The Success of the Myrtle Beach Air Base Redevelopment


The federal government’s report had an ominous sounding name – “Socioeconomic Impact Analysis Study.”

Its conclusions appeared to be just as ominous: the loss of nearly 5,100 jobs; as many as 1,500 homes dumped on the resale market; a 15 percent drop in students attending local schools; unemployment rates topping 20 percent; and an economic loss topping $91 million from payrolls, taxes and other revenues as soon as the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base shut down its operations.

Just as foreboding to many Myrtle Beach area residents was the sense of losing a longtime friend.

“You could never find a better neighbor than the Air Force, it was a great community,” said John Maxwell, a former Myrtle Beach city councilman who helped lead efforts to redevelop the base after its March 31, 1993 closure.


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