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Developers consider sites for Coastal arena


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Posted on Sat, Aug. 28, 2004

Developers consider sites for Coastal arena

By Sophia Maines

The Sun News

Developers of a proposed arena are weighing whether to place the $49 million project on Coastal Carolina University's campus.

David DeSpain, the lead agent for Coastal Carolina Arena, said placing the arena near CCU's U.S. 501 entrance is one option. He said he will distribute a feasibility study to public officials in upcoming weeks.

Plans at one point called for placing the arena in the Atlantic Center for Business & Industry across U.S. 501 from CCU. Moving the facility to the other side of the road might seem like a slight move but brings significant change and may hold advantages.

The Atlantic Center is in unincorporated Horry County, while CCU's campus is within the city limits of Conway - a town that appears warm to the idea.

Mayor Greg Martin said he hopes the arena is built within Conway limits, because it that would attract visitors to Conway and benefit the community.

"Both the university and the technical college are part of the city limits," Martin said. "That would be just another asset to the community."

Placing the arena on CCU's campus brings Conway into negotiations.

It also would mean developers will not need the 25 acres in the Atlantic Center for Business & Industry for arena parking. They have asked for this from the county.

DeSpain said project members still are asking for $6.3 million in tax rebates generated through tax-

increment financing, which diverts property-tax money from schools and local governments to pay for roads, parking, stormwater drainage or utilities associated with a private project.

DeSpain said the idea to build the arena on CCU's campus came from CCU officials. CCU President Ron Ingle could not be reached for comment.

"Either site works for us," DeSpain said. "We want to satisfy the university's needs."

CCU's Legal Counsel Eddie Dyer said he personally favors having the arena on CCU's campus because it would be more accessible to students.

DeSpain is expected to meet with Horry County Council in September to discuss the project.

"We will be as supportive as we can to whatever they decide," County Chairwoman Liz Gilland said.

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Interesting. I assume this is some sort of entertainment arena right? There arent any sprts teams from that area that i know of except the Pelicans. The Pee Dee Pride is in Florence... what else? Sounds like a good development though- It might encourage some people to head inland from Myrtle Beach as well.

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