Myrtle Beach City Planners want to create new districts to attract more people

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The City of Myrtle Beach hopes to attract more tourists and locals to the city’s hubs and hot spots by creating several new districts.

“What we’re trying to do is create identity, create a sense of place”, says City Planning Director Carol Coleman. She says that’s why the city is establishing the Seahawk District, which would include Myrtle Beach Primary, Elementary, Middle, and High School, as well as the new school being built nearby. “All of our schools are located in the same area so why don’t we celebrate that, celebrate Seahawk since it basically carries [students] cradle to grave through the school system, which is a neat concept. You don’t see that in many places.”

Coleman says the goal is to make the schools a cohesive campus, by building walkways that connect each of the schools to one another, as well as to the Pepper Geddings Recreation Center, which will also be within the Seahawk District. The schools may also build a sign at the entrance of the area, redesign the crosswalks, and paint murals on the sides of some of their buildings. “Anything to tell you that you’re some place. That it’s not just the status quo as it was before,” said Coleman.

City Planners are also discussing establishing more districts throughout the city, including in the Five Points area downtown and Broadway at the Beach. Coleman says she hopes giving these areas more of uniform appearance will attract more people to them, much like the Market Common. “We’ve worked hard to try and attract people to come here. And the Atlantic Ocean is a really great asset to have, but to get people to travel around the city, you need to do other things to make it more attractive to them.”

City Planners haven’t come up with an estimate for how much the project will cost. Though the city may fund some of it, most of the cost will fall on schools, businesses, or residents within the proposed districts. “The majority of this is not things that the city is going to undertake. This just gives them the ability to ask for it.”

The Myrtle Beach Planning Commission will finalize district plans before sending them to City Council for approval. Coleman says some of the new districts may be in place by the end of the year.