3 projects announced to develop Grande Dunes area

3 projects announced to develop Grande Dunes area

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Plans for development on the north side of Myrtle Beach have been ramping up.

For anyone across the Grand Strand looking for an upscale grocery store, the Grande Dunes area is becoming a hot spot. Another one is set to go in here. The city is about to look over plans for "The Shoppes at Grande Dunes." This week, LStar, the company that manages Grande Dunes, announced plans to build a new shopping center at North Kings Highway and 82nd Parkway, right beside Applebee's.

WMBF News reached out to several grocery chains, but none would confirm plans to set up shop here.

The plans also include a strip of stores and at least three free-standing businesses. LStar plans to release the store names in the "near future," and open for business in mid-2016.

This is part of an even bigger picture to build up the Grande Dunes area. In May, big plans were revealed for the area, including a park along the Intracoastal Waterway, with 21 miles of trails to walk and bike on, which would connect the Marina at Grande Dunes to the YMCA, also extending from the Marina to the Atlantic Ocean.

This new shopping center along Kings Highway could be the start to get the ball rolling here. Businesses in the area are ready to see this all come to life.

"I think it will be good for our business; it will bring more people into the town, this area, from all over, for the Dunes Club up here, all the way up to North Myrtle Beach," said owner of Owens Liquors, David Owen.

Wednesday is the staff review of this proposal with the city of Myrtle Beach, and on Thursday, it goes in front of the Community Appearance Board to look at plans, for the first time. This isn't the only development city staff will review. They'll also be looking at the amusement park in the Shriners Space on Kings Highway. This is a real shocker for those who thought plans for an amusement park along restaurant row had been tabled.

On Wednesday, city staff will begin to review that proposal, and on Thursday that plan will head to the city's CAB, only this time, the process will be very different from last. The proposal still calls for a go-cart racing track to sit on the Shrine Club Space at Restaurant Row.

Previously, this plan went to planning and zoning, where it was then pulled after a heated a public hearing.

Since the developer scaled back the plans to fit the current zoning for the property, making changes including using electric go-karts instead of gas powered ones and cutting back on some amusements, it no longer needs public comment to be approved. In fact, this time, when the CAB reviews the plan, it will look at the appearance and function of the building, just like it does any commercial property that is proposed to be built in Myrtle Beach.

"It's very rare for the Community Appearance Board to flat out turn something down; they certainly will make some suggestions they'll say, you know we'd rather see the building turned a little bit or save that tree or move the parking to this area," said City of Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Mark Kruea.

On Thursday, the project gets a first look. the Community Appearance Board will either give it the nod or give suggestions for changes to things like the building design, or lighting.

Either way, these plans will likely have another appearance before the board before it gets the final go ahead, and the board can make the final decision.

The Community Appearance Board meetings are open to the public. According to Kruea, public input is not the focus of these meetings and the board could determine whether or not to accept comments from the crowd.

The meeting is Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the conference Room in the City Services Building on 921 North Oak Street.

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