MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Work is coming along in Five Points, where a grant to make improvements, commission a public mural and hold a marketplace event late-September, is being put to good use.
A local community group is being given a $16,500 better block grant, and it's putting the money toward improvements at Five Points, specifically Nance Plaza.
Improvements will include the painting of a mural, cleaning up the area, and a City Plaza Market that will fill Nance Plaza.
"The Plaza City Market is on September 24 from 9 to 4 and it's going to be an all-day affair. It's going to have food trucks, food vendors, grocery vendors, we're going to have bread people as well as vendors and artists," explained John Krajc, President of the Five Points Association. "And we're even going to have yoga in the plaza as well."
The grant went to the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors from the National Association of Realtors.
As of Tuesday, the mural was well-underway. It will be an ode to Myrtle Beach, using a popular photograph from well-known Myrtle Beach photographer Jack Thompson.
To prepare for the Plaza City Market, the money will be used to put up fresh coats of paint around the district, power wash sidewalks and buildings, and decorate window facades.
City crews were mulching medians, and had already removed all the shrubs from inside Nance Plaza. This will be replaced with ivy and flowers that will make the plaza colorful and attractive.
The event itself will be hyper local, with local vendors, artists and beer and wine distributors.
"We have a public piano that's going to be on site," Krajc said. "It's going to be painted by Myrtle Beach High School students. That will be ready early next week so we can have it tuned and ready for next week. The community's had a huge response to this."
Then in 2017, Krajc said the plan is to have the event twice a month with entertainment, food and drinks, and even more vendors.
The end game is turning around an area that has struggled recently, and this may be the biggest step to making that happen.
"The image of the district is what needs the most work," Krajc said. "And we're working on that. Last year there was a lot of negative, a lot of crime going on. This year we've turned it around, there has not been near as much crime."
A Facebook page was created for Plaza City Market, and is updated as vendors and entertainment are booked. Find it here: https://www.facebook.com/plazacitymarket/.