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Playland's Castaway Cove owners to present plan to rebuild arcade destroyed in fire
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Playland's Castaway Cove owners to present plan to rebuild arcade destroyed in fire

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Investigators comb through the wreckage of Playland's Castaway Cove in Ocean City, which was gutted by fire Jan. 30.

OCEAN CITY — A new Boardwalk business could look very similar to a former business under plans submitted to the city for the replacement of an arcade destroyed by fire last winter.

The Ocean City Planning Board has an application from Playland’s Castaway Cove on the agenda for its Dec. 8 meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the Howard Stainton Senior Center, 1735 Simpson Ave.

Fire gutted the former arcade and office building Jan. 30 in the largest Boardwalk fire the city has seen in years.

No one was hurt in the Saturday morning blaze, from which thick, black smoke could be seen for miles, billowing out over the beach and ocean.

Soon after, investigators ruled the blaze accidental, caused by an electrical issue.

According to Playland Vice President Brian Hartley, more details of the cause may never be found. The fire destroyed much of the interior, and smoke obscured the details of recovered video from security cameras.

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The amusement park reopened in time for the summer, but the building could not be completed. According to Hartley, the pilings for a new building are in place, and a concrete floor has been built, but more work will have to wait for approvals.

The submitted plans call for an arcade and food service on the ground floor. The layout will be similar to what was there before, with a Dairy Queen and a restaurant flanking the arcade.

The second floor would be expanded as proposed compared to the former building, he said, with more room for storage and office space. The business offices were on the second floor.

Plans call for a 10-foot setback on the second floor.

Still to be determined is whether the decorative pirate ship will return.

“That’s the first thing everybody asks me,” Hartley said.

The landmark three-masted ship, with an oversized pirate and parrot on deck, was destroyed along with the building. The final decision on its replacement will have to wait for the building plans to be approved, Hartley said.

Contact Bill Barlow:

609-272-7290

bbarlow@pressofac.com

Twitter @jerseynews_bill

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