The controversial, two-story circular cottage built by developer James B. Caine on pillings at the water's edge in Ocean City in 1968 is now listed for sale at $250,000.

Described as a "unique property" because it is closer to the ocean than any other beachfront resident from Ocean City to Rehoboth Beach, the frame dwelling is listed with First Shore Realty inc., headed by J. G. Curry, in Salisbury, Md.

Curry said last week that he is a friend of James and Joyce Caine. The property is also available through other brokers, including Joseph Garliss in the adjacent Carousel condominium-motel.

Curry said the Caine house, the subject of an Ocean City zoning controversay in the late 60s because it goes right out to the water, dividing the beachfront in two, has three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. The structure is supported by 66 pilings.

When the beachfront house was built 12 years ago, it was described as a "$40,000 cottage." At that time the nearby Carousel was a low-rise motel in a relatively undeveloped area of north Ocean City. Since then, the Carousel has been enlarged to a 22-story building and many other high-rise condominium apartments have been built in the are that merges into Fenwick Island to the north.

In the late 1960s, Caine was a largescale real estate broker and developer of filled-in wetland lots on the bay side of Ocean City. His developments were the subject of Maryland criticism on the basis of environmental preservation.

Caine also had a large, multimilliondollar horse farm, Winter Place, north of Salisbury, that he lost in a foreclosure action four years ago. That property, too, is for sale through Previews Inc. at an asking price of about $3.5 million.

Is there much interest in buying the Caine beachfront house for $250,000? Broker Curry answered affirmatively, adding that he will be glad to show it to any qualified prospective buyers. CAPTION: Picture, James B. Caine caused quite a stir in Ocean City when he build the cottage, shown in 1968 next to the original Carousel motel, stretching to the water's edge. By Matthew Lewis -- The Washington Post