City Council approved a resolution Thursday declaring abandoned lots on the bay near 10th Street as an "area in need of rehabilitation."
The vote was described by attorney Keith Davis as "the first step in the process" of redeveloping the lots most recently occupied by Dan's Dockside Marina and Seafood Restaurant on the 900 block of Palen Avenue.
The property is now bank-owned, but a corporation operated by Tom and Patrick Gill is the contract purchaser, according to Davis. The Gills own the Tackle Direct shop in Ocean City.
Patrick Gill said that Ocean City, which was once home to 11 marinas, currently has no fueling station for boats. He said he hopes to make the property a working marina with a fuel dock and transient slips. The property would also include a restaurant.
Gill said he's a third-generation Ocean City resident whose family has been involved in marinas for 51 years. The family owned half of the property from 1979 to 2001.
"It's an opportunity to give something back to Ocean City," Gill said.
The property includes six underground fuel tanks that may be leaking.
"We're prepared to immediately rectify that," Gill said.
The resolution calls for referring the project to the Ocean City Planning Board, which would be a step toward creating a more detailed development plan.
There was no mention on Thursday of what, if any, role Ocean City would have in that development plan.