MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Imagine what the back gate would look like with a new shopping center tucked back on Farrow Parkway - a developer wants to make that a reality.
Farrow Parkway leads to the Market Common, where there have been many changes since it was the old air force base. Center Pointe Planned Unit Development has been in the works for over a decade to build up the area, but the City of Myrtle Beach has a request from a developer to change some of the original plan.
The city says the original plan called for a town center, comparable to the layout of the Market Common, to sit on Farrow parkway near US-17, where we see the bulk of the road construction. The proposed changes, not yet adopted by the city, features more of "strip center" concept with more stores, including a grocery store.
The proposal is working its way through the planning commission, it has not yet been approved. City Council would also have to give it the go ahead. When it comes to proposals like this one, the city says they take into account the needs of the city and the developer, to come up with the best product possible. The Market Common area has been a success for the city, but it takes time, which is what the city wants to stress in situations like this.
"People like living at the Market Common, they're thrilled with the environment there, they want it to be built out faster but I don't know that that's physically possible or financially possible. They see what's on the ground they don't realize that it's taken 15 years to get to this point," says City spokesperson Mark Kruea.
Looking back on the transition from the old air force base, the Market Common and Grand Park has been around 20 years in the making. Kruea says there's no specific timeline for decisions like this, it could be six months or it could be years before any decision on a new shopping center is made.
Employees at Alexan Withers Preserve, which is the apartment complex across the way, say this could be a huge draw for tenants. With more and more building of homes along Farrow Parkway, it may be what the area needs. One tenant says she's all for this change, it would be convenient for tenants and draw more people to the area.
When WMBF News reached out to the engineer on the plan, Thomas and Hutton, they said they were meeting to discuss this Monday, but we have not heard back.