Welcome to our "Downtown Today" portal. This page is continuously updated
for your reference. Our goal is to provide up the most up-to-date insights into
Downtown for future investors and current stakeholders. Please have a look around!
MESSAGE FROM OUR MAYOR
" There is no better time than now to invest in the future of Myrtle Beach.
Since the adoption of our Downtown Master Plan, the City has dedicated a tremendous amount of resources to ensure the successful implementation of our revitalization efforts. We realize that we must invest in order to create a vital and thriving downtown that will appeal to all who live, work and visit our beautiful City. We invite you to join us on this successful journey as we forever change the heart of Myrtle Beach for generations to come! "
- Mayor Brenda Bethune
Myrtle Beach Downtown Master Plan
In July of 2018 the City undertook a master planning process to determine a clear path for the revitalization of Downtown Myrtle Beach. Over the next 8 months the general public was engaged in a variety of ways. In addition to opportunities at monthly DRC and City Council meetings, over 100 individuals were engaged through an initial series of small group listening sessions. Among others, the listening groups included business and property owners and operators, real estate professionals, developers, Coastal Carolina University, Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Economic Development, and potential investors. The resulting plan was adopted by City Council in March 2019. Phase 1 Implementation Updates are given to City Council each month. The Downtown Development Office, City Managers, and Department Heads meet each month to review the update presentation together. The City has placed a high level of importance on establishing this cross-functional team dedicated to the necessary collaboration and communication it will take to execute the Downtown Master Plan vision.
TOP FIVE IN FIVE
"TOP FIVE IN FIVE" represent the top 5 priorities our City Leaders wish to accomplish in the first 5 years of Downtown Master Plan implementation. While all of the themes and strategies presented in the Master Plan are important to the success of its implementation, five major recommendations emerged that should drive the focus of the implementation efforts.
The "Top 5 in 5" model is explained more in depth in Section 4 of the Downtown Master Plan.
Heart of Downtown
Position the City Square, Broadway Street and the Arts & Innovation District as the heart of downtown.
Develop a capital improvement program, development strategy and overall plan of action for the City Square, Broadway Street and the Arts District to guide and ignite the development of a vibrant residential and cultural arts experience in Myrtle Beach.
In The Works... "Meet the new neighbors"
Along with the Downtown Master Plan, Arts & Innovation District, and Historic District... there are three very exciting projects "In The Works." Here is a little information on the three. Don't be surprised if this list grows very soon.
Jack Thompson Photography
This project's intent is to establish a CCU presence in downtown with a brand new Performing Arts Center operated by CCU, owned in partnership with the City of Myrtle Beach. The site selected is in the heart of Main St. downtown. The city has already acquired the three historic buildings needed for the project.
This project is the brain-child of TAG, the City Council-formed Technology Advisory Group. Its members have worked tirelessly to create an economically feasible co-working space in the heart of Downtown. This space is slated to open mid Summer 2020 for entrepreneurs, tech startups, and creatives in Myrtle Beach.
City Mayor has signed the ordinance to authorize the sale of 807 Kings Hwy to L1PMYRTLEBEACH (Mashburn Construction). The group intends to undergo a complete renovation of the property, restoring the facade to its historic architecture and in the process, taking full advantage of historic tax credits, and possible other credits.
Microbrewery & Makerspace
Coming Soon to
Myrtle Beach’s Arts &
Two new businesses – a microbrewery and a maker-and-event-space – are planning to join Myrtle Beach’s Arts & Innovation District. The Myrtle Beach City Council authorized the sale of 819 North Kings Highway to GSB PROPERTIES, LLC during its meeting on Tuesday, October 22. The two-story building fronts on Nance Plaza, just north of where Mashburn Construction previously announced plans to restore and occupy a historic downtown building.
Grand Strand Brewing Company, a new microbrewery, will occupy the first floor of 819 Kings Highway. The second floor will be home to The Maker Exchange, a creative space for community events, art classes and more. The businesses’ goal is to be open by summer 2020 in newly renovated space.
Arts & Innovation District
The Downtown Master Plan calls for the creation of a new Arts District in and around the Superblock. There are many components to an Arts District, each crafted and implemented by various entities, including the Downtown Development Office, the 5-Points Association, property owners, business operators, the Planning Commission, and City Council. The intent of the Arts and Innovation District is to create a sustainable and walkable mixed-use urban environment that will serve as the hub of artistic, cultural and civic life in the traditional core of downtown Myrtle Beach. As a year-round destination for both residents and visitors, the district’s primary uses are supported by a wide range of businesses that help to maintain a vibrant atmosphere. Building design is in harmony with the character of the area and establishes a continuity of pedestrian-oriented frontages between adjacent buildings. This is further supported by pedestrian oriented urban design, the active use of outdoor space for dining and entertainment, encouraging the development of upper-story residences in mixed-use buildings, and the incorporation of both active and passive public spaces throughout the district.
Historic Downtown District
The City of Myrtle Beach loves it's history and is celebrating, preserving, and revitalizing it. The new historic designation would allow certain structures to receive 25 percent state historic tax credit, 20 percent federal historic tax credits, and a 10-year city tax credit abatement through the Bailey Bill. Many of the building would qualify for abandoned blinding credits.
The Myrtle Beach Downtown Historic District is a collection of twenty-four commercial buildings centrally located in Myrtle Beach’s original commercial core. Of the twenty-four buildings within the district, eighteen (18) contribute to the historic and architectural character of the district while eight (8) buildings are deemed non-contributing resources within the district in their current condition.
