Plans underway for development on Fred Nash Road near Hwy 17

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Plans are moving forward to bring new development to Myrtle Beach, and new business could be ushered in to the Farrow Parkway area. This is prime property, since it will be next to the Backgate intersection interchange, and Farrow Parkway is lined with new subdivisions. Developers, architects, and city planners will meet on the property Wednesday to discuss future development.

The city has had plans for the area of the old air force base for more than a decade, but now developers want to switch things up. The developers' plans call for a strip mall with several retail stores, anchored by a grocery store. Workers with the Thomas and Hutton firm have been out surveying the area, and Wednesday, they will stand on the site and show how they want the future development to look.

WMBF News reporter Alex Holley talked to a business owner off of Farrow Parkway, and he thinks all the construction and plans happening will mean more business in the future, especially since some of the businesses on Farrow Parkway need a boost.

"More plazas with more stores is always better," said Wesley Cook, who owns ABC Liquors. "You know, to bring more people and everything - it would always help if there were other businesses filled in, but there's three here, and there's supposed to be one coming. And hopefully down the road, it will all be filled up."

Developers and city planners will meet at 2 p.m. at the Base Recreation Center and travel to Fred Nash boulevard for the meeting.  After the on-site workshop, the developers will make changes as the city sees fit. Next, it will be up to the residents, and the plans will go to public hearing on May 6.

Even though there are some new plans, we could see more. Plenty more could occupy the 78 total acres that are not developed around Fred Nash Boulevard.

Two years ago, WMBF News did a story about how Progress Builders wanted to bring in affordable housing to the Market Common area, but those plans didn't move forward. Now we're learning the proposed development happening in the Fred Nash Boulevard and Farrow Parkway area could make the affordable housing idea more attractive to other developers.

David Gray with the Waccamaw Council of Governments is helping bring in low-income housing to the region, and he says Farrow Parkway is growing to be an ideal spot for that type of housing. To get funding help, developers need walking paths, bike areas, stores and grocery stores within walking distance of the housing. It could fit in the Market Common atmosphere - Gray says with the way affordable housing is built nowadays, it's practically a requirement to build units so they aren't distinctive areas from other neighborhoods.

A Farrow Parkway homeowner says the area should welcome all types of housing, "just as long as it's tastefully done and people respect each other," said Jann Hodges. "Then there's really no reason for not doing what's right for society, and blending everyone in."

WMBF News checked in with the city, and a planner says at this point, no more official offers have been put on the table to bring in affordable housing, but it doesn't mean it can't happen. Right now city planners are only focused on developing commercially in the area.

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