Myrtle Beach leaders working to create arts, innovation district in the downtown area

Myrtle Beach considering arts, innovation district

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach leaders are steps closer to renovating the downtown area.

On Thursday, the city council looked into creating new zoning to add an arts and innovations district.

"We’re working to implement that downtown master plan. We saw it from the consultants; now we’re trying to make it happen in downtown Myrtle Beach,” said city spokesperson Mark Kruea.

The planning and zoning department worked with council to decide what types of places would make up that district.

"We’re working cohesively with council to think outside the box because this is an area we’ve never had in Myrtle Beach before,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune.

City leaders discussed allowing things like restaurants, a food hall, apartments, breweries and distilleries in the downtown area, which they’ve talked about reviving for several years now.

So, what makes these plans any different?

"I think what’s different now is we’re looking at it as a whole instead of looking at bits and pieces saying, ‘Oh maybe this is a great place for that.’ We’re looking at it as a whole and trying to bring all those parts together so they build off each other,” Kruea said.

He added the city will soon be looking for an architectural firm to lead the discussion and the vision process.

"Then we have some money in the next year’s budget to do some of those preliminary engineering and design projects for implementing this downtown master plan,” Kruea said.

"Really where we are right now is getting the foundation in place to make it successful, so when the time comes to move forward we can do so quickly,” said Bethune.

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