OCEAN CITY – The Bank of Ocean City on 59th Street has closed its doors with designs on becoming a much more user-friendly location by next spring.
The Bank of Ocean City is re-developing its 59th Street location in Ocean City. The branch closed last Wednesday and will be re-open by May 15, weather permitting. Full service banking will be available at the bank’s five other locations.
In 1916, the Bank of Ocean City opened its first location on the corner of Dorchester Street and Baltimore Ave. in downtown Ocean City.
The second branch opened in 1972 on 59th Street and Coastal Highway and now 40 years later the location is set to remove the orange and avocado green décor and replace it with a more modern design.
“There was not much up here [59th Street] back then,” President and CEO Wayne Benson said. “We found a couple of pictures and really a lot of this area was vacant around here … we opened this, it did very well and now we have six locations.”
The Bank of Ocean City currently has branches in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Dorchester Street, 59th Street, 122nd Street and Berlin.
Jeff Schoellkopf of The Design Group is the architect for the new Bank of Ocean City branch and Bunting Construction will build it.
The re-development of the property has been a long time coming. The Bank of Ocean City acquired the property next door to the 59th Street location, which was Tubby’s, in the spring of 2011. The sub shop was demolished and the lot is currently empty. The plans to start designing the building immediately followed.
The new branch will have two drive-thru lanes to better serve the customers and an up-to-date handicap accessible ATM.
The new building will have two floors, with tellers and two offices on the first floor, and offices and a reception area on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the first floor.
The design of the building follows the traditional coastal style exhibited throughout Ocean City, using the Life-Saving Museum as an example.
“It is going to have a pretty authentic appearance to the actual feel of the Ocean City Life-Saving Museum,” Executive Vice President Reid Tingle said.
The building will have white siding with blue accents and the roof will be pitched into several surrounding gables. The roof will also have a tower letting in sunlight from the top of the building with exposed wood beam ceilings.
The staff at 59th Street will be re-located to the branches in West Ocean City and 122nd Street and the loan officers will be in West Ocean City until the new building is completed.
“There will still be familiar faces when the customers go to the other branches,” Tingle said.
The branch on 122nd Street will have the same winter hours as the location on 59th Street, Monday through Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The drive-thru opens at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
“The customers are excited,” Tingle said. “They will have a much better parking lot and a better branch.”
Assistant Vice President Earl Conley pointed out that the local bank is able to redevelop after a downturn in the economy because of the community’s continued support.
“As banks grow bigger, they start to lose the customer relationship and that is something that our customers enjoy,” Conley said. “They can call us up if they have a problem, not a call center, the exact person they have always dealt with forever. It is a very personable relationship that we offer that bigger places just can’t accomplish. … We are doing this to improve our service even more to our customers.”