NMB residents hope to protect Ingram Dunes
The City of North Myrtle Beach has signed a contract to purchase most of the historic Ingram Dunes site.
The city is buying 7.24 acres of the property for $2.5 million and will close on the sale June 21, according to an announcement made Thursday afternoon. The entire property is 9.35 acres.
Ingram Dunes is a coastal maritime forest with ancient dunes, hundreds of live oak trees, plants and animals.
At the beginning of the process, the city tried to get funding to buy the entire site, but did not succeed. Property owners and the city continued discussions, and the owners offered the 7.24 acres, which include the dunes. The remaining 2.11 acres will be subdivided into seven lots to construct seven single-family homes along Strand Avenue, according to a release from the city.
The family of Charles Ingram contributed $1.4 million toward the purchase, a release from the city states. The city will contribute $500,000, and a grant of $500,000 from the S.C. Conservation Bank and donations from the public will be enough to purchase the land.
Before agreeing to the purchase, the city asked for approval from the S.C. Conservation Bank to allow the use of a $510,000 grant in purchasing the 7.24 acres, the release states. The original grant amount was reduced to $500,000.
“We thank the board of directors of the S.C. Conservation Bank for having stayed the course with us as we moved toward this purchase,” North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley said.
“We thank Hillside Development for having worked to arrive at this offer, and we thank the family of Charles Ingram for having donated $1.4 million to make this purchase possible. They filled the funding gap, and it is important to remember this fact. The dunes and the many lovely trees will live on in Ingram Dunes Park to enchant future generations of residents and visitors.”
The owners, along with developers DDC Engineers, proposed construction of 31 single-family homes, which would have resulted in tearing out or replating of trees, six of which are live oaks that are 24-inch caliper or larger, North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling told The Sun News last spring.
Following the initial announcement of development, advocates have voiced their hopes to save the historic property, creating a website and GoFundMe page to raise money for the site.
Damien Triouleyre, who has spearheaded an advocacy group to preserve the site since 2016, said he is grateful and thankful for Thursday’s announcement.
“We are extremely happy and thankful that most of the high dunes will be saved,” he said. “We’re hopeful that this great event will inspire other land to be preserved, especially in the Grand Strand.