(Feb. 8, 2019) Ocean City officials have confirmed that Wells Fargo bank served an eviction notice to the owner of the World Gym business, Wednesday, as the mortgage lender continues to pursue the sale of the property to the Town of Ocean City.
Wells Fargo foreclosed and bought the property at auction last year when it was owned by Pete Brooks. Ocean City government then quickly sought to acquire the property to be used in the development of the new Public Works Department complex. The city continues to negotiate the terms of a deal with the bank.
Following the foreclosure, however, the business aspect of World Gym was purchased from Brooks by Todd Clark, on whom the eviction notice was served, with Brooks working as the 67th Street gym’s general manager.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean its curtains for World Gym and its 17 employees. The City Council is scheduled to meet with Clark in closed session Tuesday, with the aim of reaching some kind of rental agreement that would relieve the city of any property-related liability, while also covering any city expenses.
Not long after the foreclosure, local activist Tony Christ launched a petition drive to block the city’s purchase of the property, but it failed to collect the requisite number of signatures.
Commenting on his petition drive Monday night, Christ told the council he was hoping to alter the city’s rent proposal to Clark. The city had asked for a year’s rent in advance, which Clark apparently said he couldn’t do, thus placing the business’s future in doubt.
“The obvious thing is the employees would be unemployed,” Christ said. You would also have 400 gym memberships go across the bridge to West Ocean City.”
Zeke’s World LLC, which had previously operated the World Gym location, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2016, with liabilities up to $10 million and no more than $500,000 in assets.