MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many people have voiced opinions on how to fix areas in Myrtle Beach that have fallen into disrepair. Now the group in charge of redeveloping the downtown districts is seeking an outside opinion on how to clean it up.
The area between the old Pavilion Park and Family Kingdom is blighted. It's under developed and undervalued, according to the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation. The DRC is bringing in some help to try and change that.
A panel of experts from across South Carolina will evaluate the area, explore different ideas and give insight on what can be done to redevelop it. When you look around, it's a mixed use area with accommodations, vacant lots, old motels, businesses and residences.
DRC says developers don't see much of an incentive between 2nd Avenue North to 7th Avenue North to come in and make changes or build.
"Two, three blocks off the boulevard and the boardwalk is right there, and the ocean is right there and you look around and there are blighted structures," says David Sebok, President of the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation. "There are problems with some criminal activity in that area, and it's just underdeveloped and underutilized. So, we're looking at ways to spur redevelopment in that area."
The hope is this panel with a fresh set of unbiased eyes from people who don't live in Myrtle Beach, will provide their own opinions of what to do with the "south mixed-use area".
The area isn't producing for businesses, property owners or the city what it has the potential to, and the city can't find investors and developers because of it.
"Maybe there's some things there," Sebok says. "We don't have sidewalks there, we don't have adequate lighting. The streets are in poor condition. There's no parks in that interior area. No open space. There are some things that you can do to create amenities and make it people friendly and safe and clean."
Sebok says public investments can make the area more appealing. He says when the city built the Boardwalk, the Sky Wheel soon followed, then numerous sidewalk cafes, and storefront shops. Now, the area is thriving, because of the public investment by the city and DRC.
People who work in the area between the amusement parks say they are grateful for what's already been done to improve downtown Myrtle Beach, and just hope the DRC and the city keep up the work to improve the area.
"We had a lot of homeless people breaking in here," says Jesse Boggs, who works at Kings Highway and 7th Avenue North. "They've cleaned up a lot of all of that. Just the appearance is a lot better as well. I think it looks a lot better than this time six months ago."
The panel will present its recommendations publicly, sometime in November.