The City of Myrtle Beach is searching for a downtown master plan consultant to help with revitalizing the downtown Superblock.
During a city council budget retreat Tuesday morning, council members discussed a request for proposals that focused on four main goals for a consultant — to establish a vision and identity for downtown Myrtle Beach, propose goals for that plan as well as strategies to achieve those goals.
“We’re not looking for a consultant to write a report,” Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen said. “Instead, what you’re looking for is a subject expert. So this will require even more time.”
The RFP is aimed at the four downtown districts established by the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation — entertainment, the Superblock, the south mixed use area and Family Kingdom.
The goal is to create and develop initiatives for the next 20 years.
However, the RFP tackles key issues including public safety, a static experience for tourists, little draw to the area for permanent residents and lack of redevelopment in these areas.
“Downtown Myrtle Beach is far from the typical downtown area in need of renovation,” the RFP reads. “There are still many thriving businesses located in the downtown, and the area hosts literally millions of tourists each years, with a peak in the summer, but with rapidly increasing numbers in the winter and the fall and spring ‘shoulder’ seasons.”
The RFP comes after months of council members discussing the best options for the Superblock area.
In February, members of the DRC presented conceptual renderings of a new children’s museum and library.
The plans, which were created by LS3P, show the properties that border Nance Plaza becoming a children’s museum, excluding House Parts, LLC and Myrtle Beach photographer Jack Thompson’s studio. The properties along 9th Ave. North could be converted into a library.
The children’s museum would be two stories high, and the library would be four stories. On the second floor of the library, plans show an exhibit hall and a covered terrace. The third floor shows space for classrooms and office space. The fourth floor would be a roof garden and observation deck that would have a view of the ocean.
Funding for the Superblock area was discussed during the budget retreat, but no decisions were made.
“All of this, I support what we’re working toward here but at the end of the day we need to make sure a plan that we actually want to take,” councilman Mike Lowder said. “The 800 pound gorilla in the box here is the funding. Let’s find out whether we have the funding, whether we have the resources for the funding.”
Funding from the DRC will pay for the downtown master plan consultant, Pedersen said.