Atlantic Beach, nation’s only Black-owned beach, sees major growth

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 11:19 AM EDT
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ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Atlantic Beach, home to the only Black-owned beach in the United States, is experiencing a major boom in people investing and buying homes in the town.

In the last year, nearly 22 new homes went up and ten are currently under construction.

Since 2015, nearly 40 new homes have gone up in the four-block long town.

Atlantic Beach mayor, Jake Evans, said to make the town more inviting his first priority was getting rid of falling buildings and cleaning up the area.

Benjamin Quattlebaum, the town manager, said he believes more people are starting to invest and build homes in Atlantic Beach because of the current economic climate, and people discovering the unique town.

“People are realizing and discovering this gem, pearl if you will, that Atlantic Beach is,” said Quattlebaum. “They are finding that it’s a very safe and very quiet community, and it’s a well-knit community that the residents here support one another and is very conducive for living as well as tourism.”

Quattlebaum also said he hopes to see more homes, restaurants and even a hotel fill the vacant spots around town.

Atlantic Beach resident, William Armstrong, said when he was a child the town was booming, and he hopes it can reach its full potential again.

“I kept saying to myself, you know, one day this is kinda like a diamond in the rough,” said Armstrong. “I had a vision that one day it was gonna be like paradise, you know. And that dream is coming around now. I see a lot of beautiful positive things happening and many good things to come.”

Armstrong said the community is excited to see growth as long as the town’s rich history is kept at its center.

Atlantic Beach’s Historical Preservation Committee is looking for different ways to make sure the history of the town is not forgotten.

They hope to build a museum to capture the town’s history and display different artifacts.

The town also wants to become designated as a historically Black town to permanently identify its place in history in the national registry.

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