“We hope by June to have a different look down there from 8th Avenue North to 3rd Ave South” Bruce Boulineau, Director, Construction Services – City of Myrtle Beach
Market Common Residents refuse to shop downtown Ocean Boulevard restaurants, cafes and stores. Most say they avoid the area entirely.
Market Common is the fastest growing neighborhood in the city of Myrtle Beach with approximately 8,500 residents and growing. This neighborhood is well planned with green spaces, walking trails, parks, clean streets, newly designed homes, and a variety of specialty shops that create community.
Downtown Myrtle Beach near Ocean Boulevard, however, is another story entirely. Parts of the area were recently described by Market Common residents as resembling debris from a war zone. “We never go past the airport,” said Tom Murphy, a resident we spoke with on Wednesday at the Market Common Piggly Wiggly. “It’s not safe down there,” he added.
Abandoned properties, and boarded up hotels, like the Rainbow Court and Sea Side Plaza, pictured below are just a few reasons Market Common residents do not shop or visit the merchants on Ocean Boulevard.
The downtown area has a high population of homeless people as well. Myrtle Beach is rated the number two city in America for homelessness. These vagrants are commonly found walking the areas that include abandoned and run down hotels like the Sea Side Plaza and others pictured here.
WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR PRIME REAL ESTATE LOCATION?
These areas are not abandoned as a result of poverty, nor because of “urban flight.”
The buildings you see pictured here are located in the most prime locations in the entire city limits. Most merchants and most commercial real estate agents agree that it is greed, not poverty, at the root of this problem.
Many landowners, merchants, and real estate developers who own these buildings are waiting for a soon expected development headed by Burroughs and Chapin coupled with Brittain Resort Hotels and financed by Chinese money. MyrtleBeachSC.com has reported ongoing about this re-development plan. Anticipation of that plan has put improvements in this area completely on hold.
Most land owners, on Ocean Boulevard, are waiting to either be purchased at higher real estate values or to re-develop their own properties at the optimum time when the new “community-wide” developments begin.
Most merchants tell us they believe local city government is an active participant in what has become an eye sore for central downtown Myrtle Beach. These eyesores contribute to crime and scare off tourists as well.
Until now, everyone has been waiting on everyone else. Last night, however, speaking to a small group of Myrtle Beach residents, Bruce Boulineau, Director, Construction Services – City of Myrtle Beach said, “We hope by June to have a different look down there from the area that includes 8th Avenue North traveling south down to 3rd Ave South. We are starting now with the abandoned buildings and moving out from there.” If the City Construction Services director’s comments are accurate, owners of these properties and the city of Myrtle Beach are certainly about to square off with one another.
Market Common residents have made it clear that they will avoid those Oceanfront Merchants for now. Let’s hope that a few corporate giants, the Mayor, City Administrator, City Services, and City Council can work as one so as to get a large and growing city population shopping in that area.
Such shoppers would help those merchants maintain an annual versus the current seasonal sales cycle that is tourism.