New Shopping Center to Be Built in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Mar. 15--GEORGETOWN -- County Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a planned development on the site where opposition thwarted approval for a Lowes home-improvement store.

The new plans will include a 60,000-square-foot anchor store, plus a mixture of restaurants, retail shops and residences, said Steve Strickland, with Earthworks Engineering, who represented property owner Peggy Wheeler during Tuesday's meeting.

Grocers, including Whole Foods, Publix and Lowes Foods are being courted to become part of the development, Strickland said.

"There are three or four grocery stores that we're chasing," he said. "We want a higher-end [anchor] store."

Strickland said it could be six to eight months before construction begins.

Council members grilled him on whether the shopping center would meet stormwater requirements proposed in a future ordinance.

The ordinance could require 80 percent impervious surface to improve drainage and save a nearby salt marsh from runoff.

The development has other hurdles to pass, even after approval was given for the property to become a planned development.

Clusters of restaurants and shops will be part of the property, Strickland said.

Each business cluster must pass the approval of the Georgetown County Planning Commission before it is built, Strickland said.

"We have to do that because it is a major change to the planned development," he said.

The property was currently zoned general commercial, which does not allow retail space larger than 45,000 square feet.

The anchor store in the proposed shopping center will be about 60,000 square feet.

Wheeler said she wants restaurants with a "local flair" and a grocery store to be included.