By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Work will soon get underway on the next phase of renovations for a formerly drab Ocean City housing complex that is getting its first major makeover since it was built in the 1960s.
The $1.1 million interior renovation at Bayview Manor will include a facelift for the lobby, community room, bathrooms, laundry room, maintenance room, office and conference room. New flooring, new paint and new handrails throughout the hallways will also be done.
“The inside will be really nice,” said Jacqueline Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Housing Authority.
Interior renovations follow an extensive overhaul given earlier to Bayview Manor’s exterior, including a new roof, windows and a new facade to brighten up what had been a dreary appearance.
During the housing authority’s monthly board meeting Tuesday, Jones reported that the exterior work on the building has wrapped up and all that remains is the final paperwork with the contractor.
Levy Construction Co. Inc., of Oaklyn, N.J., oversaw Bayview Manor’s exterior work and followed up by submitting the lowest bid to win the $1.1 million contract for the interior renovations. Levy is expected to begin the interior work in two weeks, the authority said.
The interior of the building from the first to the fifth floor will undergo extensive renovation for the first time since Bayview Manor was constructed in the 1960s to provide affordable housing for Ocean City residents, said Bob Barr, the housing authority’s chairman.
Barr, who is also a city councilman, said in an August interview that renovations to the inside and outside of the building will be “a tremendous improvement.”
“It will be commensurate with what Ocean City is all about. It will be what the residents have come to expect and deserve,” Barr said of transforming the building into an attractive place to live.
Earlier, new heating and air-conditioning systems were installed in the units of each resident.
The five-story Bayview Manor overlooks West Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets in the heart of downtown. It is located next door to the authority’s nearly $7 million Speitels Commons housing complex for senior citizens. Speitel Commons was built in 2021.
Once the renovations are completed to the nearly 50-unit Bayview Manor, it will share facilities with Speitel Commons in a campus-like setting. Bayview will include a community center for residents of both buildings and office space for the housing authority on the first floor.
All along, the housing authority has wanted its two buildings on West Avenue to blend in with the rest of the surrounding downtown neighborhood, an enclave of retail, commercial and public buildings that include the Ocean City Fire Department headquarters across the street.
Bayview Manor’s renovation will also include landscaping improvements to fresh up the grounds. The authority has been discussing plans with a landscape architect, but has not yet completed the designs.
New flowers, shrubbery and grass are expected to be planted this fall, followed by the addition of a new pavilion and lighted flagpole next spring.
“We’re going to beautify it. We want to update the landscaping to mirror Speitel. It needs an update,” Jones said of Bayview Manor’s grounds.