By Donald Wittkowski
The real estate developer who has led the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization for the past five years is stepping aside as president.
Christopher Glancey said he believes it is time for someone else to head the Chamber, which serves as the voice of the business community and is closely involved with efforts to market Sea Isle to tourists.
“After five years, the organization is on strong footing and I can step away and let someone else run it,” he said in an interview.
Glancey stressed that his decision is no surprise because he told the Chamber’s board members last year that 2017 would be his final year as president. In addition to Glancey’s departure, Liz Pane is leaving her position as the Chamber’s treasurer.
During the Chamber’s monthly meeting Tuesday, Glancey joked with his fellow board members that “five years is enough for anyone to do this job.”
He assured the board that he intends to remain closely involved with the organization, even after he is no longer president.
“I’m still going to be on the board and come to the meetings,” he said. “I’m not going to walk away.”
An election for the Chamber’s new leadership is expected to be held in February.
Under Glancey, the Chamber has helped to boost Sea Isle’s profile as a summer vacation hotspot. He and the Chamber have made greater use of social media to promote the business community and the entire city to tourists. The Chamber has also sponsored a series of family-friendly special events to draw more visitors to town.
Glancey’s quasi-public role as Chamber president, along with his high-profile development projects, have made him one of Sea Isle’s most prominent figures.
As a real estate developer, he has invested millions of dollars for a retail, restaurant and residential rebirth in the sleepy Townsends Inlet section of Sea Isle.
Glancey and his business partner, Bob Morris, began the revitalization of Townsends Inlet last year with their trendy Dunes development, a restaurant, banquet and condo complex on Landis Avenue between 86th and 87th streets.
The Dunes was developed on the site formerly occupied by Busch’s Seafood Restaurant, an iconic landmark that traced its roots in Sea Isle back to the 1880s. While Busch’s is gone, an upscale Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House restaurant has taken its place as part of the Dunes project.
Glancey and Morris have followed up on the Dunes with two more mixed-use projects called the Cove and the Cape. The three-story buildings, which blend retail, commercial and residential space, are under construction across the block from each other on Landis Avenue between 85th and 87th streets.
Before launching his business career, Glancey spent all of his summers in Sea Isle during his youth. His first summer job was as a dishwasher at the old Vince’s Restaurant at John F. Kennedy Boulevard and the beach. He also worked as a lifeguard, a bartender and a bike-rental shop employee.
His family roots in Sea Isle date to 1951, when his grandfather, James Henry, bought a home on 45th Street.