Construction on the rise in the Grand Strand -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Construction on the rise in the Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Construction is a big way to tell how the economy is doing, and the City of Myrtle Beach issued enough permits last year to equal more than $121 million in construction value.

With all that building going on, yearly visitors to the Grand Strand say they're noticing a difference.

"That's just an unbelievable amount of money," said Mary Foor. "But there's a lot going on. And we don't see that in other places, so that's good."

Myrtle Beach issued more than 4,000 construction permits last year, and some of those were for big projects: the Banditos Mexican Restaurant on Ocean Boulevard, the 8th Avenue North strip mall, and the start of the new candy store on Ocean, to name a few.

But the biggest reason for the boost is residential. The area saw a couple hundred new homes being built, and also several town homes and apartment buildings. City spokesperson Mark Kruea says these are some of the highest building numbers we've seen in the past few years.

"A sign that there is some confidence in the economy," said Mark Kruea, with the City of Myrtle Beach. "That all the advertising that we're doing on behalf of the Grand Strand is working, that the business community is doing better."

But even though things seem to be going up, the city tells WMBF News it still doesn't compare to the construction activity before the recession. Back then, construction valued more than $400 million, which shows there's still plenty more room to recover.

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