MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A new shopping center could soon bring a Charleston-like atmosphere to the corner of 44th Avenue North and North Kings Highway.
Plans for the Magnolia Row shopping center have been in the works for four years now and Brenda Bethune, the developer, said the architecture and feel of this development is designed to emulate the feel of downtown Charleston.
"Charleston, Georgetown, Conway, they have such a unique downtown district. Now, we really don't have that yet. I do believe that we will, I believe that's on the horizon," said Bethune, "However, this location just lends itself to something like this."
Bethune said this is not a strip mall and the shopping center will feature all local retailers and have an intimate feel.
"We really strived to make this something locals could enjoy year-round and by our visitors that come here," she said.
The response Bethune has received from retailers has been great and she said she already has shop owners committed to moving into the space.
The design for the storefronts will have a Charleston look and feel, and not only does that make this plan stand out, but Bethune said to date, the retail storefronts committed to the development are all owned by women – something Bethune said she thinks shows how important of a role women play in the economy.
Some of those retailers include Bethune's own Little White Dress Bridal Boutique, Studio 77, Gallery Boutique, and Ash Hoffman Jewelry, according to Bethune.
Bethune's husband, Brown Bethune who is also helping develop the property, said there are business owners that are men who are interested in moving into the space as well, which they are certainly open to.
"The Community Appearance Board does such an amazing job of enhancing the new projects that come to this area and we wanted this to what they already have done," said Bethune, "We wanted it just to be something special and unique to Myrtle Beach."
The design plans also feature a courtyard where Bethune envisions movie nights and a farmers market.
Spaces in the proposed development are still available to lease or buy, according to Bethune.
If approved, the cost to build the new shopping center would be $6 million.
Bethune said the first design passed a conceptual review at the community appearance board meeting a few weeks ago. Since then, they made some changes, but nothing too major.
Those plans still need final approval and are expected to go before the community appearance board again in the next few weeks.