MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The south end of Myrtle Beach is seeing more residential growth right now than any other part of the city.
Decades ago, the city said most neighborhoods were built in the north end, but The Market Common changed that. There is no shortage of construction sites throughout the area and it's only 85 percent built out, so the development isn't over yet.
The entire city of Myrtle Beach is divided up into four zones. Out of nearly 11,000 total households, the south end has the most.
The southern city limits start at the Seagate Village area on Kings Highway until The Market Common, an area that will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this April.
Pedigo business owner and Market Common homeowner Aaron Maynard made his mark there three years ago.
"We had lived in Europe for several years before moving here when I was in the military and wanted to find an area that had the same kind of urban feel and when I found The Market Common, this was the closest little Europe city almost anywhere in the country," Maynard said.
For the Maynards, The Market Common is the ideal place.
"Some people in the area are slightly concerned we are becoming too dense, too many homes, condominiums and townhomes and things, but I think those only help the value of our homes, of the residents who live here, and more importantly help the businesses thrive," Maynard said. "Because without a densely populated area and without draws for our tourists, a lot of the businesses couldn't sustain themselves throughout the year."
He believes the area appeals to both locals and tourists. Dave Downin agrees.
"I was really surprised it's this developed and this many people live here," Downin said. "It surprised us when we looked at the kiosks and it said apartment lobbies and we said, 'Wait a minute.' We looked up and said, 'Oh my god, there's people living on top of this place.'"
The pedestrian-friendly aspect of The Market Common is also a draw for Maynard.
"I live in Sweetgrass - those colorful homes - and I have friends that live in Cresswind or Balmoral or those other areas, and we can connect to each of our neighborhoods on bike paths and walking trails," he said. "It really brings everyone together."
Along U.S. 17 Bypass near the Farrow Parkway exit is the south end's next big project. City leaders said the Meridian is expected to bring in 500 more single-family homes.
The lot is cleared and some homes could go up this year and be fully completed over the next five years.
"As The Market Common fills out, we are going to see a lot more development in the surrounding areas," Maynard said. "We're almost becoming our own part of town and creating our own identity."
Members of the city's planning department said another 1,800 home sites are expected to be built between the new Meridian and The Market Common, and at least 1,800 are planned for the Grande Dunes, bringing growth to both ends of the city.