With help from hundreds of property owners, business owners and folks who just love Myrtle Beach, the city’s vision for the “downtown area” is coming together. If we could see the future, how would it look?
January 16, 2019, is a critical day, as it represents the best opportunity to add your two cents to the current discussion. Benchmark LLC, the consultants helping to shape this vision, will present their observations and several development options to the public at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot, 851 Broadway Street.
An open house is scheduled from 12:00 to 4:30 p.m., followed by a public presentation from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please join us! This is your opportunity to make your voice heard on the direction downtown will take. We want to hear from you.
Here are three questions that have been raised about the redevelopment of Myrtle Beach’s central business district.
1. Why should redevelopment of our downtown be a priority for the entire city?
A thriving downtown sets the tone for the whole community. What great city doesn’t have an interesting and dynamic downtown? The reputation of a city often rises or falls on the reality and perception of its core business district.
2. Should the city be leading the effort?
Some on social media have argued that it’s inappropriate or ineffective for the city itself to lead the effort by making significant public investments in the downtown area. But, the revitalization of other cities’ downtowns invariably began with a public investment. Look at revitalizations in Greenville or Spartanburg, for example. Virtually every successful downtown had a public sector beginning.
3. Will public investment lead to private investment?
Yes. Examples of this are plentiful across the nation. But, you don’t need to look far to see how private dollars follow public investment. A prominent local example is redevelopment of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base into the Market Common district. None of the private investment there would have occurred without public sector investment of more than $100 million by the Redevelopment Authority and the City of Myrtle Beach. A second example is the city’s $7 million investment in the oceanfront boardwalk. Tens of millions of dollars of new private construction has occurred since the city built the boardwalk in 2010.
What will Myrtle Beach’s downtown offer in five, 10 or 15 years? You have an opportunity to contribute to that vision as it develops. Bring your ideas to the table during the Benchmark presentations on January 16 at the Train Depot. Myrtle Beach City Council, Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, downtown businesses, residents and city staff look forward to seeing and meeting you.