MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Myrtle Beach City Council voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to purchase seven properties on 10 parcels of land for $15 million.

“This is a big day for Myrtle Beach,” Mayor Brenda Bethune said.

The land is located between Ocean Boulevard and the Arts and Innovation District. The deal will be closed by the end of December, according to a timeline presented to the council. The demolition process is expected to begin in early spring.

The purchase will be funded by TIF bonds already approved by the council.

The move is part of an effort to reduce crime and improve redevelopment downtown. Calls at three of the motels being purchased by the city increased in 2021 from the previous years, according to information presented at the meeting.

“We were very surprised at the condition of some of these properties…many of them are in line with what you saw with Coral Sands,” Brian Tucker, the city’s assistant city manager, said.

The city plans to demolish the Coral Sands Motel following concerns about drugs and prostitution on the property. The owner filed an appeal on Wednesday, stating the city’s action is a violation of Constitutional due process rights, that it does not comply with the city’s rules and regulations and that it is not supported by “credible evidence.”

Tucker urged the city to increase its code enforcement efforts.

“It’s nearly impossible, or practically impossible, to proactively enforce our codes,” he said.