MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Change continues to come to Ocean Boulevard's oceanfront in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach's Community Appearance Board is looking to finalize the design for the Ocean 16 Hilton Hotel at the corner of Ocean Blvd. and 16th Ave. N. on Tuesday.
Demolition has already begun at the site, where Driftwood at the Boardwalk was until March 2016. All three buildings on the property are currently being town down to make room for the 26-story, 330-room Ocean 16 Hilton.
The name of the new Hilton hotel may sound familiar. Ocean 22 Hilton opened in June 2015. However, Ocean 16 will be much larger, at over 550,000 square feet, with two more stories and over 100 more rooms. The plans include pool and fitness amenities, as well as a deli and lounge. A five-story garage will be built across the street.
Ocean 16 is part of a strategy to bring down old, dilapidated motels, and build up new and innovative ones to attract more tourists. A person who lives near the construction site told WMBF News all the new projects come as no surprise to him.
Shawn Drawdy has lived in Myrtle Beach for over a decade, and said he sees more tourists each year. He said winters continue to get busier as well.
When Ocean 16 was first announced in March of last year, people told WMBF News they were nervous about Myrtle Beach's transitioning landscape. People said mom-and-pop locations seem to keep selling for demolition, causing the oceanfront to lose its charm and affordability.
However, the developers say their intention is to create more of an urban vibe, and attract more people to give businesses more customers.