NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - An attraction that brings in an estimated seven million visitors every year might see major upgrades if the owners get the go-ahead from North Myrtle Beach City Council within the next few months. The request for the changes passed the first reading at council, and could be headed to the second reading soon.
Burroughs and Chapin owns Barefoot Landing and is looking to reinvent the tourist attraction.
In the summer and especially on the weekends, traffic doesn't make getting around Barefoot Landing easy. The planned overhaul will both improve drive times and take advantage of the million-dollar view on the backside of the property overlooking the water.
North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling said the road gives easy access to the backs of stores, but plans include a relocation of that road.
A pedestrian plaza is also proposed to connect future waterway amenities. The enhanced road system is necessary because Burroughs and Chapin plans to add more than 70,000 square feet of commercial businesses, increasing business by 29 percent.
In addition to the pedestrian and vehicle improvements, the company wants to create a more 'coastal town' atmosphere.
Burroughs and Chapin owns Broadway at the Beach as well. The group is finishing up a new, industrial-type re-branding at Broadway and drawing up plans of an 'east coast coastal town' type brand for Barefoot.
In the plans, Burroughs and Chapin wants to change the colors and design of current buildings to add an authentic historic Main Street character to re-imagine the shopping and dining experience.
In addition to the coastal town vibes, the company wants to re-create the businesses along the Intracoastal Waterway to mimic the feel of the Marshwalk at Murrells Inlet or the River Walk in San Antonio, Tx.
Dowling said improvement imagined for the current buildings combined with the Marshwalk and River Walk concept for businesses on the waterway will reinvent the Barefoot experience for everyone.
"So they keep reinventing portions of their large things like Barefoot and Broadway so people we come back to see what's new, and it's a good game plan," Dowling said.
In order for the plans to reach second reading at council and get the go-ahead, Burroughs and Chapin must come up with a plan to improve Highway 17 at Barefoot Landing and the stormwater drainage plan on the property.
Once those issues are sorted out, Dowling said council will be excited to see this project become reality. However, he said it will be years before it is finished.
For more on the Highway 17 and stormwater improvements, click here.