Two shore-area properties are set to be renovated, but the proposals are getting mixed reviews from residents.
A hotel-use property in Ocean City is proposed for the current Pavilion Motor Lodge on Atlantic Avenue, while a condo/mixed-use property in Sea Isle City is proposed for the Springfield Inn on 43th Street.
The owner of the Springfield Inn and the developers of the proposed project could not be reached for comment.
The Pavilion in Ocean City has 86 units and is for sale for $9.5 million, according to Kristina Doliszny, real estate agent for Ocean City Real Estate Group, who listed the property.
A proposal calls for the renovation of the property to include 35 three-bathroom, three-bedroom units with an infinity pool, a yoga facility, a wellness facility, clubhouse, gym and cafe, Doliszny said.
The premise of the proposed project is to completely demolish the existing hotel and rebuild, but a buyer can renovate the existing building if they choose to do so, she said.
The property consists of three different parcels — two motels and an apartment building — that operate under Allen Dugan, the property owner. All three parcels together make up just over one acre, she said.
“They are older properties,” she said. “To the Dugans’ credit, they put a lot of money into the properties to renovate, rehab and update them since they took ownership a few years ago. But Allen looks to the future for long-term sustainability, because the market in the hotel industry is changing quite a bit.”
The hotel market is changing due to the product — the standard hotel room — rapidly diminishing, according to the real estate agent. More and more hotel guests are families of four or more who don’t want a standard hotel room. They want their privacy with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchenette and a common area, she said.
“That type of product in the hotel industry are what people want,” she said.
Dugan placed the properties, which were built around 1950, for sale about three weeks ago. He’s interested in either selling the properties outright to a buyer or partnering with a developer and continuing to be involved in the hotel, Doliszny said.
There’s no start date for the project, but the Pavilion will still be operating and taking reservations for summer 2020.
Dugan plans to bring the site plans to the Planning Board for a final approval once the property is bought and final construction plans are drawn up, she said.
Ocean City residents have mixed feelings about the project, with some in favor of more beachfront hotel accommodations and some saying there are too many properties.
Marianne Delia, an employee at Henry’s Ocean City Landmark Jewelers, thinks newer, upscale buildings will be good for the city.
“It’s what Ocean City needs,” she said. “I think it will bring more people into Ocean City. I know that there are a lot of people that want Ocean City to stay old Ocean City and stay the same, and I just think that we need to move it up.”
Ocean City resident Karen Manley hasn’t heard much about the Pavilion becoming an updated hotel, other than it was a possibility, but she believed a new hotel taking its place is a good idea “because it’s really old and run down.”
But she also believed there’s too much new housing in the city.
“I think we have too many,” she said. “My opinion is we need more green space. I think we have plenty of houses and we have lots of flooding, we don’t need any more concrete. We could use some grass.”
While site plans call for demolishing the Springfield Inn in Sea Isle, developers want to keep the original Carousel Bar, at 4100 Boardwalk, and renovate it. The entire property is slated to be a three-story mixed-use property with nine parking spaces, a restaurant and outside dining deck, a private banquet facility and four residential units. The plans were approved by the city’s Planning and Zoning Board on Sept. 9, according to Gennell Ferrilli, Planning and Zoning Board secretary.
City records state that the restaurant will have a 166-seat dining area, a 25-seat interior bar, a 28-seat outdoor dining area and a 21-seat Carousel Bar.
Katherine Custer, director for Sea Isle’s Department of Community Services, said luxury condos with retail and restaurant spaces are “not an uncommon thing” as the city changed many of its zoning ordinances around 2008 so that properties could be zoned as mixed use.
“The Springfield Inn is an institution,” said. “It’s been there for a very long time. The building itself is an old building and it’s a familiar landmark to people. A lot of people are interested in seeing what’s going to happen.”