Builders hope retail center at 21st Ave. N. gets greenlight with - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Builders hope retail center at 21st Ave. N. gets greenlight with new design

The initial designs for the new retail center planned for the intersection of US-17 Bypass and 21s Avenue North were not approved by the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board. (Source: City of Myrtle Beach) The initial designs for the new retail center planned for the intersection of US-17 Bypass and 21s Avenue North were not approved by the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board. (Source: City of Myrtle Beach)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - New details about a development we first told you about in May. If you like to shop and eat, this new center looks to bring you more options in Myrtle Beach.

The initial designs for the new retail center planned for the intersection of US-17 Bypass and 21st Avenue North were not approved by the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board.

But this time around, the architect is hopeful his new ideas will have you shopping and eating there sometime next year.

The design for the new retail center at 21st Avenue North and 17 Bypass includes four restaurants, five junior anchor stores and eight or nine spaces for smaller stores.

Right now, we know some of those stores will be a Hobby Lobby, Academy Sports and Burlington Coat Factory. A Starbucks and a Zoe's Kitchen will also be included to make for fast casual restaurants with outdoor seating.

The new design represents more of a modern approach with tradition and southern themes.

Entryways will have canopies and there will be garden elements with shade to make for comfortable places to sit and relax. Display windows will also surround the center to replace unwanted space.

The initial design didn't meet the needs of pedestrians, so they've made changes to make things more cohesive.

"The Community Appearance Board will look at those changes and give it a thumbs up or thumbs down and ask for additional changes. Once they get the greenlight from the Community Appearance Board they are good to apply for a building permit at that point," said City Spokesman Mark Kruea.

City leaders said the new shopping center planned for the former site of Phillips Seafood next to the Hollywood Wax Museum and Myrtle Waves is going to bring in stores the city doesn't have already.

City leaders said while you have seen new businesses pop up, they don't match the residential boom. Having stores to fill in areas vacant for some time will increase the retail mix in Myrtle Beach. Kruea said we have 30,000 permanent residents and have more things to do than other places around the country.

But because our permanent population is smaller than most, we sometimes fly under the radar for national retailers. That's because developers look for zip codes with 150,000 people instead of 30,000 people.

"But we have millions of visitors, so the national retailers, the Burlingtons and Hobby Lobbys, are beginning to see Myrtle Beach as more than just a small town and see us for what we really are which is major destination for visitors," said Mark Kruea.

Tuesday the Community Appearance Board is meeting to make sure the retail center meets city code requirements. Thursday is the final review for the new designs, where board members will decide if it's a development Myrtle Beach can be proud of.

If designs are approved by the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board, and permits are drawn, it could take up to nine months to build the retail center.

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