Horry County School Board looks to buy property closed restaurant sits on

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The property where a restaurant, which served its last dinner Saturday night, sits could soon serve a purpose for North Myrtle Beach High School students.

Stevens Restaurant and Oyster Roast closed on Saturday. Holly Heniford, a Horry County School Board member for District 1, said district officials have talked about making this purchase for a long time, and Monday night they signed the contract that will get the ball rolling on that process.

"They weren't ready, and now they've gotten to a point in their life - the timing's there - so it works out well for everybody," said Heniford.

Heniford added the property is now under contract between the business owners and the school district. Right now, they are in the due diligence stage and it's not yet clear if the building on the property will remain.

If not, that could open up the opportunity for more parking.

"I don't know if the building can be utilized. Worst case scenario right now, I want to use the building for storage and then let the stakeholders look at it and then let them make a determination whether the building can be utilized," Heniford said.

The land is sized around 1.5 acres and the school district is purchasing it for $425,000, according to Heniford.

"They're really good caretakers of their property so I'm confident that we won't have these problems, but that doesn't mean we don't need to do our due diligence, because, historically speaking, there may be something about the property that they never knew," she said.

Heniford said that process normally takes anywhere from 60 to 90 days, but if the district wraps up sooner, it can ask to close on the property early.

If the owners were to say no, Heniford said then they would just close on the original negotiated closing date.

"Our community's extremely excited to be able to take this asset down and being able to look at it," she said, "You don't remember the test, but you remember the football game. You're making these kids have memories for the rest of their lives."

Heniford said the purchase will be officially made when the school board closes on the property.

WMBF news is still working to get in touch with the owner of the restaurant, Sylvia Chestnut, for comment.

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