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Myrtle Beach Air Force Base redevelopment wins national award from the Environmental Protection Agency

Top officials from the EPA and the US Air Force will be in Myrtle Beach Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. to recognize the team that transformed the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base into the Market Common district and more. The project is receiving the National Site Reuse Award in the Base Realignment and Closure category. The ceremony will be held at Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s Conference & Business Center, 950 Crabtree Lane, in Myrtle Beach.

The 3,936-acre former Air Force Base is now home to The Market Common and surrounding neighborhoods, with thousands of new homes, a dozen parks, walking trails and sporting facilities, along with Myrtle Beach International Airport, Whispering Pines Golf Course, the International Technology and Aerospace Park and other commercial, educational and residential developments.

According to a news release from the EPA, “This redevelopment project has had a large economic impact on Horry County by employing 25,781 people and providing $2,972,700,000 in annual economic activity and $119,872,710 in annual tax revenue.” Yes, that's $2.9 billion in economic activity from the former Air Force Base.

The award recognizes the hard work, innovative thinking and cooperation among federal and state agencies, local partners, developers and others to encourage restoration of federal sites for beneficial reuses. Myrtle Beach’s team includes the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority, the US EPA Region 4, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Myrtle Beach Restoration Advisory Board. All worked on the redevelopment and remediation of the former military base since its closure in 1993.

“What was once Myrtle Beach AFB is now a thriving urban village, with residential developments and a Technology and Aerospace Park,” said Thomas “Buddy” Styers, Executive Director of the Air Base Redevelopment Authority. “It is a regional hub for job creation and tax base enhancement.”