From WMBF News partner MyHorryNews.com:
Plans for a major shopping center in the Carolina Forest area have been submitted to Horry County Planning and Zoning, according to public records and a developer associated with the project.
DDC Engineers of Myrtle Beach submitted plans on April 9 for a large shopping center that would occupy undeveloped property between the Forest Square plaza, which is anchored by Ollie's Bargain Outlet, and Tanger Outlets along U.S. 501, said David Schwerd, principal planner for Horry County.
Mike Wooten, president of DDC engineers, said he couldn't discuss most aspects of the planned development, including any possible tenants or infrastructure improvements, citing non-disclosure agreements.
Wooten did say the property encompasses about 15 acres, which translates to about 653,000 square feet.
It'll take between 60 and 90 days before environmental permits work their way through various state and federal agencies, and any construction activity wouldn't begin until that's completed, he said.
"We're not allowed to release any information whatsoever other than what is required for approval by the county," Wooten said. "We are in the process of initiating the design elements of the project at this point."
Plans submitted to county planners thus far depict a 45,600-square-foot anchor store suitable for housing a grocer or retail store. No announcements regarding the anchor had been made as of press time.
In addition to diversifying shopping options, the project if built would lead to infrastructure improvements in Carolina Forest.
Plans show access points via Factory Stores Boulevard to the south and Glenforest Drive from the north. Tying Glenforest Drive to the development would essentially tie Carolina Forest Boulevard into Tanger Outlets.
Bo Ives, president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association, said he's ecstatic about the new development news due to the potential for infrastructure improvements and more shopping options closer to home.
"Everyone from Carolina Forest would like to be able to get into Tanger [Outlets] more easily than U.S. 501," Ives said. "It helps employees as well as customers get into their developments more easily. That will be a boon to their outparcels and restaurants."
Ives said he'd like to see a Target, Home Depot or other major retailer occupy that space. He also likes the idea of a movie theater moving into Carolina Forest.
Read more about this story, including other new developments in the pipeline for the U.S. 501 corridor, in the May 1 edition of the Carolina Forest Chronicle.