Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Myrtle Beach considers giving The Market Common owners more time to finish public improvements

The developer at The Market Common and the surrounding area would have five extra years to build housing and other planned development and finish putting in nearly $5 million worth of public upgrades if the City Council approves a new agreement with the developer this afternoon.

The agreement between the city and LUK-MB1, BEI-Beach LLC and LUK-MB2 would keep the zoning the same to give the group five more years to finish its projects and the nearly $5 million of streetscape, utilities and streetlights that go with those developments.

The original agreement with the developer, which was signed in 2006, expires in July. The new agreement extends the contract five years, adds the new owner of The Market Common – a subsidiary of the original owners that bought the property out of foreclosure – and reduces the line of credit the company must put up for the public improvements from $10 million to $5 million.

Work on new housing and other projects stalled after the recession and the real estate bust, officials said.

“We want to provide as much flexibility as possible to respond to the market,” city councilman Wayne Gray said.

But some council members said they must ensure that the public improvements the developer has promised eventually get done, and said they didn’t want to lower the amount on the letter of credit because the cost of the work might increase in five years, especially with fuel prices already rising.

The council is set to vote on the new agreement during its 2 p.m. meeting at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center. The council must have another public hearing and vote on the agreement again before it is official.

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