An international investment group indicated recent missteps by Myrtle Beach City Government have them concerned about a potential $1 billion investment in the Myrtle Beach downtown area.
A hastily thrown together press conference called by the city earlier this week announced the demolition of the historic Myrtle Beach Super Block in favor of a new SuperBlock Library and Children’s Museum. The press conference was needed after the owner of Natalias Bar and Grill, Natalie Litsey, leaked the below email sent from Myrtle Beach City Councilman Wayne Gray to the press.
Ms. Litsey has stated repeatedly that her business in the SuperBlock was closed by city government because the city planned to purchase and tear down the existing buildings. Ms. Litsey has put up a video of her statements on FACEBOOK which can be seen below. Miss Litsey has also filed a Federal Lawsuit.
The Library press event has been viewed as a “cover story” by many local merchants after it was revealed that ordinance “S.C. Home Rule 75” limits the jurisdiction of all public libraries to counties in the state of S.C. Chapin Library, which has been located at 400 14th Ave N, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 since 1948 is actually a private/city hybrid. The only way the library could continue to function as such in the new location would be to continue its existence under the charter of the Chapin Foundation. Grand Dunes, Pine Lakes, and Market Common residents we spoke with were unsure if it was wise to borrow $10 million for the building of a new city library with city taxpayer monies for such a hybrid property.
Myrtle Beach city government is working rapidly to tear down as many existing structures as possible in the entire downtown area with a $10 million infrastructure loan that will need to be paid back by city taxpayers if no investors materialize.
Our internal group believed a deal was already in hand that would take out Myrtle Beach’s largest landowner inside the city, as well as the city’s largest oceanfront property manager (hotel group). We spoke with a key international investor this week who said that the group had not invested one penny to date. He also indicated that the group had been shaken by comments expressed from residents in the comments sections of local articles in the Sun News after the press conference was held on Tuesday.
“It would have to be a win/win,” he said. “The group would need a stable city government in place for a minimum of 20 years for the deal to make sense. The group would also need the entire Myrtle Beach resident community to come on board as well,” he added. Recent missteps by Councilman Wayne Gray, City Manager John Pedersen, and Mayor John Rhodes has the group concerned.
Myrtle Beach city government has moved forward quickly tearing down as many properties as possible in its plans to help create a corporate opportunity for one investment group to own the property management contracts on over 22 city-wide oceanfront hotels, a high-rise oceanfront hotel, and a downtown TIF district filled with restaurants and shopping. While the city continues to upset local merchants, no investor is actually in place at this time and city taxpayers are fully on the hook for the $10 million tab.
Councilmen Wayne Gray, Mike Lowder, Randal Wallace and Mayor Rhodes are all up for re-election this coming November.