HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – For those who drive by what is left of the former Thee Dollhouse on Restaurant Row, they'll notice the frame of what appears to be the back half of the building, along with a waterfront deck.
However, county officials say the demolition process is over.
"What you see, they are in compliance with the agreement that we have. The agreement allowed them to keep their back deck structure, as well as the overhang structure, to be put into the potential new restaurant that we have a conceptual plan for," Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman, said.
While there are plans for the restaurant, right now that is all they are, despite how many years it's been. The redevelopment process started in 2014.
"With the issues of the overlay zone, it did go before the board of appeals. It did go to court, so we are where we are today with the property," Bourcier said.
The county emphasized the role of the overlay zone in this process.
"Any time you take an older structure - I believe the structure was built in 1978 - so there was quite a bit of renovations taken place to that and of course they needed to come into compliance with the overlay standards and that's what triggered the litigation," Bourcier said.
Though it's been a longer process, it's one that is still moving.
Steve Powell, with Venture Engineering, said as they wait for an operator to bite, engineers and architects are working to bring what's left of the building up to a more marketable standard. The hope is that someday it will be turned into a beautiful waterfront dining experience.
"If it's within the zoning classification that it's currently zoned at, they would just have to submit plans and go through the building permit process for that. If they plan to rezone the property again, it would have to be within the overlay zone standards," Bourcier said. "And if it's rezoning, it would have to go back through planning commission and Horry County Council for a rezoning."
Those with Venture Engineering believe the property has a true potential to add to Restaurant Row and the county just wants to be sure what does end up there matches with its neighbors, as Restaurant Row is seen as a major corridor into the area.