By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Work will soon begin on the next phase of renovations to a once drab Ocean City housing complex undergoing its first major makeover since it was built in the 1960s.
Bayview Manor’s $1.1 million interior renovation will include a facelift to the lobby, community room, bathrooms, laundry room, maintenance room, office and conference room. New flooring, new paint and new handrails in the hallways will also be installed.
“The inside will be really nice,” said Jacqueline Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Housing Authority.
The interior renovations follow a complete overhaul of Bayview Manor’s exterior, including a new roof, windows and a new facade to brighten up what had been a drab appearance.
At the housing authority’s monthly board meeting on Tuesday, Jones reported that exterior work on the building had been completed and only final paperwork remained with the contractor.
Levy Construction Co. Inc., of Oaklyn, NJ, oversaw the exterior work of Bayview Manor and followed by submitting the lowest bid to win the $1.1 million contract for the interior renovations. Levy is expected to begin interior work in two weeks, the authority said.
The interior of the building on the first through fifth floors will undergo a complete renovation for the first time since Bayview Manor was built in the 1960s to provide affordable housing for residents of Ocean City, Bob Barr said. president of the housing authority.
Barr, who is also a city councilman, said in an interview in August that renovations inside and outside the building would be “a huge improvement.”
“It will be commensurate with what Ocean City is. It will be what residents expect and deserve,” Barr said of transforming the building into an attractive place to live.
Previously, new heating and air conditioning systems were installed in each resident’s units.
The five-story Bayview Manor overlooks West Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets in the heart of downtown. It is located next to the authority’s nearly $7 million Speitels Commons housing complex for the elderly. Speitel Commons was built in 2021.
Once renovations are complete at 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 offices for the housing authority on the first floor.
From the start, the housing authority wanted its two buildings on West Avenue to blend in with the rest of the surrounding downtown district, an enclave of business, commercial and public buildings that includes the headquarters of the Ottawa Fire Department. Ocean City across the street.
The Bayview Manor renovation will also include landscaping upgrades to freshen up the grounds. The authority has discussed the plans with a landscape architect, but has not yet completed the designs.
New flowers, shrubs and grass should be planted this fall, followed by the addition of a new pavilion and lighted flagpole next spring.
“We’re going to spruce it up. We want to update the landscaping to reflect Speitel. It needs an update,” Jones said of the grounds at Bayview Manor.