MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – After about a year of wondering what is next, business owners in the Superblock area of Myrtle Beach say they can now breathe easier.

Last year, city leaders voted to give themselves the power to use eminent domain to build a library and children’s museum. Tuesday, new city leaders voted unanimously to rescind that power.

Andrew Paulussen owns House Parts in the Superblock and has been outspoken in opposition to the project because he says it felt like his business was being pushed out by the city.

After Tuesday’s vote, Paulussen told News13 he felt like his voice was finally heard.

“It’s a gun from my head, a knife from my throat, and a noose from around my neck,” said Paulussen.  

He and his wife have been to several city council meetings since the original announcement because they didn’t know what would happen to their business.

“When you have an entire government entity with all of its resources coming down on a small business owner, mom and pop shop, it’s very daunting,” said Paulussen.  

City Manager John Pedersen says Paulussen’s business and Jack Thompson’s Photography Studio were part of the original plans for a proposed library and children’s museum.

“Since then, it’s obviously been a very huge, controversial issue within the city. The DRC engaged and architect and did some conceptual designs that show the project can move forward without those two properties,” said Pedersen.  

Pedersen says he hopes the vote to take away the power to use eminent domain will help ease tensions with business owners.

“I’m hoping that this action will remove the bone of contention and obstacle of moving forward and now the focus can kind of go back to whether or not this is a good project for the city, not the manner in which we acquire the property,” said Pedersen.  

It’s a vote Superblock business owner Steven Sadler wanted from city leaders and says even though he can breathe easier now, more needs to be done.

“This is a big step forward, but we’re still behind in righting the missteps and injustices of the last council and the DRC, the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation,” said Sadler.

Pedersen says Tuesday’s vote does not mean a library or children’s museum will definitely go in the Superblock. It only means the businesses there would be part of the new plan.

The Downtown Redevelopment Corporation is set to meet Wednesday to look at the new conceptual designs, and News13 plans to be at that meeting.