Twelve new homes are taking shape at the site of a Wawa Food Market in Ocean City that closed and sat vacant for more than five years.
The six new duplexes represent a dramatic change at the corner of Fourth Street and West Avenue — part of a growing residential neighborhood on a street once zoned for businesses.
The property sat at the center of a year-long debate over the practicality of trying to attract new neighborhood businesses to an island with such a small year-round population.
Unable to find another business to buy the property, Wawa let it sit vacant until a November 2012 zoning change permitted residential uses.
City Council approved an ordinance in that rezoned the bay side of West Avenue between Third and Fourth streets. It rezoned part of the 190-foot-wide Wawa property (40 feet of frontage) to mixed commercial/residential use (commercial use on the first floor and residences above). It rezoned the remainder of the half-block from Neighborhood Business to residential (R-2-30 or duplexes with 30-foot frontages).
That opened the door for a subdivision plan that called for six duplexes and one mixed-use property. The corner property will include a first-floor business with two four-bedroom residences above.
Jeff Quintin, the listing agent for the new properties, said on Monday that the six first-floor units are all under contract. The second-floor units list for $359,900 and include three, bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,200 square feet of living space (see more detail).
The conform to the latest flood-map requirements and are expected to be complete in mid-May.
Quintin said the property on the corner has not been sold.