Forgotten shopping center eyes growth after Backgate construction

Forgotten shopping center eyes growth after Backgate construction

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- The new Backgate overpass marks the end of a tough few years for people who work in the Northgate Shopping Center. The plaza is tucked away between the 17 Bypass and Highway 707, but some people may have forgotten about it recently due to all the nearby construction.

The owner of Coastline Pet Supply, Tommy Morris, said business dropped about 20 percent a year ago when Backgate construction really got going on the new overpass.

He never reached a point where sales dipped so much he would have to move, but Morris said he is glad the work is nearly complete because customers who have avoided the area for two years may finally come back.

"If they'll learn the roads it's going to be a good intersection. It's just going to take them a while to figure it out," Morris added. "You know if you're coming from the south end and you get off at Palmetto Pointe you know it's easier than before they ever started construction, so there will be some real benefits."

Jay Bingham is the man in charge of filling the Northgate Shopping Center with new businesses.

"I'm hoping to open up a vendors mall and we'll have indoor discounts and basically we'll sell, resale, and retail," Bingham explained.

Bingham is trying to bring new business to an old shopping center that has seen some turnover in recent years. Bingham said part of the reason for losses is construction at the Backgate.

Bingham believes more customers will return and potential developers feel the same way.

"I've had a lot of interest. A lot of people have called and questioned about it," Bingham said. "The older shops left, now all the newer shops are coming in."

Bingham hopes the area could develop in to something like you see down where the 17 Bypass and Highway 544 meet.

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