Myrtle Beach, CCU mull over downtown partnership

Myrtle Beach, CCU mull over downtown partnership
Myrtle Beach city leaders will be considering expanding their partnership with Coastal Carolina University.

Story courtesy of our news partners, MyHorryNews

Will the gown be coming to the town?

Myrtle Beach city leaders will be considering expanding their partnership with Coastal Carolina University to include a charter school in an old church, a spot for graduate students in the city-owned library, and leaving the door open for establishing a new CCU Myrtle Beach campus.

The mayor describes the deal as a “win-win” for the city and university that will spark downtown revitalization while giving Coastal a larger footprint on the Grand Strand.

“The goal is not to just revitalize one small area, but to help spread that to other areas,” Mayor Brenda Bethune said of the proposal for the five-acre tract within sight of the ocean. “We don’t want it to stop here.”

If the deal is approved by the city and Coastal, it would mean the historic First Presbyterian Church off Kings Highway, neighboring Chapin Memorial Library and Chapin Park would be filled with staff and students. It could mean, Bethune said, that Myrtle Beach would follow the same path as other cities in partnering with universities that have seen bustling downtowns year round. It could lead to “businesses starting to pop up” near the area, she said.

But the deal hasn’t been inked as the city council prepares to discuss it on Tuesday.

If approved as is, there would be 179 jobs created in the construction phase with $2.6 million in state and local tax revenue, according to a study the city commissioned from James Lima Planning and Development consultants. The Lima report also states the recurring impact would be 49 jobs on the campus that could spin off into 39 other jobs as businesses nearby open or expand, resulting in $300,000 annually in state and local tax revenue.

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