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Myrtle Beach City Council takes eminent domain option off table for Superblock properties

The future home of Chapin Library in the Superblock of Myrtle Beach. (WPDE)

The Myrtle Beach City Council has backtracked on the option to take legal action against property owners in the Superblock area.

About a year ago, the city said it would use eminent domain, if necessary, to get Superblock properties because two businesses didn't want to sell to make room for new projects including a children's museum and a library.

Eminent domain is "a process by which a local government, state government and national government can acquire property that isn't being sold voluntarily for public purpose," according to city manager John Pederson.

The council authorized the city manager and attorney to take the legal steps necessary to pursue eminent domain when two property owners, The House Parts Store and the owner of photographer Jack Thompson's studio, wouldn't budge.

Related: Local group says Myrtle Beach city leaders are abusing their power in the Superblock area

Those are the only properties the city has not been able to acquire voluntarily in the Superblock area.

Related: Property owners in Myrtle Beach's Superblock could be forced to close

"..just want to make sure that everyone understands, it does not take the project off the table, it just means those two properties would no longer, we would no longer be able to compel the owner to sell them to the city," Pederson explained during the meeting.

The city has hired a new architect which has offered new ways to redevelop the Superblock so those two businesses won't be impacted.

Businesses owners in the area told us this is a big relief for them.

The city says it plans to move forward with the properties already acquired to make room for the proposed children's library as well as the new CCU performing arts hall.

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