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Former store may become part of town nautre park

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

A house at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and the North Causeway will become part of the Pawleys Island Nature Park under a plan approved by Town Council.

The council approved an offer of $375,000 on the house, which was built in the 1940s as a store.

If the offer is accepted and if accommodations tax revenue can be used for the purchase, the property will become part of the park at the North Causeway. The town leases the park for $1 a year.

The town plans to raze the house and use the lot for green space, Mayor Bill Otis said.

The house, converted from a bar and convenience store, was the summer home of the McCarley family of Asheville, N.C. Mary Anne McCarley, an artist, died in October. Her heirs approached the town to see if it had any interest in buying the property.

It would add 6,000 square feet to the park.

That was enough to interest council members. They agreed to look into purchasing the property in December and approved the offer on Monday.

There are still several issues that need to be resolved, including how to pay for it and the option for the heirs to make a gift to the town of the difference between the price and the appraised value, Otis said.

Pawleys Island Realty has the property listed for $678,000.

The McCarley heirs are willing to sell the house for significantly less, making the balance a charitable donation. That would mean a bargain for the town and a tax incentive for the seller.

The town is grateful for opportunity, Otis said.

The town wants to use state and local accommodations tax revenue to buy the property, but hasn’t found out if the money can be used that way.

“I’m 99 percent certain that use will qualify,” Otis said. But the town needs to be absolutely certain before the deal is closed.

The offer is also contingent on the seller’s ability to assure the town the house is not on the National Historic register. There is a historic registry plaque on the house, but the broker who his handling the sale hasn’t been able to find it on the National Registry.

The seller has until March 10 to take care of that issue.

Council wants to close on the property by April 10. Otis said council is waiting to see if the offer is accepted before it sets a schedule for work on the property, but he expects council would want to move quickly.

He said professionals will be brought in to help the town work the property into the park.

A plaque honoring McCarley will go up at the property under the proposal.

The town looked at options for using the house, but demolition was chosen because of its age and the extent of repairs needed.

To preserve the house, it would have to be brought into compliance with building and zoning codes, as well as meeting federal flood codes and handicapped access requirements.

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