The developer of the Coastal North Town Center at Robbers Roost is going to go back to the North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission with a second try at a new design for the roadside sign for the center.
The developer, RealtyLink Development Properties of Greenville, had asked to replace a four-sided clock tower sign with a two-sided sign much like others that are common along the Grand Strand.
“(Planning Commission members) had a large problem with replacing something that could be a nice, architecturally significant, iconic sign with a regular shopping center sign,” said Pat Dowling, North Myrtle Beach spokesman.
The change would have replaced the maximum 70-foot clock tower with a maximum 65-foot, two-sided sign with fountains at both sides of the base. The clock tower sign was approved with an animated electronic screen, but the rejected change did not incorporate that element.
Greg Duckworth, a North Myrtle Beach councilman who is working with the developer, said he thought the change was requested because the developer and the stores in the shopping area are accustomed to the two-sided signs and feel more comfortable using that style.
“The reality is they’re asking for less than they’re entitled to have,” Duckworth told The Sun News.
But Dowling said the Planning Commission advised the developer at a workshop Tuesday to withdraw the application for the new sign. Dowling said the members liked the aesthetics of the clock tower sign.
The change is at least the second requested for the shopping center this year.
In January, the request was for a change in the configuration of parking spaces at the center, including angled spaces in front of a grocery store. At the time, the developer said the angled spaces were needed because Publix grocery stores liked that configuration.
But on Wednesday, Phil Wilson of RealtyLink said his company does not have a signed contract with Publix for space at the center.
That was confirmed by Brenda Reid, regional spokeswoman for Publix, who said the chain has no confirmed contracts in the Myrtle Beach area. She said the company comments only on confirmed leases.
A drawing of the proposed new sign that accompanied the application for the change had Publix occupying the top spot on the new sign.
Dowling said the developer plans to come back with a new design proposal for the sign.
Grand Strand not so much
CoreLogic, a national real estate tracking firm, is reporting that home prices nationwide jumped 10 percent in the first six months this year, the fastest pace in 38 years.
June marked the 16th consecutive month of price increases, but CoreLogic said that signs of a slowing in price appreciation began to show then as well.
But the story along the Grand Strand is somewhat different, said Todd Woodard, president of SiteTech Systems, which tracks the local market.
Woodard said that prices here were up only 5 percent in the first half of 2013. He said that this area still has a strong supply of investor/buyers and cash sales. The two are often indicators of lower prices in the overall market, and higher prices likely would drive away many of the investors, at least.
“The good news here is prices are finally going up,” Woodard said. “We took a beating, but it has bottomed.”
Indeed, a first-half report for the Grand Strand this year showed that first year-to-year price increase since 2007.
Woodard noted that the areas on the CoreLogic report with the highest percentage in price gains – Nevada, California, Wyoming, Arizona and Georgia – were among those with the sharpest price drops when the housing bubble burst.
Unveiling new models
Ryland Homes is planning an unveiling of three new model homes in Windsor Plantation in September.
The three-bedroom, two-bath models range in size from 1,409 square feet of living space to 2,174 square feet and from $179,000 to $240,000.
No date was given for the event.
Windsor Plantation is located off Dick Pond and Big Block roads in Myrtle Beach.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.