At a press conference on Tuesday, January 24, after much speculation on what was happening at the Superblock area (aka five points area), Mayor John Rhodes announced plans for a new Chapin Memorial Library and Children’s Museum fronting on Nance Plaza and Ninth Avenue North. The new building would replace the existing 68–year-old library on 14th Avenue North and provide a new home to the South Carolina Children’s Museum, which merges with EdVenture in March. They are hoping that this will be a safe and fun place for families when looking for things to do in Myrtle Beach.
Rhodes further stated that the funds would come from a $10 million line of credit that’s dedicated for projects in the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation to purchase and demolish the buildings from Nance Plaza along Kings Highway and from Ninth Avenue North and Oak Street.
Illustrations on the City’s web page are just ideas at this point as final designs and funding have not been determined. The new facilities will revitalize an older section of the business district and spur additional private investment in the area, in much the same way that the city’s $7 million boardwalk has generated upwards of $20 million in new private investment along the oceanfront.
Council will talk about possibilities for construction funding during its budget retreat in March at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Council members decided at last year’s budget retreat that the city would retain ownership of Chapin Memorial Library and invest in a new library facility. The current building, built in 1949 and expanded four times, does not meet modern library design standards.
Many of the current business owners that are currently in the location slated for demolition have been offered compensation to sell and/or find a new location. But not all business owners, especially the bars that have had their business licenses revoked, are happy about this and it will be seen what if anything can and will be done.