The property known by many as the Bunny Ranch on U.S. 501 will soon be gone.
Myrtle Beach will acquire the vacant strip club building that sits on county land at one of the main gateways to the city at Third Avenue South.
“That little triangle is not inside the city so it’s been beyond our control forever,” city spokesman Mark Kruea said. “Acquiring ownership and demolishing the building will greatly improve the look of the entrance to the city of Myrtle Beach.”
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brad Dean said the chamber supported the city’s move to take ownership of the “dilapidated property.”
“By taking possession of the property and using the space in a manner more visually appealing to visitors, the city has signified its commitment to revamping and cleaning up the corridor and enhancing its family-friendly image,” Dean said in a statement.
It’s been beyond our reach and now that we’re going to be the owners, we’re going to make it go away.”
Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea
The city is acquiring the .36-acre property recently purchased by the owners of the oceanfront Sea Captain’s House restaurant at 30th Avenue North in exchange for the .06-acre alley between the restaurant and the Caribbean Resort and Villas just south of it.
“The city will trade an alley that the city doesn’t have a use for for a prominent piece of property on 501,” Kruea said.
According to city code, the alley relocation/consolidation policy was established to provide guidelines for the city to close, abandon, or relocate alleys within the area east of Kings Highway and between 11th Avenue North and 19th Avenue North.
“It’s a policy,” Kruea said, adding that this was the first time the city has swapped an alleyway for property that was west of Kings Highway. “Council has the ability to make decisions about land. … In approving this arrangement, council believes it is in the best interest of the city.”
Traditionally, alleyway swaps have been done to allow for the construction of larger properties along Ocean Boulevard while allowing the city to keep the same amount of public property.
Alley relocation/consolidation policy purpose: The purpose of this policy is to provide minimum standards to guide city council in determining when it is necessary for the improvement or convenience of the city to close, abandon, or relocate alleys within the area east of Kings Highway and between 11th Avenue North and 29th Avenue North (the alleyway district).
Myrtle Beach is expected to close on the land transaction Aug. 28 with Sea Captain’s Investors Inc. and demolish the property soon after, Kruea said. City staff then will move to annex the property – which sits inside a “doughnut hole” in Horry County’s jurisdiction – into city limits.
“It’s been beyond our reach and now that we’re going to be the owners, we’re going to make it go away,” Kruea said.
Kruea said the city has not yet decided what will go on that property, but also said there has been some discussion about installing a welcome sign.