City leaders looking at opportunities to bring more medical uses to part of the Market Common area

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Some parts of the Market Common area have been untouched since the Air Force base closed over 20-years ago. Now, city leaders are looking to make room for business expansion. They are looking at opportunities to bring more medical facilities to an area on the back-end of the Market Common. The city says that land is zoned as a limited manufacturing area.

To give you a better idea of the area, it would the area between the back-end of the Market Common and the General Aviation Terminal of the airport, where you may see some industrial buildings.

If you're unfamiliar with the term "limited manufacturing," also known as "LM," it's essentially a district intended for small-scale manufacturing and businesses that don't create a whole lot of overhead or intense use.

Planning Director for the City of Myrtle Beach, Carol Coleman, said recently they've received interest from medical facilities to relocate and operate in the area.

City leaders said recently they've had a demand for medical uses in that area.  So, they're planning to make a change to let that happen.

Coleman said since there's already an existing Veterans Affairs clinic in the area, and not too far from that, a Doctor's Care and a soon-to-be Tidelands Health facility on Farrow Parkway -- bringing in more medical uses would be a good fit.

"The benefit of doing that is that we do have some buildings out there that haven't been used since the base closed. And since we have businesses… medical businesses that are interested in going there, we may get a little bit of revitalization out of it," said Coleman "The other thing to consider was what about all of the other LM that exist in the city? Well, there are about three other areas where you see a concentration of it, one is owned by the city and it's our Public Works facility. Another is the AVX facility off of Harrelson and then behind the mall, behind Coastal Grand is an industrial part that has a lot of LM in it. Would adding medical uses be a problem with those areas? Well, obviously we're not going to add medical uses on the city's property… don't think it would be a problem in any of the other ones, so it's just something that seemed to be a good fit."

Coleman said the zoning for that part of the city would allow almost any medical use except for drug rehabilitation clinics.

Right now, the space is mainly used for industrial purposes. Leaders say their idea is to develop the area by bringing in more businesses, saying the land hasn't been occupied in a while, so it could be a win-win.

"I would definitely like to see some revitalization occur, and I think that this would be a good opportunity… and I think because there's so much of a concentration of residential out there," Coleman said. "You know, there's so many people that live in the Market Common area. This would be beneficial to anyone, I mean I could add a level of convenience so they may not have to travel as far to go for specific medical treatments. We got the property that's being developed right now.. Tidelands…it looks wonderful, the more we can do to keep people in their area, you know that they don't have to travel so much and make it more convenient, the better,"

This idea is still up in the air, but Coleman said the Market Common area has such a positive level of growth, they're excited for what's to come in the future.

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