Three buildings on Lake Avenue in Rehoboth Beach are set to be razed to make way for two new homes.
The city published demolition notices for 63, 65 and 67 Lake Ave. in the March 2 edition of the Cape Gazette. According to those notices, the city issued permits for all three demolitions Feb. 11 – No. 63 is a one-story, single-family dwelling; No. 65 is a two-and-a-half-story, single-family dwelling; and No. 67 is a two-story, single-family dwelling. The properties at 65 and 67 were most recently home to Bewitched & Bedazzled Bed and Breakfast, which garnered some attention by marketing itself as being haunted.
According to Sussex County property records, all three properties were purchased by a Seattle, Wash.-based limited liability corporation named PNSDE-Lake LLC. Records also show the properties cost the new owner $3.375 million altogether – No. 63 sold for $1.125 million in November; the other two were sold Jan. 13 for a total of $2.25 million.
Sitting in the front yards of two houses are signs for Turnstone Custom Homes. In an email March 3, Turnstone CEO Harvey Ryan said the client plans to demolish the existing structures and build two single-family custom homes that are fully compliant with all applicable Rehoboth codes.
Ryan then passed along a message from the client, who he said would prefer to remain anonymous at this point: “When we purchased the homes, we did so with the commitment to honor the love, connection and memories made in those three homes. Our intention is to build two homes that envelop that energy and carry on those same traditions. Rehoboth is a special place to us and our family; we are committed to being good stewards of the Rehoboth spirits,” said the client.
The properties are in a C-3 commercial district. There are certain limitations spelled out in city code, but retail stores, restaurants, hotels, motels and parking lots are allowed to be built in this district. For comparison, the size of these three lots all together – roughly 15,000 square feet – is almost exactly the same size as the three lots on Rehoboth Avenue that Clear Space is proposing to build on. In an email March 2, city spokeswoman Susan Towers said no plans for the Lake Avenue properties had been submitted to the city.
None of the demolitions can begin before Monday, March 15.
More demolition notices
In addition to the three houses on Lake Avenue, since the start of 2021, the city has issued another six demolition permits:
• Jan. 21 for a two-story, single-family dwelling and an accessory structure at 105 Laurel St.
• Jan. 28 for a two-story, single-family dwelling at 122 Hickman St.
• Feb. 2 for a one-story, single-family dwelling and an accessory structure at 511 Stockley St. Ext.
• Feb. 2 for a two-story, single-family dwelling at 320 Stockley St. This is the second permit issued for this property. The first was in October 2020.
• Feb. 3 for a two-story, single-family dwelling and an accessory structure at 46 Columbia Ave.
• Feb. 3 for a two-story, single-family dwelling at 704 Scarborough Ave.
Demolitions by the numbers
In the end, 2020 didn’t see the highest number of demolition notices ever, but there were still more than 30 for only the third time since 2012. In all, 32 demolition notices were issued by the city in 2020.
Including the nine issued by the city so far in 2021, the total number of demolition permits in Rehoboth since April 2012 is 237.
Permits issued annually since April 2012:
- 2012: 14
- 2013: 15
- 2014: 23
- 2015: 23
- 2016: 30
- 2017: 30
- 2018: 27
- 2019: 34
- 2020: 32
- 2021: 9 to date
Permits issued by month since April 2012:
- January – 21
- February – 19
- March – 24
- April – 8
- May – 6
- June – 3
- July – 9
- August – 50
- September – 28
- October – 32
- November – 21
- December – 16