The buildings within the district are diverse in their architectural styles and range from the late-1920s to the late-1960s, reflecting the changing styles of a growing city. Some of the early styles include Mission Revival, Art Deco, and Depression Modern commercial buildings, while mid-century changes and additions reflect more eye-catching designs. The attempt to modernize old buildings and make them appear new in the 1950s and 1960s led to updated, Modern-style facades. However, not all of these modernizing techniques provided architecturally rich examples of updated facades as these typically featured stucco application or the removal of identifying elements. Additionally, the 1980s saw a second wave of modernizing out-of-date buildings and covered buildings in stucco and added faux balustrades and balconettes. Because of the lost integrity due to the application of stucco and faux facades, these buildings are not included in the district’s contributing resources.
807 North Kings Highway (c.1948)
This one-story, mid-century commercial building originally carried the address of 813 Kings Highway Extension. Despite a replacement front door system, which involves an aluminum-frame door and sidelights, the building retains a high degree of architectural integrity, including its asymmetrical layout, original bulkheads, display windows, and an awning. The building is stucco with stack bond brick veneer storefront bulkheads. A fluted metal awning is suspended above the storefront by six connecting rods and its underside is corrugated. The northern display window cantilevers the bulkhead, creating a floating appearance while the southern display window is less pronounced. The storefront entry flooring is a mixture of later addition stone closest to the sidewalk and terra cotta, which is most likely original, near the front door. Darden’s Jewelers occupied the address in the early 1960s with Franklin Life Insurance operating out of the rear portion of the building. Following Darden’s tenancy, the property housed multiple hair salons into the late 1960s.
*Myrtle Beach City Directories, 1961/62, 1963, 1968.
*Copyrighted By Jack Thompson Photography
Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are designed to encourage long-term private investments in low-income communities. This program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into "Opportunity Funds," which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in low-income areas called "Opportunity Zones." HOW IT WORKS
The zones themselves are comprised of low-income community census tracts and designated by governors in every state. South Carolina designated 25 percent of qualifying census tracts as an Opportunity Zone. Qualifying Zones are based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey.
The 2 Tracts in Myrtle Beach are listed below with a map outlining the zone.
Tract 506 – Myrtle Beach Pavilion / Superblock
Tract 507 – Myrtle Beach South Ocean Boulevard
Opportunity Zones 506 and 507 include the heart of the downtown redevelopment district and are at the center of the Grand Strand's tourist industry. Over 3,100 hotel rooms occupy the oceanfront, second, and third row properties between Kings Hwy and Ocean Blvd in the Opportunity Zones with over 23,000 city-wide. Additionally, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and Hotel, which features over 250,000 square feet of meeting space and 402 hotel rooms, is located just outside Opportunity Zone 506. On average, guests spend $2,866 per group of 3-4 over the length of their Myrtle Beach stay. Present within the zones is the 1.2 mile Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade, from the 14th Ave to 2nd Ave N Piers. Throughout the year, the popular Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is home to festivals and events. Broadway at the Beach, a shopping and entertainment complex spanning 350 acres, is located just outside Opportunity Zone 506.
MORE ABOUT: Myrtle Beach Opportunity Zones 506 & 507
On January 29, 2020, The Downtown Development Office (DDO) hosted its first education forum on Improvement Districts. The session was held at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot from 9:00 A.M. - Noon. Letters were sent to property owner's within the boundaries proposed as part of an Improvement District, inviting them to the meeting and also giving the opportunity to share their voice via an online survey.
What is an Improvement District? Improvement Districts are not a new concept. They are found in cities and towns across the Nation that range in size and scope. These were created in essence to help downtowns and mainstreets, for example, compete with privately controlled ecosystems that were considered as direct competitors such as malls and amusements parks. Some Improvement Districts are independent of local government, having almost complete autonomy to finance, construct, and manage specific projects, while others are dependent on local government, created only to raise revenue for specific projects.
Downtown Ambassadors - Downtown Columbia, SC
An Improvement District most often is structured to have an Advisory Committee or Board of Directors that oversees the budget and daily operations. It should be comprised of property owners, business owners, stakeholders, municipal staff, elected officials, etc. The funding source for projects within an improvement district are the result of a tax assessment to the property owners withing the district, but may also include voluntary contributions from tax-exempt properties, other tax funds, and direct fundraising methods just to name a few. The projects and budget are typically determined by the board/committee after much consideration and collaboration with the property owners receiving the benefit; after all, it's their money. The structure of an Improvement District that the city is recommending will certainly be a model of taxation WITH representation.
The City of Myrtle Beach recognizes the true potential of a downtown special Improvement District. That is why beginning in 2020, the City will fund a 1-year ambassador program with a true boundary of the program yet to be determined. We are excited to pioneer this next step in enhanced services for our downtown. Please reach out to our office if you have any questions, and stay tunned for more details to come in the next short weeks.
Recent Myrtle Beach PR Highlights
The following are several of the major media clips highlighting the Myrtle Beach area in 2019. Several outlets focused on the family-friendliness, affordability and ease of travel in and to Myrtle Beach, while others covered affordability, specific attractions or neighborhoods in the area, and things to do or special places to eat and drink.
*source: Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitor Bureau - PARTNER CONNECT