Plans for a major shopping center in the Carolina Forest area have been submitted to Horry County Planning and Zoning, according to public records and a developer associated with the project.
DDC Engineers of Myrtle Beach submitted plans on April 9 for a large shopping center that would occupy undeveloped property between the Forest Square plaza, which is anchored by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, and Tanger Outlets along U.S. 501, said David Schwerd, principal planner for Horry County.
Mike Wooten, president of DDC engineers, said he couldn’t discuss most aspects of the planned development, including any possible tenants or infrastructure improvements, citing non-disclosure agreements.
Wooten did say the property encompasses about 15 acres, which translates to about 653,000 square feet.
It’ll take between 60 and 90 days before environmental permits work their way through various state and federal agencies, and any construction activity would start some time after that, he said.
“We’re not allowed to release any information whatsoever other than what is required for approval by the county,” Wooten said. “We’re in the process of initiating the design elements of the project at this point.”
Plans submitted to county planners thus far depict a 45,600-square-foot anchor suitable for housing a grocer or retail store. No announcements regarding the anchor had been made as of press time.
In addition to diversifying shopping options, the project, if built, would lead to infrastructure improvements in Carolina Forest.
Plans show access points via Factory Stores Boulevard to the south and Glenforest Road from the north. Tying Glenforest Road to the development would essentially tie Carolina Forest Boulevard into Tanger Outlets.
Bo Ives, president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association, said he’s ecstatic about the new development news due to the potential for infrastructure improvements and more shopping options closer to home.
“Everyone from Carolina Forest would like to be able to get into Tanger [Outlets] more easily than U.S. 501,” Ives said. “It helps employees as well as customers get into their developments more easily. That will be a boon to their outparcels and restaurants.”
Ives said he’d like to see a Target, Home Depot or other major retailer occupy that space. He also likes the idea of a movie theater moving into Carolina Forest.
“Especially with us coming out of the [Great] Recession, it is reassuring that the economy is improving and there is an opportunity for people to find work here,” Ives said.
The property itself is split into two parcels, which includes undeveloped land owned by Tanger Outlets to the south and Virginia Biddle to the north.
No rezonings are necessary because the parcels are already zoned highway commercial (HC), according to Horry County GIS and property records.
Schwerd said the proposed Glenforest Road extension would be beneficial, but he didn’t think the development would lead to the extension of Postal Way because the road isn’t immediately adjacent to the development.
News of the shopping center comes as Lowes Foods prepares to open a 45,000-square-foot grocery store at the other end of Carolina Forest. The new Lowes is set to open May 7 in the Ocean Bay Market at International Drive.
Other proposed developments
In related development news, plans have been submitted for Carolina Forest Commons, another commercial development along the U.S. 501 corridor.
Plans for Carolina Forest Commons show five outparcels on U.S. 501 South, including a Starbucks adjacent to the existing Walgreens at West Perry Road.
It’s all part of a 25-acre tract bordering U.S. 501 and West Perry Road.
Horry County property records list the owner as Interface Myrtle Beach LLC, a limited liability company based in Boynton Beach, Florida. An Interface spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment as of press time.
Schwerd said plans have also been submitted for a new strip mall to be built on an outparcel of the Carolina Forest Wal-Mart, between the Murphy Gas Station and Firestone.
Plans show space for five tenants, none of which have been announced.
Back at International Drive, the master plan for Towne Centre shows a Walgreens at the east corner of River Oaks and International drives, across from the new Kangaroo and McDonald’s.
No plans for the Walgreens itself had been submitted as of press time.