Myrtle Beach City Council voted to lift the threat of eminent domain from two properties on the Superblock during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Eminent domain is used by government entities to take ownership of private land that is intended for a public use. Land owners must be paid an assessed market value.
The properties in question were photographer Jack Thompson’s gallery, a building owned by Tom Davis at 503 Ninth Ave. North, and House Parts, LLC, a home fixture store at 801 N. Kings Hwy.
“When the former mayor, in Nance Plaza over a year ago, unveiled the plans that would ultimately lead to the original eminent domain issuance, I had prophetically said at the time during another interview that I really believed that in the end the city would do the right thing,” Andrew Paulussen, owner of House Parts, LLC, said. “And I’m convinced that in the end they did, and I’m further convinced that that specifically occurred because of the efforts of our new mayor Brenda Bethune.”
The ability to use eminent domain by city council on the Superblock properties was discussed last February after council presented a plan to build a new children’s museum and library in the area.
During a city council retreat at the end of January, Bethune said “bring some healing and some peace back to a very hot topic in the community.” We need to “find a way to do it without having that out there,” she said.
The motion to lift the threat only applies to those two properties, meaning that the city could use eminent domain on other buildings in the city in the future.
Moving forward, the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation will present a conceptual drawing for property owned by the DRC and the city in the Superblock.
As for those plans, Paulussen said that that we will not worry about what the future holds until they are unveiled.
“It was a very long and arduous year for my wife and I and our business,” Paulussen said. “I’m just glad we’re on firmer footing now and we can do what we want to do, which is concentrate on a really cool business. I’m just living the dream, don’t wake me up.”