City inspectors declared the empty Bellevue Hotel unsafe on Monday and closed the street and sidewalk near where an exterior wall was left bulging under the weight of collected rain water.
The northbound lane on the 700 block of Ocean Avenue and the adjacent sidewalk remain closed as city officials continue to assess the structural damage to the abandoned hotel at the corner of Eighth Street and Ocean Avenue.
The Ocean City Fire Department and the Ocean City Police Department responded on Sunday to reports of the potential structural problems at the six-story hotel. Further investigation found that a large volume of water was sitting on various parts of the roof. The Fire Department used portable pumps to remove much of the water.
On Monday, the property was inspected by city code enforcement officials and the city engineer. An unsafe structure notice has been forwarded to representatives of the owner. The owner will be required to take measures to make the structure safe to the satisfaction of the local construction official.
There is a process by which the Construction Official may ultimately order the structure to be partially or fully demolished. No such determination has been made at this time. There was no one in the building at the time of the incident.
The property has been for age-restricted housing that could help Ocean City meet its affordable housing obligation.