MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW)– Local business owners said now is the time to revive the Arts and Innovation District.
City officials have created a masterplan to realign the roads and bring in buildings and restaurants to the area, but it might take a couple of years before it’s completed.
9th avenue will be the home to many new businesses. Other local businesses said they are excited to see this growth within their community and customers.
Jess Sagun, co-owner of Winna’s Kitchen said she’s super excited.
“We have fantastic neighbors here in brewery and the Hub and to see other chefs and artists coming in with their businesses and their ideas, we love it.”
The Arts and Innovation district also includes Main Street, Broadway Street, and Oak Street. Local owners said it’s an area they desire to see change.
“I’d like to see the arts and innovation become kind of the cornerstone of something that local residents can celebrate about Myrtle Beach,” Sagun said.
City spokesperson Mark Kruea said it’s time to bring some life back into the area.
“We have the opportunity to make something that did not exist or certainly hasn’t existed in thirty or forty years in Myrtle Beach, ” Kruea said. “We haven’t had activity in this particular area in quite a while.”
Kruea said the city has now started working on the district’s infrastructure work. He said it’s a $34 million project and will take a couple of years.
“So, we’ll do new street scapes,” Kruea said. “We’ll realign the roads. Oak St will become the through street. We’ll put the utilities underground, so you won’t see the polls and the wires. And we’re also going to replace the water and sewer system work that we have here to handle the new business that come downtown.”
Kruea said the city hopes to include a park, a theater, and lots of restaurants, but there is a lot of prep work to be done first.
“These are historic buildings,” Krue said. “We’ve put a good roof on them. We’ve done the AC and heat systems for them… but we need to do a plain vanilla box, in the real estate term, so that then the tenants can move into these buildings.”
Another local business owner agrees he’s excited for other businesses to be joining. He said he understands the city has to set the foundation for the businesses to come.
Clayton Burrous, owner of Grand Strand Brewery said everything takes time.
“Eventually I think this area is going to generate enough momentum to where things are happening faster,” Burrous said. “But we weren’t discouraged at all with how long it took.”
Kruea said there’s still some work to be done to the buildings, so he cannot provide a specific date for when businesses can move in, but he said as soon as possible.
Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and read more of her work here.