags sales) at both the renovated City Hall Annex and the new Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway. The Chamber will vacate its leased offices at Ninth Street and Simpson Avenue when the new facilities are done.
Mayor Jay Gillian said his administration is committed to completing the project in time for the summer season.