Vacant building in North Myrtle Beach suffers damage after storm rips through Palmetto State

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Mother Nature took the demolition of one North Myrtle Beach building into her own hands and she didn't need a permit to do it.

The front side of the old beachwear store on the corner of 27th Avenue South and U.S. 17 suffered damage after a storm moved through the Grand Strand Sunday night.

The storm ripped off siding on the front of the building. Debris litters the parking lot as caution tape keeps those walking by out of the way. North Myrtle Beach city leaders said a contractor is expected to come in within the next few days and remove the debris from the lot.

Local business owners said the old beachwear store has sat vacant for some time now.

"We have to look at it every day, tourists have to look at it. It doesn't bode well for North Myrtle Beach by any means," said Jamie Ketola, general manager of Nick's Cigar World, which sits just across the street from the vacant building.

According to Ketola, this isn't the first time the building has suffered damage from a storm.

"Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016 ended up demolishing the right side," he said.

City spokesperson Pat Dowling said repairs to the exterior of the building were made to stay in basic compliance with the building code over time.

"I would like to see it cleaned up," said Susan Griswold, who lives nearby, "I mean, this is where we live."

Dowling said the property owner is working on that.

An asbestos assessment was done Friday and if that report is approved by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, Dowling said the contractor will come in for the demolition permit.

If asbestos is found in the building, it will need to be removed before the building is demolished.

The real estate agent said the property owner is looking to eventually sell it.

"Oh, I'd love to see someone move in and do something with the property," Ketola said, "Duplin Winery did a good job, the people at Barefoot Landing are doing something with their space."

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