OCEAN CITY – Demolition crews, officials, and residents of Ocean City are hoping that in a few weeks, the historic site of the Bellevue hotel will be transformed, from unsafe building, to an open lot.
It was a process that began in August, when a neighboring business owner noticed that the building looked swollen on one side.
It turned out, water had pooled on the roof, weakening the building and sealing its fate.
“The building has been deemed unsafe, it’s been tagged, nobody’s allowed in the building, nobody’s allowed against the building because of structural damage,” said William Jackson, who is supervising the demolition.
Demolition officials we spoke with said the whole process should take around four weeks, longer than a usual demolition because of the building’s close proximity to power lines, other buildings, and people.
Local residents, even those who have been in Ocean City all their lives, say it’s time for The Bellevue to go.
“It’s a shame it had to come down. It’s in such disrepair, it has to come down. But they just let it go too long before they took care of it” said Julius Green, a lifelong Ocean City resident.
The Ocean City Council will vote tonight to approve $165,000, the cost of the demolition contract. Officials say the Bellevue’s owner was notified, but hasn’t contributed to demolition costs.
“Through his representatives he demonstrated they could not take that on themselves, and so the city can take it down and place a lien on the property,” said Ocean City Business Administrator Michael Dattilo.
No matter what the vote is tonight, Dattilo says the building is coming down either way, and he’s confident the council will approve the funds.