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Thursday, November 17, 2016

$34M OC Convention Center Expansion Approved By Council; More Exhibit Space Planned For Facility

OCEAN CITY — Citing a need to gain a competitive edge over similar facilities in the region and increase the economic impact, Ocean City officials this week agreed to move forward with the next major expansion of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center with an estimated price tag of around $34 million.

The Mayor and Council on Tuesday approved the next step in the convention center expansion process when they voted unanimously to request state funding for the matching share of the project through the Maryland Stadium Authority, which partners with Ocean City on the ever-expanding facility. The proposed expansion would add 30,000 square feet of exhibit space on the north side of the facility that would tie into the existing Exhibit Halls A and B, bringing total square footage to 80,000 square feet.

The expanded space could be used alone for a single event, or opened up with the other adjacent exhibit halls to create a larger space. Also included in the proposed expansion are new restrooms on the west side of the existing convention center along with expanded meeting rooms and a business center.

The total cost of the project is $34 million, of which the state is requested to fund 60 percent, or $20.4 million. The town’s share would be 40 percent, or roughly $13.6 million, which would be funded by the one cent added to the food tax in Ocean City. Several years ago, state lawmakers allowed one cent to be added to the food tax in Ocean City with the revenue earmarked for convention center expansions.



Anonymous said...

Whats the Dabury doing ?
Expansion of welfare art housing on waterfront.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time for the state of Maryland to spend some of this money in other parts of the state. Isn't the convention center big enough?

Anonymous said...

OMG, what a scam! $34,000,000 for 30,000 sq ft of exhibit space = $1,133.33 per square foot.

This for an open barn like building with a concrete floor. Open, because if it is exhibit space, it must be adaptable to different size booths and crowd movements for multiple set ups.

Wow. Ain't life grand for somebody! Look at who gets the contracts to see who profits.

Anonymous said...

Well, since the OC Government controls under 3000 residents (but not tax paying) voters, they will get what they want as usual.

It has always amazed me why outsiders continued to invest in this town.

Anonymous said...

I think the powers that be see the writing on the wall for larger conventions.
How safe do major corporations feel scheduling their events in, say, Baltimore? Philadelphia?
The result of the Baltimore riots cost 100's of millions of dollars to Charm City in convention losses - during and after the riots. Those events have to go somewhere.
Ocean City is the perfect alternative, and will serve to further the length of the season.

Anonymous said...

9:47 there is nothing on God's green earth that will lengthen any season, much less expanding a convention center! Ocean City is already a year round tourist destination. I work in the rental business in Ocean City and there has been a steady increase for rentals in the 'off season' for people wanting mini weeks or partial week rentals over the winter months. Fewer people are shutting their units down for the winter and are renting out however many days of the week you want. Along with the holiday's being busier, rental wise, every year.

Anonymous said...

Friends of friends contracts.

Anonymous said...

Expansion of the convention center; expansion of corporate hotel businesses on the island and west OC; new big pocket owners from NY/KY (Saratoga and Churchill Downs Inc) and current expansion underway at the casino; and as 208am mentioned about rentals in the offseason; not to mention new blood in City Hall.

Tea leaves don't lie, long term looks promisingly better!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that OC can have a convention center larger than Salisbury Civic center. Salisbury refuses to take over the old mall property for a larger civic center. They have ever right to use eminent domain. The owners owe so much in fines and taxes they could get it for free. But then you have to have good management. They could draw concerts and other larger events etc. They could make it as high as they want. They would have a plenty of parking even a parking garage. Possibly a hotel also. This tells you a lot about Salisbury politics.