NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — Construction on one of the largest new shopping centers to be built in the city in recent years is moving along as more restaurants and stores – some new to the Grand Strand – express interest in opening up shop there.
Buildings that will make up the massive Coastal North Town Center are starting to rise at the site of the former Robbers Roost Golf Course, which closed in 2003 and has sat vacant until the new shopping center was announced in the fall. The complex is anticipated to open in late fall or early winter.
The 348,000-square-foot center will have 10 restaurants, which North Myrtle Beach City Manager Mike Mahaney said could include the area’s only Panera Bread, as well as McAlister’s Deli, Red Lobster and Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n’ Biscuits. Leases for the restaurants have not yet been finalized, city spokesman Pat Dowling said.
“Many of the restaurants are close by [on the Grand Strand], but they’re not here,” Mahaney said.
Coastal North developer Phil Wilson of RealtyLink said via email Monday that it likely will be another month before he can release names of the businesses that will occupy the center’s outparcels.
Several stores were announced in the fall and include the Grand Strand’s first Hobby Lobby and Publix Super Market, as well as other stores that already have a presence along the Grand Strand: TJ Maxx, Ulta Beauty, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ross Dress for Less, Rack Room Shoes, PetSmart and Versona Accessories.
Because the center will have stores such as Hobby Lobby that don’t have other locations along the Grand Strand, it will be a magnet for shoppers familiar with those brands, said Marc Jordan, CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.
“This affords the city to attract shoppers from other areas” as well as to keep North Myrtle Beach shoppers at home, he said.
He said he expects there would be a ripple effect at other businesses in North Myrtle Beach as out-of-town shoppers at the town center will combine their trip with lunch or dinner, for instance.
Publix also plans to build a second store along the Grand Strand in Pawleys Island Plaza at U.S. 17 and Petigru Drive that aims to open in 2015.
Construction on Coastal North Town Center started in October and is part of a pickup of commercial building in pockets along the Grand Strand.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or STEVE JONES at 444-1765.