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Finally, A Youth & Community Focused Downtown Plan

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As MyrtleBeachSC News reported this week, younger working families are now relocating to the Myrtle Beach area as technology allows greater telecommuting. Home sales along the Grand Strand have increased 65% since the pandemic began.

The problem is, they aren’t moving into downtown Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach resident Michael Clayton, C.E.O. of One Grand Strand, along with a sharp team of architects and designers, may hold the plans to attract this next group of young workers into the downtown. One Grand Strand is an “association of business and community leaders dedicated to promoting the growth and diversification of the Myrtle Beach downtown area.”

Architects and designers of James Lima Planning and Development and Plan and Process presented Myrtle Beach City Council with both long and short-term plans for areas of Broadway Street, the Myrtle Beach boardwalk and the greenway of Withers Swash with its surrounding neighborhoods. The plan was 100% funded by the private sector.

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James Lima, president of James Lima Planning and Development made the online presentation heard above via ZOOM. We apologize for the poor audio quality.

Lima’s firm is based out of New York City. Lima graduated from Columbia College. He has taught courses on economic development at some of the nation’s top universities like Yale, Columbia and Princeton.

PAST HURDLE – THE LAND LOCKED ISSUE

Literally hundreds of past plans never made it beyond the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion land that now largely sits empty. A strategic move by former Downtown Redevelopment Board member Noam Pyade was to buy up the properties just south of that land.

Many of these properties were purchased owner financed from merchants under duress because of ongoing issues with Myrtle Beach city government.

This block of land created a stale mate between the city (PYADE) and Burroughs and Chapin. In short, it became unlikely anything could happen in this area until former DRC leader Pyade and B&C worked something out.

The Pyade properties are dated. It is unlikely new investors will build alongside Pyade’s current façade.

SIDE STEPPING THE BIG DEAL ALTOGETHER

The brilliance of One Grand Strand’s plan is to side step the Pavilion conundrum altogether.

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The plan focuses on what it calls the blue to green plan. High attention is given to the Withers Swash community, Broadway Street, Chester Street, among others just east and west of Highway 17.

Varied and diversified levels of small and large investments are their key to pumping new life into the area.

The mantra of the group is:

Capital follows talent… Talent follows placePlace needs investment

We spoke with one one key constituent in the hallway of the Convention Center on Tuesday. It was clear One Grand Strand had this business owner’s full support.

City Council was ready, in fact, to approve the issue on Tuesday. However, Councilman Gregg Smith asked the vote be delayed until December 8th. Smith’s wife is a lawyer representing Burroughs and Chapin Company.

Funding Source Details

The two key funding sources for the plan include a Municipal Improvement District tax and Tax Increment Financing.

A Municipal Improvement District (MID) is a geographic area in which property owners (generally, excluding owner-occupied residences) agree to be assessed for supplemental services to improve the district.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) uses the incremental increase in taxrevenue generated by investments in infrastructure and otherimprovements in the TIF district as the funding source for debt service ona municipal bond issued to fund those district improvements

THE ENTIRE CONCEPT CAN BE SEEN HERE

One Grand Strand Downtown D… by MyrtleBeachSC news

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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

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