Two new high-rise hotels on Ocean Boulevard North are inching closer to reality, potentially bringing almost 500 new rooms to the oceanfront.
Both projects remain unnamed. The first, at Sixth Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard, is a 237,000-square-foot project with 19 floors. Architect Erin Blalock says the project may be a big step towards revitalizing the area.
“In the area it’s going to be in, it’s going to provide a lot of opportunities for jobs,” Blalock said.
In the area it’s going to be in, it’s going to provide a lot of opportunities for jobs.
Erin Blalock, architect for a new hotel at Sixth Avenue North
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City council members have also said the project could be a draw for the depressed stretch of oceanfront land.
The site, at 520 Ocean Boulevard North, is currently a parking lot. Virginia-based Buchanan Motels LLC plans to convert the plot into a 19-story high rise with 240 rooms. Blalock could not say when builders might break ground, as the company is still applying for a foundation building permit from the city. However, the hotel is expected to begin checking in guests in spring of 2018.
“We’re definitely excited to see it happening. It’s good to see development coming back to the beach,” Blalock said.
Both hotels include water parks that become covered in bad weather.
The resort will include a water park that can be enclosed during the winter or inclement weather, Blalock said. Another Buchanan project at 1706 Ocean Boulevard North has a water park as well; on both properties, the parks are available only to guests.
Bob Singleton, a vice president for Buchanan Motels, says the water park allows the hotels to retain guests when the weather might not be good enough to go to the beach. Some local families, he said, might check in for a “staycation.”
“Even the kids, during the summertime, they get tired of the beaches and they get, you know, sunburnt,” Singleton said. “They want to go play in an indoor water park.”
Other Buchanan hotels also include guest-only water parks. Singleton said, “We like the business model.”
The hotel at 1706 Ocean Blvd North will rise 22 floors with a three-level parking garage, and includes 228 rooms, according to plans filed with the city of Myrtle Beach.
Builders are waiting for the city to review plans on the project. The 267,000-square-foot project is expected to open in the summer of 2018, Singleton said.
However, that project previously met some scrutiny as developers had originally planned a skywalk over Ocean Boulevard. The walk would have been only the second in the city since the one built in 1998 at 15th Avenue South.
Developers eventually agreed to ditch the skywalk in favor of keeping the project on time. When that decision was made, the hotel was then slated to finish in Spring 2017.
However, Singleton said he is not concerned about the timeline.
“These are very large, complex oceanfront structures, so they take a while to draw and to engineer and stuff like that,” he said.