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An Eyesore At Ocean City’s Route 50 Bridge No More

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By BRIAN SHANE

The Daily Times of Salisbury

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — The familiar concrete plant that for decades greeted visitors coming into Ocean City is no more.

As of this week, demolition crews tore down the two silos that towered over the George B. Cropper concrete manufacturing facility, located at the foot of the Route 50 bridge. More than 1,000 square feet of other out-buildings on the property already have been demolished by the new owners.

“Clearly, the site is being improved, by virtue of the buildings and the cleaning of the site. It remains to be seen what takes place on that property,” said Marc Cropper, attorney for the Gudelsky family, who own the property under a holding company called RoJo Land LLC.

They purchased the property at auction in May 2011 for $4.1 million.

Rolfe Gudelsky, who is in charge of development of the property, could not be reached for comment.

According to Cropper, the Gudelskys at this point have no solid plans for the property, and will continue to market the land to any prospective purchasers.

They also have extended site plan approval by the town for a 94-unit housing development, a project initiated by the prior property owner. The plans are secured through 2015, though that may still not be the final outcome at the site.

“I think the Gudelsky’s are open to any and all options associated with the property.” Cropper said.

The housing plan has the support of the Ocean City Development Corp., said OCDC executive director Glenn Irwin. He also supports the idea of an easement along the bayside which could be part of a future “bayside boardwalk.”

“We thought it was nicely designed and would if the project was developed would add a good residential base to the downtown area,” Irwin said by email.

Rojo Land is owned by parent company Percontee, Inc., formerly Contee Sand & Gravel. That company has been owned by the Gudelsky family since 1913, according to the website for Gudelsky Group. The company is based in Silver Spring, Md.

The Gudelsky family owns Sunset Marina, the Martha’s Landing subdivision, Inlet Isle townhomes along Route 50, and the Ocean City Fishing Center, including Micky Fins restaurant.

On the bay beside all these properties lies Homer Gudelsky Park, a piece of property named for the family patriarch and gifted to the county. Homer Gudelsky, who died in 1989, was a major real estate developer who made millions from land deals in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County.

Online property records show that builder George Bert Cropper acquired the property from the town of Ocean City in 1979. He died in 2005 at the age of 96.

Plans had been in place for the concrete plant property when it was still owned by George Cropper’s daughter, according to Blaine Smith, Ocean City’s zoning administrator.

Smith said the developer Centex Homes had planned for 54 bay townhouses and 40 condominium apartments on the property. But that deal fell through under the Cropper family, and the bank later took over the property. The property plans remained alive and still on the drawing board.

When the land went to auction, the Gudelskys bought it. They took the same housing project to Ocean City’s Planning and Zoning Commission for an extension in October 2012. They told the Planning Commission that they’d have the property cleaned up. All but a small brick office located on site would be demolished in time for Memorial Day 2013.

Smith said at this time, there’s no paperwork or permits filed to move forward on any construction aspects of that housing project.

“I don’t know of any intended use right now,” he said. “Once he gets it cleaned up, I’m not sure what the immediate future is. I suspect he would sell it if the price was right.”

On the bay beside all these properties lies Homer Gudelsky Park, a piece of property named for the family patriarch and gifted to the county. Homer Gudelsky, who died in 1989, was a major real estate developer who made millions from land deals in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md.

Online property records show that builder George Bert Cropper acquired the property from the town of Ocean City in 1979. He died in 2005 at the age of 96.

Plans had been in place for the concrete plant property when it was still owned by George Cropper’s daughter, according to Blaine Smith, Ocean City’s zoning administrator.

Smith said the developer Centex Homes had planned for 54 bay townhouses and 40 condominium apartments on the property. But that deal fell through under the Cropper family, and the bank later took over the property. The property plans remained alive and still on the drawing board.

When the land went to auction, the Gudelskys bought it. They took the same housing project to Ocean City’s Planning and Zoning Commission for an extension in October 2012. They told the Planning Commission that they’d have the property cleaned up. All but a small brick office located on site would be demolished in time for Memorial Day 2013.

Smith said at this time, there’s no paperwork or permits filed to move forward on any construction aspects of that housing project.

“I don’t know of any intended use right now,” he said. “Once he gets it cleaned up, I’m not sure what the immediate future is. I suspect he would sell it if the price was right.”

Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., http://www.delmarvanow.com/

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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