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‘A work in progress’: How Myrtle Beach is cleaning up downtown area

City leaders discuss concepts for downtown Myrtle Beach redevelopment plan

City leaders have been debating what should go in the Superblock area of downtown Myrtle Beach, and on Wednesday the first conceptual plans for the area were revealed.
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City leaders have been debating what should go in the Superblock area of downtown Myrtle Beach, and on Wednesday the first conceptual plans for the area were revealed.

Sidewalks in downtown Myrtle Beach are getting a makeover.

With city leaders focused on revitalizing the downtown as part of the Downtown Master Plan, money generated from the sale of a vacant plot of city-owned property will soon fund a power washing program to clean Ocean Boulevard sidewalks. City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance on Tuesday allocating the funds to launch the program.

With the heavily trafficked sidewalks stained and covered with discarded gum, officials agreed the sidewalks need to be power washed to bring its appearance up to the city’s “First in Service” standards.

“You’ll see a nice clean sidewalk,” Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation executive director Lauren Clever said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. She added the program is scheduled to begin Oct. 1 and should take about 60 days to clean the sidewalks downtown.

Funding for the program is stemmed from the $160,000 sale of an area known as Washington Park Area & Playground, an undeveloped piece of land located between 23rd Avenue North and 24th Avenue North between Kings Highway and Withers Drive.

“It’s an interior lot that’s never been developed. It’s been there for decades and really only has much use if it’s combined with one of the adjacent parcels, which the sale will accomplish,” City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said. “The property was never used as a park.”

Officials authorized the sale of the land to Blvd Group, LLC in July for $160,000, with $126,000 that will be designated toward the power washing program and the remaining $34,000 will fund the continuation of a downtown fireworks show through the end of the season.

City Manager John Pedersen has previously said the sponsor for the weekly downtown fireworks show is no longer funding the event.

Officials on Tuesday also approved the first reading of an ordinance that would create a new zoning designation — The Arts and Innovation District — located around and inside the Superblock area.

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Photo Courtesy of The City of Myrtle Beach

The designation is part of the city’s Downtown Master Plan, which was approved in March. The Master Plan aims to bring change to four districts: Oceanfront, Kings Highway, Historic Main Street and an Arts District.

The area includes approximately 56 acres with 155 parcels along Main Street, Broadway Street, Oak Street and 9th Avenue North. Properties within the proposed district are currently zoned downtown commercial and mixed-use medium density.

Officials have previously said their goal is to create a year-round walkable, mixed-use urban destination that will serve as the hub of artistic, cultural and civic life for both residents and visitors to enjoy.

“We have been working on this concept for two years,” Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat said. “This is the end of a very long path that has had a lot of attention and it is a thing called a work in progress.”

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