North Myrtle Beach park construction stimulating talk of surrounding development

sjones@thesunnews.comFebruary 22, 2013 

— The land you can see being cleared along S.C. 31 near Robert Edge Parkway is for the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex and city spokesman Pat Dowling said developers are sniffing around the edges for ways to make money.

Nothing is concrete yet, Dowling said, but people have been contacting the city asking questions.

“The sports complex has generated a lot of interest,” he said.

The 140-acre sports complex is a small part of 1,600 acres the city annexed in June 2011, and a land use plan for the whole tract shows much of it for medium-high density residential construction, but also a good portion devoted to one type or another of commercial development. The annexation was the second largest in North Myrtle Beach history, and from it, the city purchased a 27-acre lake adjoining the property as well as the land for the sports complex.

The city recently cut off negotiations for a privately-owned water park on a part of the city’s land because the developer failed to give the city a letter of commitment assuring funding.

Dowling said the city couldn’t risk committing the land for a water park that might not get built when it could be used for something else.

The Park & Sports Complex is to include six baseball-softball fields, up to eight soccer-football-lacrosse fields, an amphitheater, playgrounds and picnic shelters.

Dowling said the developers asking the city for information on the surrounding land haven’t yet started the process to have a plan approved.

But one, he noted, is looking for big box stores to occupy a chunk of the land.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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