Study: Myrtle Beach One of US’s
BY ADAM BENSON
(Sun News for full article)
A dominant hospitality sector and rapidly growing high-tech realm has propelled Myrtle Beach near the top of America’s best performing cities, a major new study shows.
The nonprofit think tank this week listed Myrtle Beach as the nation’s 12th best-performing city out of the 200 it evaluated, based on metrics including broadband access, labor market conditions, high-tech impact and housing affordability — vaulting it up 89 spots from 2021 rankings.
MYRTLE BEACH IS COURTING NEW INVESTMENTS, AND THE HIGH-TECH SECTOR IS KEY
Milken’s assessment of the city’s tech climate comes at a pivotal moment in Myrtle Beach’s recent history.
Officials are beginning a multi-year plan to create a downtown arts and innovation district defined by cutting-edge technology and streetscape designs.
But it was the October 2022 groundbreaking of a $31.5 million data center and transcontinental subsea transmission line inside the city’s International Technology and Aerospace Park that helped reposition the local economy.
Waldie (Milken) said that project by DC Blox and the HTC Hub on 9th Avenue North — a business incubator that caters to entrepreneurs — are catalysts for Myrtle Beach’s growing tech sector.
“If you look across the country, a lot of places that are big tech hubs, they kind of have been overdeveloped at this point. I think what makes a region like ours so attractive is that we aren’t (overdeveloped), and it is more affordable from a business perspective.”
Sandy Davis, who’s led the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation for a decade, said interest among prospective developers is at an all-time high across the county’s business parks.
Most recently, Myrtle Beach hosted the 19th annual Business Facilities LiveXChange, connecting site selectors with groups like Davis’s for talks on “big ticket relocation and expansion projects,” according to its website.
“The subsea cable (project) has really made a huge difference in the companies that we’re talking to, the interest that see.” Davis said. “Technology is definitely at the forefront.”