2 new consultants hired by the city to help revitalize downtown Myrtle Beach


The process of giving downtown Myrtle Beach a face lift is underway.

There’s been a lot of talk about what needs to done to make downtown more appealing, which is why city leaders are thrilled to have the consultants hired and already taking to the streets to get the ball rolling on revamping the area.

"It's my belief that a community's reputation is either made or broken on the downtown," said City Manager John Pedersen.

City leaders and members of the Downtown Redevelopment Committee introduced the two consultants on Wednesday who they said are going to help paint the picture of what the downtown area should look like.

"The consultants' job is to help city council develop a vision for the downtown to develop that blueprint: this is what we want it to look like, this is how we want to theme the downtown going forward," said Pedersen.

The two consultants are with Bench Mark Planning and have worked with cities across the country.

They'll help city leaders tackle a number of issues to help attract investors.

"They're going to look at the safety issues, they're going to look at the attractions, but they're going to look to make sure that it is the type of place they want to make that type of investment," said Pedersen.

The city is undergoing a 180-day study that will include pedestrian counters to count the amount of foot traffic.

"This is something we know national tenants are asking, how many folks are downtown during the shoulder season, and we can start to build a case for seasonality and really attract a variety of tenants," said DRC Executive Assistant Brian Schmitt.

In order to get a feel from the people, the consultants will take to the streets to hear not only from tourists, but the locals as well to hear what they might want to see in an area like downtown Myrtle Beach.

"They'll be getting with the various stakeholders, you know, we talked a lot today about getting with millennials and giving them a chance to participate in the process," said Pedersen.

The findings from this 180-day project will be available and discussed in early January.

The city will pay the consultants $90,000 for the study.

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