The District is the exciting new concept for the Myrtle Beach Mall. The proposed redevelopment will add an open air center and waterfront dining. Successful anchor stores – Belk, JC Penny, Bass Pro Shop and AMC Theater will remain while adding restaurants, housing units, and a hotel.
The Myrtle Beach Mall has had many changes in the past few decades. Opening in 1986 as the “Briarcliffe Mall” it was the second mall in the area besides Inlet Square Mall. Then it was renamed Colonial Mall. In 2007, new owners changed the name to Myrtle Beach Mall. It was again sold in 2014 for $45 million.
Additions such as a second Belk store and the Bass Pro Shop have been anchors for the mall. It has seen decline over the years with many stores leaving.
Shopping malls have seen a drastic decline in recent years. In 2017, industry experts predicted 25% of malls would close in the next five years. The good news is that malls can still be successful despite changes in retail habits. Many are seeing the resurgence of retail when they diversify and renovate adding more options and modern design. According to Behavior Analytics Retail, “The hottest trend is the Lifestyle Center. This is a shopping center that combines traditional retailers with leisure amenities.” The key characteristics to thriving retail areas are luxury, leisure, and entertainment. The truth is that people don’t want to simply shop anymore. They want to go somewhere beautiful where they can eat, shop and be entertained.
The District has plans to be a multi-purpose space with a mix of indoor and outdoor areas. There will be a luxurious coastal vibe with plenty of restaurants and entertainment. The entire center of the mall will be removed, creating an open air courtyard filled with palm trees and fountains. Taking advantage of the intracoastal waterway at the back of the property will attract boaters and create scenic dining experiences as well.
The Director of United Development Company Global, Sandra Baber-Sandefur stated about the new development, “We are presently finalizing plans. We hope to make a final announcement in 4-8 weeks.”
The Myrtle Beach Mall’s website homepage links to the future development plans by Divaris Real Estate Inc you can see here. The Divaris website states that “The District is the place to experience the excitement of Myrtle Beach.”
This renovation is a much needed improvement for the Grand Strand. Because of Myrtle Beach’s fast growing metro area and large tourism industry, cultural centers are popular destinations for visitors and locals alike. The District could be a perfect example of how retailers are bringing crucial change to the American shopping experience.
Updated January 13, 2019.