A new look is coming to the former Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach and conceptual plans for the area’s first Dave & Buster’s revealed the future square will look a lot like an historic warehouse district.
The current archway proclaiming “Celebrity Square, Where the stars go at night,” is coming down. The 70-foot-tall Hard Rock Café pyramid that capped the district’s northernmost point is planned for demolition. And in the pyramid’s place will sit a Dave & Buster’s unlike any other – in a warehouse that gives a nod to the old and a wink to the future.
“Celebrity Square is being revamped kind of in the style of Wilmington and Savannah warehouses, kind of simple, smart buildings. There’s kind of a notion of a dumb industrial building or a dumb warehouse. We’re going to call these smart warehouses,” said Brian Wurst of Charleston’s LS3P Associates, which designed the building proposed in plans before the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board on Thursday.
“We’ve done a case study in Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah. (We) visited Orlando and all over to kind of get inspiration for these,” he said.
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All of the buildings in the revamped Broadway at the Beach district will be “refaced with brick eaves,” Wurst added.
LS3P architects submitted plans to the city last week that called for the pyramid’s demolition and a 40,000-square-foot, two-story brick-and-mortar restaurant with an arched entrance and metal doors much like a warehouse. A changeable electronic variable message sign is planned to adorn the front of the restaurant, which will open up into the new square’s “warehouse district.”
Community Appearance Board members seemed pleased with the concept and the designs. But some were concerned with the changeable electronic variable message (CEVM) sign towering above the restaurant’s front doors.
“You’ve done such a beautiful job with the archway and then you plop the CEVM (Changeable Electronic Variable Message sign) on it as if it was an afterthought,” said CAB Chairman Larry Bragg.
The sign is part of a larger Broadway district concept to draw visitors into properties where they would be immersed in a branding, entertainment experience like New York’s Time Square.
Celebrity Square is being revamped kind of in the style of Wilmington and Savannah warehouses, kind of simple, smart buildings.
Brian Wurst, vice president of Charleston’s LS3P Associates
Bragg was also concerned with the building’s large, metal industrial doors. Architects say there are about 10 of them in their plans, but Bragg noted they were all blank.
“That’s just too much blank,” Bragg said.
The large doors were added to the design to give the building that warehouse appearance, Wurst said.
“But if you’ll notice a lot of the places that were retrofitted, especially in Savannah … those were the first things they threw out when they were retrofitting the buildings,” Bragg said. “They originally had wooden doors, which had some character to it. … Those doors need addressing somehow. In a perfect world we would get hand-hewn timbers from the early 19th century that Savannah, Charleston and Wilmington had.”
Other board members agreed.
“I’m all about industrial … but I kind of have to agree with Larry (Bragg), the doors need dressing up,” said board member Jackie Vereen, proposing a stable door with cross-bracing.
Board member Susan White proposed the planners use reclaimed wood on the doors.
Developers will return for a final plan review and a vote on the project at a later date.
Developers will still need to get final approval of their plans before permits can be issued for the pyramid’s demolition and Dave & Buster’s construction.
Hard Rock Café Myrtle Beach will move to a new location at Broadway at the Beach in the former home of Broadway Louie’s, which moved two doors down months ago. Hard Rock will continue to operate in the pyramid until its new digs are fully renovated to offer seating for 528 guests, private event space, patio seating and a live music stage. The rock ‘n’ roll restaurant is expected to open in its new location sometime this summer.