Proposed business park to bring jobs to Myrtle Beach

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Horry County Council members passed its first ordinance reading Tuesday night to authorize the development of a joint Industrial & Business Park also known as project AF in Horry County.

The agreement states business owners will be required to pay a fee in lieu of ad valorem taxes by businesses and industries located in the park; to apply zoning and other laws in the park; to provide for law enforcement jurisdiction in the park and to provide for the distribution of park revenues within the county.

The business industrial park is recommended for a specific company that's interested in setting up in the area, and it's expected to bring about 79 new jobs inside county lines.

The company or service that will be offered is not yet being revealed, but the proposed park would add to the business parks already inside Horry County, like the Cool Springs Business Park in Aynor and the Atlantic Center in Conway.

The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation's plan is to put a three acre industrial business park in Myrtle Beach, so the interested company can develop their business close to larger population centers.

Officials say the park will also give the opportunity for other businesses in the future to come in and set up shop.

There's one thing the county will have to consider before finalizing the plan. There are other parks within the county that are sitting empty, or ones that still have some spaces for businesses to fill.

But officials say they still have to create new parks because each company has different needs.

"We try to do a custom location for each project, and in this case this project chose their location, so we are just helping them out with the extra incentives it takes to close the deal," claims Kate MacArthur with Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation. "So if a project chose to locate in Cool Springs, we would go through the same process with them to customize it."

The money from this industrial business park won't just stay inside Horry County. To set up the park, the county will enter into an agreement with Dillon County.

Local officials say this will spread out the economic benefit of the deal across the region.

"The benefit is to everybody because it's enhancing regional competitiveness and the business itself that locates in the multicounty business park can better utilize state incentives and local incentives," explains MacArthur.

The multicounty park means that even though the park will be inside Horry County, the county will share the revenue coming in from the property taxes with Dillon.

Even though the county will hand over some of the money, officials say multicounty business parks do have perks.

They say it makes it easier to get more benefits and incentives from the state, and these agreements also encourage businesses to come and set up inside Horry County.

Some say the county needs jobs whatever the cost, while others do have some concerns.

"I think it's a move to help people get jobs and make a living. But at the same time...it's not going to hurt the people who've been living here in any way financially to make their burden more," says Horry County resident Lou Armando.

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