top of page
Why Downtown?



The City of Myrtle Beach's Downtown Development Office  has your back.  We want to make sure you have all the tools you need for success.  Downtown Myrtle Beach market valuation has risen from $300 million in 2005 to $536 million in 2017, with 2022 estimates reaching $900 million.  "Where do you fit into this?"

Why Downtown Myrtle Beach?

Downtown Myrtle Beach is the city's past, present, and future.  A strong downtown is necessary for positive economic and social development where the downtown is a hub for cultural, commercial, and civic activities.  The City and former Downtown Redevelopment Corporation hired Benchmark Planning to create a new  Downtown Master Plan, now in Phase 1 implementation  The time to be downtown is now.  The market value of downtown since 2005 has grown from $300 million to $534 million.  We've seen a +7% percent growth in market value from 2012 to 2017.  

The City of Myrtle Beach was built on tourism, and while the City and the surrounding community has experienced unprecedented residential growth for a number of years, tourism is still very much at the core of the local economy.  The City is still a relatively young community, having just celebrated its 80th Birthday in March 2018.


Myrtle Beach’s downtown is unique in several respects.  Downtown Myrtle Beach was the original center of the amusement and hotel/motel area.  Secondly, downtown Myrtle Beach is far from the typical downtown area in need of renovation.  There are still many thriving businesses located in the downtown, and the area hosts literally millions of tourists each year, with a peak in the summer, but with rapidly increasing numbers in the winter and the fall and spring “shoulder” seasons. 

Nearly all of Downtown Myrtle Beach has recently been declared an Opportunity Zone by the Federal Government.  Opportunity Zones tracts 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.  There is so much opportunity here today, it's no surprise we have seen so much new growth.  We invite you to connect with us and explore the possibilities in Downtown Myrtle Beach.

ULI - TAP Summary

Technical Assistance Panel

download uli - tap report

What are Technical Assistance Panels


TAPs provide expert and objective strategic advice to sponsoring organizations on complex land-use and development issues. TAPs link public agencies and nonprofit organizations to seasoned real estate, planning, financing, marketing and technical experts through ULI district councils. TAPs are part of ULI’s Advisory Services program which has assisted more than 500 communities worldwide since 1947.

Executive Summary

Under the direction of the Urban Land Institute’s South Carolina District Council, the Myrtle Beach Technical Assistance Panel convened at the Sandy Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, 2014, bringing together community leaders, stakeholders and a panel of planning, design, tourism and development professionals for a day and a half session focused on helping the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, the DRC, revitalize a 75-acre section known as the South Mixed Use Area or SMUA.

The TAP prepared its recommendations based on a review of the briefing materials, a debriefing with the executive director and members of the board of the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, a tour of the study area and extensive interviews with stakeholders. Panel deliberations included a S.W.O.T. analysis, determining key focus areas and recommendations. The panel made short, mid and long-term recommendations that focused on the following:

• Redevelopment of the Pavilion Site

• Creation of an Arts & Entertainment District

• Children’s Museum Relocation & Park Development

• Family Entertainment & Residential Development

• Boardwalk Development

New Opportunity Zoning

Incentives | Partnerships | Grants

New Opportunity Zoning

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

Tract Map.JPG



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


MU-H Zoning With Special Setbacks

This zoning is intended to encourage high / medium

density mixed-use pedestrian-friendly developments.

The Floating Zone

This is a unique form of Planned Unit Development [PUD] zoning that does not require a minimum property size of PUD fees for public improvements. The objective is to invite creative mixed uses, planning, and architecture to the area. Developers are invited to propose “their” project and ideas with few pre-conceived requirements.

City of Myrtle Beach: ZONING CODE


Voucher Credit Program

Development projects can apply for a “credit” that works like a debit card, for City fees associated with the project. Upon completion, the developer can receive this voucher for up to 2% of the project construction cost including the cost of land assembly for projects costing up to $100M. In this example, a $2M voucher can be used to cover City fees such as building permit, TAP fees, and future fees such as Business License and water service fees.

$10M DRC Loan Pool


The DRC has established an interest only loan pool with five local banks that can be drawn upon for use in property acquisition, blighted building abatement, demolition costs, and other public improvements to add to or create value in the area.

Credits & Loans
South Bay Inn & Suites
Tax Credits

Historic Tax Credits

The National Tax Credit Program was implemented by the federal government in 1976 to help the private sector preserve historic buildings by providing a 20% federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of these historic buildings. Likewise, the State of South Carolina has enacted its own tax credit act, which provides an additional state historic tax credit of up to 25% of the qualified rehabilitation expenses for a current or future historic income-producing property. This program is administered by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SHPO) and the Department of Interior/National Park Services (NPS).

Historic Myrtle Beach Train Depot
Waikiki Village Motel (Rehabilitation)
National Register of Historic Places - June 16th, 2018

To qualify for these historic tax credits a property must individually be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and/or be a contributing structure in a National Register Historic District. Currently the DRC Districts do not have established national register districts, however, recently the State Department of Archives and History will be adding mid-century modern buildings to the National Register; which are those buildings that were constructed between the early 1950’s and late 1960’s.​​

New Market Tax Credits [NMTC]

The DRC Districts in an approved Federal area where NMTC can be utilized for major projects, generating real cost effective capital into such development projects.

Bailey Bill (S.C. Code Ann. sections 4-9-195 and 5-21-140)

Enacted in 1992, the Bailey Bill allows local governments to offer a property tax abatement to encourage the rehabilitation of historic properties. For a period of no more than 20 years, the local government can lock in a special property tax assessment based on the property’s fair market value prior to rehabilitation.


It's purpose is to encourage the restoration of historic properties, promote community development and redevelopment, encourage sound community panning, and promote the general health, safety and welfare of the community.  The City of Myrtle Beach Ordinance No. 2018-25 states the tax assessment will be "equal to the appraised value of the property at the time of preliminary certification" and "may remain in effect for a period not to exceed ten years."  Preliminary certification requirements include having the property receive historic designation status, receive approval from the Reviewing Authority, and the project must commence on or after the date of the adoption of tax assessment ordinance No. 2018-25.  The special tax assessment may apply to structure(s) rehabilitated and/or real property on which the building is located.

To be eligible for the tax assessment, historic rehabilitation must be appropriate for the historic building and the historic district in which it is located.  This is achieved through adherence to standards for rehabilitation work, i.e. work shall not be done that compromises the historical essence of the building.

Bailey Bill Application and Guidelines

Curtiss Wright Hanger, Columbia SC

Public Property Use

Certain streets and oceanfront street ends including at grade property and air rights are potentially available for inclusion and use in a private development that enhance pedestrian walkability.

Public Property Use
Anderson Park, Myrtle Beach SC
bottom of page