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A microbrewery and space for events, art classes and more are planned for Myrtle Beach’s new Arts and Innovation District.

Myrtle Beach City Council on Tuesday authorized the sale of the city-owned, two-story building at 819 North Kings Highway next to Nance Plaza to GSB Properties, LLC for $453,000. The purchase price is the same that both Myrtle Beach’s Downtown Redevelopment Corp. and the city itself paid for the property.

The city council recently approved the zoning for the new district, which includes Main Street, Broadway Street, Oak Street and 9th Avenue North.

Grand Strand Brewing Company plans to convert the first floor of the brick building into a brewery and lease the second floor to the Maker Exchange for a creative space that would hold gatherings such as community events and art classes. 

The businesses hope to open by the summer of 2020.

Plans for the microbrewery include installing a commercial kitchen where chefs can prepare meals to accompany the beer. Different beers will be available in the business' taproom.

The second story will be turned into 7,000 square feet of event space, including two flexible conference rooms and a catering prep kitchen, where special events, artisan pop-up classes, workshops and more will happen.

The brewing company will pay $3,000 when the contact is executed and an additional $7,000 at closing. The company will defer full payment for one year to utilize historic tax credits. All in all, with accumulating interest, the city anticipates receiving $475,150 for the property.

Additionally, Myrtle Beach plans to demolish an adjacent city-owned building to allow for a passageway between the plaza and the public parking space in the back.

DRC Executive Director Lauren Clever said Tuesday that putting the city downtown historic district on the National Register of Historic Places has been approved at both the state and federal levels.

As such, the owner of a property that meets certain criteria might be eligible for historic tax credits on building renovations if they choose to restore the property back to its historic character.

Clever stressed that no eligible building owner in the historic district is bound to renovate in keeping with historic standards. If a building owner renovates without the architectural standards, then the tax credits could not be used.

The historic district area includes parts of 8th and 9th avenues north and North Kings Highway in addition to portions of Main, Broadway and North Oak streets, all of which are in the Arts and Innovation District.

The North Kings Highway structure where the brewery will be is one of 18 buildings that are considered to be “contributing” to the historic district.

The brewing company hopes to use state and federal historic tax credits, Clever said, in addition to an abandoned building credit.

Another possibility for the company to look into, if it qualifies, is the Bailey Bill. In Myrtle Beach, the program allows for a pre-renovation tax assessment that’s frozen for 10 years for those eligible.

Also on Tuesday, city leaders voted to repeal the moratorium on nightclubs, bars and other drinking establishments in place since December 2015.

The city council had imposed the moratorium following a spate of crime in the area and found that the drinking businesses in that locality had a “negative impact on police services” and “business diversity,” the ordinance that passed the needed second reading said. The zoning allowances at the time did not align with the long range economic health and quality of police protection of the area as a family-oriented destination.

Since then, the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission studied the issue and council adopted the downtown master plan and established the Arts and Innovation District.

The ART zoning district allows bars, brew pubs and taverns, but prohibits nightclubs and sexually-oriented establishments. The new district bars businesses staying open past midnight.

In addition, the city council signed off on a motion directing city manager John Pedersen to issue a request for proposals for innovative uses in the city-owned buildings along 9th Avenue North in the Arts and Innovation District.

As the district has generated interest since its approval, the city has a process for allowing potential lessees or buyers to make proposals for specific city-owned spaces. At the conclusion of this process, city staff will make a recommendation to the council based on the mix of uses that best reflects leaders’ vision of the district.


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