Future of former Freestyle Music Park becomes clearer

Updated: Nov. 7, 2019 at 11:13 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - An area that was once two different theme parks and a mall could be seeing a lot of changes soon.

The 125-acre lot formerly known as the Hard Rock Park, Freestyle Music Park and Waccamaw Pottery has sat empty for years.

Last year, the former mayor of Myrtle Beach and owner of FTPP Bishop Parkway LLC, John Rhodes, bought the property.

Currently, the land is only zoned for theme park use but Rhodes wants that to change and has hired The Landart Company to help.

“What we would like to do is use this process, the rezoning process, and incorporate some additional uses and bring that building back to life,” said Sean Hoelscher, the senior lead architect for The Landart Company.

There are actually 28 additional uses being requested for allowable uses for the site:

  1. ALL uses currently allowed in the approved PDD;
  2. All uses allowed in Horry County’s Light Industrial (LI) District;
  3. All commercial retail and wholesale uses;
  4. Brewery, distillery, and winery;
  5. Indoor and outdoor storage including climate-controlled storage;
  6. Office uses;
  7. Government offices and services;
  8. Public utilities;
  9. Transportation and distribution services;
  10. Light manufacturing and assemblage;
  11. Construction and manufacturing services;
  12. Assembly and worship;
  13. Automotive distribution, maintenance and vehicle storage;
  14. Warehousing;
  15. Commercial indoor recreation;
  16. Automotive/RV/Boat/Surplus storage;
  17. Business storage;
  18. Cold Storage;
  19. Mini storage;
  20. Indoor aquaculture;
  21. Indoor agriculture;
  22. Landscape/Nursey retail and wholesale;
  23. Parking (Indoor/Outdoor);
  24. Convenience Store;
  25. Apartments, townhomes, duplexes and other multifamily housing;
  26. Recreational Vehicle accommodations;
  27. Single-family attached, semi-detached and detached;
  28. Commercial and/or residential in common;
  29. Produce, fruit, dairy and juice processing, bottling, and distribution;
  30. Furniture and home goods warehousing, distribution, sales, and manufacturing;
  31. Any combination of the above uses.

But these proposed changes to the planned development district, or PDD, are not for the entire 125-acres.

“They’re just for the old mall 3 of the Waccamaw Pottery,” said Steven Neeves, the chairman of the Horry County Planning and Zoning Commission. “It’s just for a fourth to a third of the full area.”

Neeves said since the property has sat unused for so long, developing it now can help with economic growth throughout the area.

“To have the new owner decide to take off a portion of it, get it back in the process using it for distribution, that’s a great area because there’s not a lot of residential around there so no one’s going to be bothered by that use. I think you’re going to see a lot of people take advantage of it pretty quick and then hopefully they’ll be coming in with a plan for the rest of that property," said Neeves.

Both men agree revitalizing the area will detour the crime that’s happened on the property since it’s been abandoned.

“By bringing that life back to the corner you’re setting the stage for prevention of activities that are degradation for the area and surrounding communities,” said Hoelscher.

“The area is filled up with trash. I mean this is going to clean up that whole area," said Neeves.

The rezoning request was passed Thursday night at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting and will move on to the county council for three readings.

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