Myrtle Beach Section: Arts District Taking Shape in Downtown Myrtle Beach: August 2019

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Work is underway to create a new Arts and Innovation District in the heart of Myrtle Beach.  The area includes Main Street, Broadway Street, Oak Street and Ninth Avenue North.  Buildings along Ninth Avenue North may be the first to redevelop, with plans already underway for a co-working and events space.

In March, the Myrtle Beach City Council adopted a new master plan for the downtown area.  Benchmark Consultants spent six months gathering input from residents, business owners, city leaders and others, to craft a plan for redeveloping what’s been known as the Super Block and surrounding areas. 

The downtown master plan focuses on four districts:  Oceanfront, Kings Highway, Historic Main Street and an Arts District.  The goal is to create a vibrant and thriving urban center that capitalizes on diversity and serves residents and visitors for many years. 

The city is hiring an architectural firm to begin crafting a design vision for the area.  As proposed, the Arts and Innovation District will include new city offices, a new library, a new museum or two, a performing arts center, a co-working space for entrepreneurs, and a new city square for events and activities. 

The city’s Technology Advisory Group is working to create the co-working office where start-up businesses and entrepreneurs could share creative space.  The proposed rents would be modest at first, creating an incubator for new businesses. 

Bringing entrepreneurs and artists to the area also would create an inviting cultural atmosphere that could attract new business and residential projects.  Relocating public facilities within the district will create additional foot traffic and potential customers to support new dining, retail, and living options. 

Thanks to RIDE III funding, two blocks of US 501 (Main Street) will be relocated to follow Seventh Avenue North.  This work is scheduled for early 2022 and will provide better traffic flows, more space for redevelopment, and fewer traffic signals, creating less bottlenecks on Kings Highway. 

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