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Mayor Rhodes on Superblock library, museum: ‘It’s just been an option put out there’

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes participates in The Sun New’s Facebook Live town hall

Rhodes appeared today as the final candidate of a five-part series in which mayoral candidates Rhode, Mark McBride, Brenda Bethune, CD Rozsa and Ed Carey answered questions live from Facebook viewers regarding their stance on the issues.
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Rhodes appeared today as the final candidate of a five-part series in which mayoral candidates Rhode, Mark McBride, Brenda Bethune, CD Rozsa and Ed Carey answered questions live from Facebook viewers regarding their stance on the issues.

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes said that a children’s museum and library are not the only options for the controversial Superblock properties Wednesday morning during a Facebook Live Q&A session with The Sun News.

“Right now we really don’t know,” Rhodes said. “It’s just been an option put out there for a library and a children’s museum. That’s not in concrete because City Council’s not voted on that. People have to understand that City Council has to vote on that project to begin with.”

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Rhodes said the realignment of U.S. 501 coming in 2020 will impact the traffic that flows through the downtown area. Because of these changes, Rhodes said that he is open to public-private partnerships coming to the area in order to spur development downtown.

“If we don’t do something to help spur development then it was obvious in the last 11 years, nothing was going to happen,” Rhodes said. “This is not something that’s just happened overnight. So, buying the property on the Superblock is the first step in the direction we needed to go that we feel to help spur development in the downtown area.

“We’re open to public-private partnerships to come in and tell us something that they’d like to do or like to build. We’re all ears and all eyes. But right now, the first thing is to ensure that we go ahead and take the buildings down.”

A large sign on the Superblock pronounces it is the future site of the Chapin Memorial Library.

John Pedersen, Myrtle Beach city manager, said that city officials have been open to ideas throughout the process, but that they have just spent the most time talking about the children’s museum and library. He also said that the city is interested in public-private developments for the area.

“The mayor’s absolutely correct there, council’s not finalized that with a quote,” Pedersen said.

Last week The Sun News hosted mayoral candidates Brenda Bethune, C.D. Rozsa, Ed Carey and Mark McBride.

Megan Tomasic: 843-626-0343, @MeganTomasic

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