(July 19, 2013) The new 67th Street TownCenter officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday.
Local businessman Peck Miller purchased the empty lot July 3, 2012 and just a little more than a year later, the coastal-style center now boasts nine businesses, including clothing boutiques, a frozen yogurt shop, restaurants and Ron Jon Surf Shop.
A crowd of around 50 attended the launch event, which featured a ribbon-cutting in front of each store, music and more than a dozen prizes raffled from the businesses, with the ceremonies ending just before the rain fell mid-morning.
“We chose this location over others,” said Andy Markopoulos, owner of Olde English fish and chips shop in the center. “There’s no better place.”
Location is one of the most important factors determining a business’s success, he said, and the TownCenter’s spot in the heart of Ocean City gives it good visibility and foot traffic. Customers from both ends of the beach can get there easily, he said.
“We are very happy with the traffic we see,” Markopoulos said.
Jodi McLane, owner of Alexis Jade Boutique in the center, agreed.
“We’ve had more business than expected” since opening several weeks ago, she said.
Miller, who opened the TownCenter with his wife, Patti, said he has always had a concept for a town center in Ocean City. The result is a family oriented mid-town boardwalk, designed by architect Jeff Schoellkopf.
With bright facades and a handicapped accessible boardwalk encircling the buildings, the center captures Southern-coastal style architecture.
“We started out with trying to get all the iconic Ocean City stores that we could,” giving the center a “flavor of the Boardwalk.” Patti Miller said.
Guests from the nearby Sunset Island Vacation Rentals and Holiday Inn flocked for frozen yogurt and shopping when the businesses moved in.
“There are so many people in the surrounding area that have said, ‘Finally, somewhere I can walk,’” Patti Miller said. But the center is also convenient for those passing by on the main strip looking for a bite to eat or shopping that is different from the typical beach town chains.
“Ocean City really needs this type of development, versus traditional strip centers,” said Rick Vach, owner of Longboard Café in the center. He said the combination of the businesses present and the center’s midtown location bode well for it.
“To see this boost for Ocean City is just out of this world,” said Melanie Pursel, executive director of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a big thing for the community,” said Diane Marple, general manager of SweetFrog at the center.
At just under 22,000 square feet, the TownCenter Midtown Boardwalk holds nine businesses, with a 10th kiosk-style market in the works, Peck Miller said. The businesses are:
• Dolle’s Candyland
• Longboard Café
• Atlantic Gold
• SweetFrog Premium Frozen
• Ron Jon Surf Shop
• Olde English Fish, Chips & Chicken
• Alexis Jade Boutique
• Kite Loft
• Summer House Trading Co.