South Strand residents react to new businesses

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - New details are emerging on the development of new businesses in the Grand Strand. In fact, the farther south you go, the more new businesses you'll see.

Wednesday marks the first full official day of the new Target, but there are also other businesses that will soon open their doors for the first time, and residents are noticing the "business buzz" that's generating in the area.

Neighbors near Sayebrook say they think the business boom is a sign of more to come.

"It's great for our area. For the population here to grow and the economy will get better," predicts Sayebrook area resident Bob Davis.

With a quick drive southbound on 17 Bypass, travelers can see new development in the works on both sides of the highway. Whether it's commercial businesses about to open, or trucks clearing land for new ones to be built, the southern part of the Grand Strand is a hot spot for development right now.

Developers explain that the secret to the growth is a part of the Horry County master plan, to build up the Sayebrook area.

Horry County officials say the plan to grow the area is a result of the population surge in the community.

"Most of your commercial development goes to where the people are. The south end has had a huge increase in population; we've seen that from the census," explains Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier. "So there's lots of people moving in to that area and you're starting to see development kind of grow toward that area."

Developers site the heavy traffic as another reason for the ongoing development. One developer noted that the 17 Bypass and Hwy 544 intersection is one of the main intersections in the county where businesses can get your attention.

Development in Horry County as a whole, however, leans toward a different direction. Permits to build more new businesses are down this year in Horry County by almost 40 percent.

The noticeable spike, though, is in the home industry.

Even with an unstable housing market, the county is seeing a growing amount of plans to put new homes under construction.

The number of building permits for residential homes has spiked by roughly 29 percent over last year.

Realtors in the area say the new businesses that have popped up might be the reason, especially because they make great selling points.

"The beach is always the number one thing for people coming down here, you know? But they do always want shops close by because the number two thing that drives people here is the shopping that we do have," claims realtor Devon Woodard.

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