. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A demolition project will soon be underway at another blighted, closed Ocean Boulevard Motel.
The Oceanliner Motel is right across from the 2nd Avenue Pier. Crews finished the asbestos abatement Wednesday and the building will come down very soon.
It's the latest closed, rundown property on the south end of Myrtle Beach to be torn down.
City leaders have made a huge push to get rid of the condemned buildings, which do not serve a purpose except to shelter trespassers. The owner of the asbestos abatement company said each morning when crews arrived to begin work, things were stolen, plastic was torn, and one time there was even someone sleeping among the asbestos.
Long-time Myrtle Beach business owner and local Victor Shamah bought the property in May, and said the motel has been closed for at least four or five years taking up space.
Shamah said the plan is to redevelop the land as soon as possible. In its place, he hopes to see something multi-use, perhaps a high-rise hotel with businesses on the bottom.
"Hopefully we can find a couple good tenants in that area and build up a redevelopment area in the south end," Shamah said. "That's what we're trying to do. It's across the street from the pier. Just trying to revitalize that area, and just give it a nice boost."
Shamah is not the only person we've told you about planning significant redevelopment projects on the south-end. The Downtown Redevelopment Corporation is heading the charge, and is actually helping Shamah with this project and several others downtown. It is now able to front the money for demolition of old condemned buildings in its district. This is something it did with the Emerald Shores which was also empty for years until it was demolished in the last month. The DRC is footing the demolition bill—and the motel itself is part of a three-phase demolition which includes properties on three blocks leading to the ocean.
The DRC has access to a $10 million line of credit; it can pay for something like demolition. It's paying $60,000 for the demolition of the Oceanliner Motel. Shamah bought the motel in May with the intention of clearing out an eyesore to make way for progress, and will pay the DRC back when a developer signs on to build something there.
"I do think it's the beginning...," Shamah said. "That's why I'm in on it from the beginning. I've been on this street for 58 years. It's been a long time to clean up the south end area.