MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The City of Myrtle Beach is continuing its revitalization efforts downtown in the city’s Arts & Innovation District, with work on the back lot of buildings on 9th Avenue North set to be complete in June.
One of the proposals to fund future upgrades is a 1% assessment on commercial properties within a Municipal Improvement District (MID). The MID proposal spans from 11th Avenue South to about 21st Avenue North and westward to include the Withers Swash neighborhood.
City staff said the assessment on commercial properties would generate $600,000 in revenue in the first fiscal year.
The proposal needs to go through the public hearing process as well as city council approval before it takes effect. City staff said it hopes it has approval by August so that the increase can take effect for next year.
Council member Mike Lowder said he is concerned about the trickle down effect of a tax increase on commercial properties on the people who live within, or close to, the district.
“Six dollars a month, or whatever it may be, that may not, to a lot of folks in this room, that may not seem that big of a challenge but to a number of people in the area it very well may be,” Lowder said.
The city hired a consulting firm to assess revitalization efforts in the Arts & Innovation District, and the firm’s report said there’s room for growth downtown in both office space and new apartments.
Erin Talkington, RCLCO’s managing director, said downtown Myrtle Beach is behind on development compared to other similar-sized cities in the region.
“You have a lot of visitor activity and a lot of retail and places for your visitors and your tourists to go, but not a lot of local residents, and not a lot of places for your local residents to visit,” Talkington said. “So we really feel like the city’s investments and the city’s efforts within the Arts & Innovation District are focused in the right places.”