Publix stores will bookend Carolina Forest Boulevard.

The supermarket chain announced Tuesday that the company had signed a lease for a new location at the intersection of Carolina Forest Boulevard and River Oaks Drive. Florida-based The Sembler Company is developing the 46,800-square-foot store, which is part of a 46-acre project known as The Mill that includes retail shops, office space and multi-family residences. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

“The growth in the Myrtle Beach market and specifically the Carolina Forest area is tremendous,” said Josh Beyer, Sembler’s senior vice president for development, in an email. He added that the company's research on the area's projected growth "gave us confidence the market is ready for the project.”

Along with the grocery store, the development will include two buildings that will provide nearly 20,000 square feet of small shop space. There is also a 6-acre parcel available for a medical office, hotel, mini-storage business or other commercial use. The site includes seven outparcels of 1 to 1.7 acres available for such businesses as restaurants, service-related retailers, financial service providers or gas stations.

There’s already a Publix near the intersection of Carolina Forest Boulevard and Postal Way. It opened in 2016. There are also stores in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet. In February, the chain announced it would open a store near the intersection of U.S. 17 and Coventry Boulevard.

Then came Tuesday's news.

“We are looking forward to bringing the residents of Carolina Forest a full roster of high-quality shopping, dining and service amenities that they can enjoy without having to leave their own community,” Beyer said.

The residential component of the Carolina Forest project, Hawthorne at The Mill, is described as a “luxury multi-family residential community” in a Sembler news release. This project includes 290 units across 11 buildings that will be accessible from Carolina Forest Boulevard. The units come in one-, two- and three-bedroom options.

Hawthorne Residential Partners is developing the housing portion, which will be adjacent to the shopping center.

"The community boasts over 8,000 sq. ft. of amenity space including a luxury clubhouse with resident lounge, saltwater swimming pool with a spacious sundeck and poolside cabanas, a 24-hour fitness center with a yoga and meditation studio; a pet park and spa; a game room with billiards, pickle ball and bocce ball courts, a grilling pavilion and residential storage for kayaks, bikes and other recreational equipment," the Sembler release said. "The property will be owned and managed by Hawthorne Residential Partners and its investors."

As part of the overall project, the developer will install turn lanes on River Oaks Drive, said Beyer, the Sembler VP. The road work will be done while the shopping center is being constructed.

“This is the fastest growing region in the state and the second fastest growing MSA in the country," Beyer said. "We just had to find the right site that provides visibility for our tenants and accessibility for the surrounding community, and we did.”

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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I'm the editor of myhorrynews.com and the Carolina Forest Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Horry County, South Carolina. I cover county government, the justice system and agriculture. Know of a story that needs to be covered? Call me at 843-488-7236.

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