New Hilton timeshare property planned for Myrtle Beach oceanfront

mprabhu@thesunnews.comJuly 9, 2013 

— A 22 story, 230 unit timeshare hotel tower could take the place of two Beach Villa apartment towers seen on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront.

Crystal Blue Investment Group is working to bring the proposed Hilton Grand Vacations Club to the stretch of beach between Schooner II Beach and Racquet Club and Boardwalk Hotel on North Ocean Boulevard, according to plans submitted to the city. The project is estimated to cost $41.5 million, according to the documents.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday.

Representatives from Crystal Blue told the city they hoped to begin demolition on the existing towers located at 2200 and 2202 N. Ocean Blvd. on Aug. 1, and begin construction on Sept. 1.

The timeshare is the third new lodging establishment proposed for Myrtle Beach this year, after no new hotels were built in the city since 2009, when construction stopped during the Great Recession.

“It’s not the construction boom we saw in the mid 2000s, but it may be a trend in the making,” city spokesman Mark Kruea said of the new lodging facilities. “It seems confidence in the economy has returned and we’re seeing the benefits of the tourism advertising that community has done.”

Jeff King with Crystal Blue requested that the city allow them to “relocate” two 20-foot alleys –moving the alley between the two Beach Villa towers on the ocean side of North Ocean Boulevard to the south to create a 40-foot alley between Schooner II and what will be the Hilton; and a second on the west side of North Ocean Boulevard between another Beach Villa building and its parking lot to the north.

According to the city’s alley relocation/consolidation policy, the Crystal Blue would have to pay $415,000 – equal to 1 percent of the project’s construction cost – with the money going toward public improvement such as sidewalks and streetscaping.

“An alleyway swap protects the public’s property so it’s not diminished,” Kruea said. “It also gives some compensation to the public for the trading of land. … The city ends up with a larger piece of property to use for a park or public parking.”

The city approved the first reading Tuesday on the ordinance allowing the alleys to be swapped.

The proposal initially was brought to the city planning department in late May or early June, city planner Alison Hardin said. It was to appear on an agenda last month, but had to be pulled due to missing information, according to proposed ordinance.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the proposed alley swap and an amendment to the 21st Avenue Ocean Front planned unit development.

In March, Buddy Lindsay, president of Sonship Hospitality, announced that his company would develop a 14-story Homewood Suites Oceanfront Resort & Conference Center at 1805 S. Ocean Blvd. Construction is expected to begin on the 100-suite property in September with doors opening December 2014.

Lindsay also plans to develop a 150-room Residence Inn-SpringHill Suites Oceanfront Resort just north of Second Avenue Pier, with plans to open in summer 2015.

Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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