The last symbol of a bankrupt condo development was hit with a sledge hammer on Wednesday, striking a symbolic launch to the multimillion-dollar 43.2 acre project now known as Oyhut Bay.
The Oyhut Bay ownership group, led by Stavros Anastasiou of the Seattle area, began knocking down the last signs of the former Villages at Ocean Shores, with Mayor Crystal Dingler also taking a swing at the rock wall that will be dismantled as Oyhut Bay begins construction, planned later this year.
Replacing the wall will be the first visible sign of the newly approved cottage-style vacation home and commercial project that is intended to revitalize the southern end of the Ocean Shores peninsula as well as give a new boost to the local real estate market.
“We are very eager to get started with creating a special place here near the Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area,” Anastasiou said in a news release. “It has been a long time since something this new and this extensive has been undertaken at Ocean Shores. We believe our investment in the future reflects a new positive attitude about the lasting appeal and the growing value of this shoreside community.”
Deanna Sihon of Fusion Happens marketing in Seattle said the event is a prelude to the larger marketing campaign for the project, which will include new signage, a billboard advertising strategy and a new local marketing office on site for the project.
The project already has begun to outline its marketing strategy after gaining approval from the Ocean Shores City Council for a rezone and a number of changes to the old Villages plan for the site.
The project has a new logo and new signage will be added in the near future.
“Things are kicking into high gear and we are moving at light speed now to get the things done that we need to get done,” Sihon said.
The new development will no longer be restricted to a 55-an-older community such as the old Villages concept called for, and the Oyhut Bay plans include expanded public retail along with the cottages and other residential units.
“It’s got the opportunity to really create a new brand for Ocean Shores,” Sihon said of the project and the marketing campaign. “We think there is a great untold story with Ocean Shores and we’re excited to be able to tell it.”
Much of the marketing will be focused in the Seattle area, and the design will have a new-urban concept, with lots of open space, pedestrian pathways and off-street parking. Anastasiou on Wednesday said Oyhut Bay also will be purchasing property on the other side of Marine View Drive to eventually build a restaurant or kayak facility on the canal there.
“This will be a truly ‘front porch’ community, where people get to know their neighbors and share life together, “ said Anastasiou.
The news release calls Oyhut Bay a new “urban village” of approximately 221 homes, sited in clusters and linked by trails, preserved wetlands and shared open spaces.
“The homes will feature the latest floor plans with architectural styles reminiscent of Washington’s coastal small towns. We hope to break ground on the first phase of new homes later this month and have them ready for occupancy later this summer,” Anastasiou said. “We are also currently upgrading the 36 condominium homes that were left unfinished by the last owners and will begin sales on those homes over Memorial Day weekend.”
Sihon recalls doing market research on the old Villages concept, and what the Oyhut Bay team has planned is “100 times better.”
The project timeline calls for an information center office to be located on site by the end of May, with sales initially handled by Windermere Real Estate in Ocean Shores.
“We are happy to see the walls and the gates come down,” Anastasiou added. “We want Oyhut Bay to be enjoyed by all of Ocean Shores.”