MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The City of Myrtle Beach continues to move forward with plans to build a library and children’s museum in the Superblock area.
Downtown Redevelopment Corporation Executive Assistant Lauren Clever announced at a meeting Wednesday that the city was able to acquire one of the properties along 9th Avenue North on a “voluntary basis” that would allow development in the area to continue.
Myrtle Beach Room Escape at 505 9th Avenue North was purchased for $300,000. The business was the last property the city needed to get to build the children’s museum.
Steven Sadler and his wife own the Venue Boutique and Gallery in the Superblock area and even though his business isn’t supposed to be torn down, he says he received a letter from the city’s broker asking if they were willing to sell.
“The city tells us that we’re not part of the current project, but frankly, from the way that they’ve proceeded with this project, it’s difficult to believe what they’re telling us right now,” said Steven Sadler who own the Venue Boutique and Gallery.
City Manager John Pedersen says those letters were sent to a lot of the businesses in that area and that owners like Sadler had nothing to worry about.
“The city has no desire to acquire that property at all,” said Pedersen.
Pedersen says they’re still working on agreements with the owners of the House Parts store and Jack Thompson’s business and the use of eminent domain would be a last resort.
“We’re trying not to use it, but ultimately, it may be inevitable that you have to use that. That’s just the price of doing a public project,” Pedersen said.
The city manager also told the DRC he wanted the address rumors about the city having alternative plans for the site, like a possible casino or Chinese investment.
“I’ve seen other people express opinions that we’re trying to do something else, but it’s not. You know, I don’t know anything more to say than that. There’s never been any other discussion of any other project there. This is no bait and switch sort of a project or any of that. The ultimate goal is to build a library facing Nance Plaza, and a children’s museum facing 9th Avenue,” Pedersen said.
Pederson says they’re nowhere near the use of eminent domain because he says they’re still trying to reach agreements with the remaining business owners.
The owner of House Parts says they haven’t heard anything new and are still waiting to see what happens.
In February, city council approved the controversial motion to allow the city to take over the properties though the use of eminent domain.