New housing down the road for Carolina Forest - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New housing down the road for Carolina Forest

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - Carolina forest is on the fast track to growth.

A new apartment complex, with 300-350 units, may be in store for the area. The apartments would sit on 17.57 acres of land at River Oaks Drive and Village Center Boulevard. That's the land right next to the shopping plaza with the Food Lion, Costas Pizzeria and One Punch Fitness.

Before any building can begin, the land has to be rezoned. Right now, its zoned as highway commercial. That means someone can build a small size, big box store. The proposal calls to zone the land, residential. That would allow for the building of the housing.

Local business owners think a new complex will help diversify the crowd in Carolina Forest. Since the area is booming with housing, it will bring more affordable options, drawing in a large crowd.

This could mean more traffic, but the engineer on this proposal, Mike Wooten, with DDC Engineers, said believe it or not, building housing would mean three times less traffic than if a store was built.

"I mean if they're gonna grow, why not grow next door to us,” said Gus Haramis owner of Costas Pizzeria. “They'll have a more immediate impact, people can walk here. They can walk to the grocery store, they can walk to the pizzeria, they can walk to the one punch fitness."

While the local businesses seem to be on board, this plan will have to make it through county council first.  Council has to go through three readings to rezone this land. If approved, representatives with DDC Engineers said they will then begin sketching some designs. There's no date set for construction, Wooten said they're taking this one step at a time.

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