MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Ocean Boulevard will be closed between 21st and 22nd avenues north until Wednesday while crews complete demolition on one of the Breakers Resort buildings.
The demolition is happening on the "Seaside Building" on the oceanfront, just north of 21st Avenue North. A plan approved last year will replace the two Breakers Resort hotel towers with Marriott towers.
The road will be closed during daytime hours only, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Detours will be posted and barricades will be removed at night to allow traffic on the block. The sidewalk on the eastern side will also be closed at the demolition location.
However, the sidewalk directly on the Breakers Resort will remain closed. While the current permit to keep the roads closed expires Wednesday, if they don't finish getting the building on the ground by then, the contractor will get have another permit from public works to extend the demolition and keep the street closed.
Carol Coleman, the planning director for Myrtle Beach, said they chose to do the demolition during this time of the year because it's the off season. She added these redevelopment plans are a sign of what's to come for the city.
"The push is to have 20 million tourists by 2020 in this area and we've seen consistent growth and in order to keep that growth occurring and to allow it to get even larger, which is what the goal has been, we're going to have to have more rooms and services. So that's really where this is going, and some of it is just that things can be outdated. They have to keep up with the times and it's basically trying to move forward than stay where we are," Coleman said.
With these new developments coming to the city, employees at Bummz Beach Cafe, which has been in business on Ocean Boulevard for 21 years, are already excited.
"I think it will be a good opportunity for new businesses, just Myrtle Beach in general," employee Ashley West said. "Hopefully we will get a lot of families back and get that family feel we used to have, but still be new and upcoming is something to attract people. We're pretty excited. We're one of the local historic buildings left on the boulevard. We have a great local following, but we're excited to see what the new businesses bring in for us and we're excited to show people a little bit of the historic Myrtle Beach that's left."
Coleman hopes the city will continue to accommodate the people who come here and enjoy something that is really a gift.
"We are all really fortunate to live, work and be here because we got the beautiful Atlantic Ocean right out our back door, or in this case, our front door," she said. "I understand why people do want to come, but we are also trying to keep in mind the people who live here permanently. So hopefully the tourists can bring in benefits for the permanent residents. That's what the tourism tax is all about, is try to help fund public improvements with the money that comes from outside the community."
West is a life-long Myrtle Beach resident and she's hopeful for these new developments in her city.
I think it will attract people to have new buildings and everything. It won't be the same crowd we've had," she said. "More diversity and more things to do. We need more things to do around here so I think it's going to be good for everybody I think."