MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Market Common has officially passed the five years in operation mark, and there have been quite a few changes to the area over the years.
People involved with Market Common say there is difficulty putting a finger on the reason behind the high store turnover rate because it is the first of its kind for the region. They say the recent turnover is normal, that Market Common is still trying to find its niche, and that it is a far cry from its predecessor, the closed-down air force base.
"I think as more time goes by it'll become a more important part of the community," said Buddy Styers, with the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority. "That's just gonna take a while for people to get used to wanting and needing to come out here."
Styers says when all of the housing developments are completed, more people move in, and additions to Grand Park and Horry-Georgetown Technical College are finished, Market Common should reach its potential.
Signs of business growth are happening: expansions and new stores have been in the works. Yoga in Common and Devo Olive Oil have also just opened in bigger locations. Coastal Urge, an outdoor apparel store, chose Market Common to open its first location in South Carolina soon. Stage Left Theater company and Coastal Dance Theater are also in the process of moving in.
Despite these changes to fill back up the main part of The Market Common, around the corner you can't ignore that there are still some empty storefronts. But store owners say with the way business has been going, it shouldn't be for long.
"They're actually filling up on Deville street," said Jim Neu, owner of CityMac. "It's getting filled up actually really quickly. So I would say by this time next year the whole center will be full. That's a good sign. The economy is coming back."
Most of the stores are set to be open by the middle of the summer.