CONWAY, SC (WBTW) - The developer says it'll be like The Market Common on the Intracoastal Waterway and Horry County is now looking at the $15 million plans to redesign the Myrtle Beach Mall.
The mall has sat just north of the city of Myrtle Beach for more than three decades. As shopping malls across the country suffer due to online retailers, developers are trying to give the Myrtle Beach Mall a new purpose.
Planners are now looking at the concept to see if it ties into the county's future.
"If you've ever been to that mall, you know the back side of that property really is nothing but weeds and grass," said David Schwerd, interim planning director for Horry County. "There's nothing facing the Intracoastal Waterway. What they really want to do is take advantage of the Intracoastal Waterway and the water views that are associated with that."
It would be called The District at Myrtle Beach and the main addition would be a waterfront area for shopping and more.
"They're actually going to excavate the bank of the waterway on that side and lower it down, creating a boardwalk system of restaurants and hotels," Schwerd said.
The entrance of the shopping mall would also be open to provide a view of the waterway and that boardwalk area from U.S. Highway 17 Bypass. Open space and other new businesses would also accompany the current anchor stores like Bass Pro Shops.
Schwerd says the county's planning commission and future plan called Imagine 2040 encourages developers to use existing infrastructure to promote growth.
"You don't want to take an existing large commercial property and let it sit there vacant for a long period of time because the values of the property decline," he said. "The neighbors don't want to invest around it."
The District at Myrtle Beach is still in its very early stages. The planning commission discussed the proposal Thursday.
Schwerd says a public hearing about the project could be held at the next planning commission meeting, which is Feburary 7 at 5:30 p.m.