71 / 51
      69 / 52
      68 / 53

      Carolina Forest is the fastest-growing community on the Grand Strand

      A big part of the tremendous growth in Carolina Forest is the construction of the new Town Center at Carolina Bays just off of International Drive.

      It has helped make Carolina Forest the fastest-growing community on the Grand Strand.

      "There's already about 30,000 people living in Carolina Forest, so there's a serious need for commercial, not only shopping center, but convenience out-parcel uses like banks, financial services, dry-cleaning, restaurants," explained Dargan Grigg with Leonard Grigg and Associates, Town Center's developers.

      Grigg explained that a big reason for this new project was to meet that need. The Town Center will feature shops, restaurants, a new apartment complex and Startek, a call center that promises to bring more than 600 jobs to the community.

      Morgan Dendy with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation explained that all this development has a trickle down effect on the area.

      "As they're building more houses, as they're building more retail, as they're building more facilities for work like Startek, you're seeing a need for grocery stores and everything," Dendy explained.

      Dendy explained that all the development in Carolina Forest comes down to three primary reasons. "There's great schools. It's close proximity to the beach. You're kind of in the central area of Horry County. You can access any part of the county from Carolina Forest."

      While construction continues on the Town Center, residents in the area are already reaping the benefits of all the work, including Carolina Forest resident Catherine DeAngelis. "It's a great feeling because we don't have to travel seven miles to go food shopping or get gasoline anymore and you know, everything's pretty localized."

      There is one downfall to all this growth: traffic. But, with all these new conveniences, DeAngelis says she's willing to accept a few more cars on the roads. "Traffic is a concern, but as you grow and you build you have more traffic."

      The Lowes Foods in the Town Center is scheduled to open Wednesday, May 7th.

      Startek is scheduled to be open next fall and is expected to have nearly $50 million of direct economic impact for the county.