Hundreds of new apartments could be on the way for Highways 544, 501

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 11:13 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - A pair of Horry County’s busiest highways could soon be home to hundreds of new apartments.

The Horry County Planning Commission voted in favor of projects along each of the roadways during a meeting Thursday night.

“This ebb and flow of [Highway] 544, I’ve lived there for the better part of 20 years now, and I’m telling you that for six months out of the year, it’s hard to get out of there,” Mike Costello said during the meeting.

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Costello, who lives along Highway 544, has seen plenty of changes along the area in the last two decades and may have another one coming in the next few years.

Developers plan to build more than 250 apartments at the intersection of Highway 544 and Highway 814, next to CVS.

“We’re hoping by having the residential behind it, it’s going to build the drive for that commercial,” said Earthworks Group Engineer Daniel Park, who designed the project.

Costello wasn’t the only one worried about the extra cars piling onto Highway 544.

“You’re going to kill somebody,” another 544 resident said Thursday. “It’s not going to be a traffic problem where I’m worried about getting in and out. You’re going to kill my family, you’re going to kill my kids. You’re going to kill other families’ kids that are pulling in and out of there.”

Other concerns were about flooding the low-lying area, but the county’s stormwater division determined it may actually help in that regard.

“It will actually retain more water than it did in its pre-development state,” said Horry County Planning Commissioner Pamela Dawson.

The planning commission voted 6-2 in favor of the idea.

While those apartments would go up on an already popular highway, another apartment project looks to take advantage of a road that isn’t even finished yet.

The commission voted 5-3 in favor of more than 300 apartments for the new extension of Postal Way, which will run behind the Tanger Outlets on Highway 501.

“I think everybody prefers no development, but that’s not an option,” said Mike Wooten of DDC Engineers. “We paid a lot of money for this piece of property, and it’s going to be developed.”

The planning commission also voted in favor of a new campground with 50 cabins and 32 campsites on Highway 701 in Conway.

All of these projects will take the important positive recommendation with them to Horry County Council, where they’ll look for final approval before breaking ground.

First readings could happen within the next couple of weeks, provided there aren’t any delays. A final approval vote could come within two months.

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