Industrial marine park headed to Grand Strand

Conway, SC - CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority, Santee Cooper, Horry County and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation have joined together to build an industrial marine park near the existing Bucksport Marina outside of Conway.

"Santee Cooper is pleased to join forces with our local partners and build a marine park that will create opportunities for jobs and capital investment by the businesses that will ultimately locate here. That's a benefit for all of Horry County," said Michael Brown, economic development manager for Santee Cooper.

GSWSA contributed land to the park; Santee Cooper is providing the engineering and permitting expertise for the park, while Horry County will assist with the infrastructure necessary to make the park viable for industry, according to a press release.

"This is a work in progress and will take some time before the park is tenant-ready," GSWSA CEO Fred Richardson noted. "In the meantime, we'll improve the existing facilities at Bucksport Marina which will remain a fully-functioning marina for residents and transient boaters to enjoy even after the marine park is operational."

Jimmy Yahnis, chairman for the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, added, "Like most industries, the marine industry has taken a hit as the US economy struggles. The business climate will improve, and as it does, Horry County will be in an exceptional position to attract industry. We're optimistic that by the time the park is ready for tenants, we'll be able to attract boat builders, marine repair businesses, boat refurbishment companies and other marine service organizations to the Bucksport Marine Park.

Horry County Property Manager Jim Papadea says the waterway, as well as the tract of land adjacent to it, provides a number of possibilities for industry in the area.

"Manufacturers of heavy-lift components for wind or steam turbines, modular hospital units and the like, which are too large to transport by truck or rail, will find this location desirable," he said. "Bringing this type of industry to Horry County will provide good paying jobs and diversify our economy."

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