MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – This week is the tenth anniversary of when The Market Common opened and brought big changes to the site of the old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.
The retail section of the city officially opened on April 3, 2008. It’s grown quite a bit since then, but officials say there’s still plenty of room for this section of Myrtle Beach.
The Market Common looks very different from when it was an Air Force base more than 20 years ago.
“We probably demolished about 100 buildings that were just unuseful,” said Buddy Styers, executive director of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority.
Styers says creating The Market Common filled a need for work and housing as the city grew.
“Those 800 civilian jobs we lost have been replaced today with probably 2,500 civilian jobs,” he said.
Styers also says a big reason for The Market Common’s growth in its first decade is when the city allowed for single-family homes to be built on the site of the old Air Force base.
“Property taxes that have been created by The Market Common have paid for almost all of the public infrastructure (here), roads, water, sewer, parking garages.”
That includes Market Common Dog Grooming, which opened nine years ago in the SoHo Shoppes section of The Market Common.
“Lots of changes, people come in and out,” Audra Colasacco, who owns Market Common Dog Grooming. “We’re trying to get more people to come on this end.”
The Roasted Bean coffee shop is also much busier in its fourth year.
“I remember we would have spans of an hour or two where we would be between customers and we’d be sitting outside,” said Daniel Kline, who works at The Roasted Bean.
Styers says the future of The Market Common includes a bowling alley in the former Piggly Wiggly building, a new Tidelands Health facility and bringing more businesses to the Myrtle Beach International Technology and Aerospace Park.
“There’s 430 acres there that needs to be developed to help the airport grow,” he said. “I think you’ll see some real development there this summer.”
The Market Common will hold its official tenth anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.