After $30 million in land buys, Myrtle Beach looks for downtown private partner

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David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

The city of Myrtle Beach is looking for a 2023 private investor to redevelop property the city has purchased downtown.

MyrtleBeachSC News covered these ongoing land purchases on 7th and 8th avenue north downtown all of 2022.

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Properties purchased by City of Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach City council voted to purchase 10 properties for $15 million in December 2021. In 2022, the city purchased eight additional pieces on 7th and 8th avenue north. The total cost for land bought by the city to date is approximately $30 million, according to city officials. It is estimated the city will spend towards $100 million before the entire landscape is redeveloped.

The original intent was to create a safer place,” Assistant Myrtle Beach City Manager Brian Tucker said. “Some of the places that were here before generated a tremendous amount of public safety calls.” The controversial purchase of the Superblock by what was the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation has the city snowballed in multiple lawsuits. One key lawsuit was lost by the city and is now being appealed by Myrtle Beach.

As we reported in 2021, SuperBlock Trial – Jury Rules City Tortiously Interfered With Club Levelz business. Awards $500,000 In Damages

In 2022, most of the properties purchased were motels along 7th Avenue North. The Sea Nymph Motel , The Fountain Bleu, and the Oasis Motel were purchased and torn down in 2022.

This is an investment,” Tucker said. “That’s the word we continue to use is we’re pouring money back into the downtown to create the place everybody says they want.”

Tucker said the city wants one developer to reshape all of the properties at once. He said the goal is a resident-oriented space.

It’s not as much about the financial return or the impact financially or economically, it’s about creating a place, a walkable place, creating a place that full-time residents want to exist in,” Tucker said.

MyrtleBeachSC News wrote in 2022 that the city has struggled to find an investor. Locals called the plan more of a $53 million dream than an actual goal oriented plan. At that time, the city’s dream included having a Boston area investor build a new baseball stadium in the newly acquired city square. That investor has yet to step up to the plate. It appears that concept is dead on arrival. The city is now focused on a city resident focused space for the square.

The City of Myrtle Beach has a resident base of approximately 38,000 residents per the last U.S. Census.

Tucker said the properties sit on prime real estate, bordering the pavilion and Ocean Boulevard.

Tucker estimated that it could be a year before the right developer is found and chosen and two years before any vertical construction takes place.

Locals, including Tuvia Wilkes (who is among the largest property owners downtown) said, “Good luck with that! It is highly unlikely the city can pull this off that fast. Perhaps 5 years at the minimum.

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