OCEAN CITY — After being vacant for several years, the run-down Exxon gas station that greeted drivers as they entered the city on Ninth Street has been razed to make way for a new real estate office.

The property is slated to become the new headquarters for Keller Williams Realty Jersey Shore.

Paul Chiolo, broker and operating principal for Keller Williams Realty Jersey Shore, said the sale of the property was finalized in October. According to city tax records, the land is valued at $497,300.

“I purchased it and finished demolition on Friday,” Chiolo said.

He said a few truckloads of fill were brought in to level the ground.

During the summer, the future of the property was in question when City Council approved an ordinance allowing the city to acquire the property, as well as three others, through purchase or condemnation.

Mayor Jay Gillian had been eyeing the property as potential open space as part of a plan to spruce up the city’s entranceway from Somers Point.

The city worked out a plan to purchase the former BP gas station, which was demolished in the summer, located near the northwest corner of the intersection. The status of that sale was not immediately available. The city was also negotiating to purchase the nearby Bud’s Outboard Marine and Getty gas station on that same block. In September, Gillian hosted a town hall for input on what residents would like to see in that area.

“At the town hall meeting, the mayor said he supports the project and as long as we move forward, he doesn’t plan on stopping any up-and-coming business,” Chiolo said, adding he took that as a sign that the city is no longer interested in the property.

Keller Williams Jersey Shore will go before the Planning Board with its proposal in January. Chiolo said the new office will house more than 100 associates.

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I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.