Waccamaw Blvd. sees business boom - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Waccamaw Blvd. sees business boom

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Business is booming on the boulevard, but it’s not the boulevard you may think. Storefronts are filling up along Waccamaw Boulevard, the newest store leaving its long-time home at the Waccamaw Factory Shoppes just across the street.

It’s undoubtedly an area that was rough around the edges. However, that image is being polished up. New businesses, different businesses, are now choosing to build up clientele along Waccamaw Blvd.

“It fell off for a while, but I think it’s coming back,” started Shanna Coley, the co-owner of Imaginations. 

From just across the street, Shanna Coley witnessed the rise and fall of the area. For seven years, her business made its home at the Waccamaw Factory Shoppes.

“We weren’t getting any walk-in traffic or anything. We needed some bigger space, and hoping for some walk-in traffic,” said Coley as she explained why they chose to move across the street.

Her business is now located where the Golf Academy used to be.

“People seem to use this frontage road. We’ve had people knocking on our door saying ‘we see your sign going up!’ over there, we never got that,” she said in reference to the move.

She isn’t the only business owner picking this location for that reason.

“Being on 501, not paying the frontage fees of an actual place that sits on 501, but being visible from it is a bonus,” said Adam Rice, the owner of ISI Elite.

Adam Rice chose to open his gym ISI along Waccamaw Blvd because he considers it the heart of myrtle beach, surrounded by a 15 mile radius to collect clients.

“We have easy access to North Myrtle Beach, easy access to Murrells Inlet, right near 31, not far from Conway,” explained Rice.

It  wasn’t necessarily a warm welcome when he first moved in.

“The first year, year and a half, it was rough. We had a couple gunshot holes in the windows,” he said.

Last year, a man was shot and killed just doors down from Rice’s establishment at the former Smokehouse Billiards, since shut down. 

Rice sees that image changing, with churches such as Newspring and Wellspring opening up their doors nearby, along with businesses like Imaginations right down the road. 

The owners of Imaginations plan to open a Grand Opening during the month of August. 

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly