As development booms elsewhere in the city, the south end of Myrtle Beach is now getting its due.
Multiple projects have the potential to bring interest back to an area that some say has long been ignored. They range from a high-rise hotel to a small cluster of duplexes to a Wal-Mart, according to building permit applications filed with the city.
“I’m always thrilled to see something come in on the south end, because that area of the city has been neglected for such a while,” said Larry Bragg, chairman of Myrtle Beach’s Community Appearance Board. “It was a tragedy for me because for so many years, it was all north-end development and then central Myrtle development. The south end, I always thought, got the short end of the stick.”
Now, a long-in-the works Residence Inn Marriott has been approved by the CAB for 2605 South Ocean Blvd. The 305,964-square-foot hotel will rise 17 stories and include its own parking structure and pool.
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The CAB mulled the design of the hotel several weeks ago.
“I do believe the design, now, is magnificent,” Bragg said. “It’s very striking.”
A few blocks away, another new mixed-use development has been proposed for 1400 South Ocean Blvd.
The four-level, 32,008-square-foot complex would include ground-floor shops and 15 vacation rental units on the upper floors. Renderings for the project show a building with a bright, multicolored facade, balconies, parking in back and glass-front spaces for retail or other businesses.
“First blush, I was very pleased with it,” Bragg said.
The CAB did suggest that the building’s neutral-colored back side match better with the vibrant front, that the shops have consistent signage and that designers are more deft in hiding the heating and cooling units.
On the smaller side of new projects is a cluster of duplexes, totaling four units, at 407 and 411 Ninth Ave. South and a new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, a simpler iteration of the chain’s big-box stores, at 17th Avenue South and Kings Highway.
Development along the city’s south oceanfront and nearby blocks mirrors action further north, as developers fill in the few remaining pockets of land along the water or refresh older properties that once housed mom-and-pop motels. One project slated to open in 2018 transforms Banditos restaurant into an open-air complex of retail, entertainment and dining; two high-rise hotels are planned for 6th Avenue North and 17th Avenue North; and a multilevel restaurant called RipTydz will open next year.
The south side, however, stands to gain something extra from its new projects — other developers might be enticed there once they see successful builds.
“I’m hoping with these things going on it will spur others who either own land or have a building that might be retrofitted or razed,” Bragg said. “I think this will give some of them confidence to step up to the plate.”