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Real Estate - Commercial

In Sunset Beach, Sea Trail Development Moves Forward On Several Fronts

By Jenny Callison, posted Nov 13, 2023
Renovations on the Convention Center at Sea Trail, whose lobby is shown here, are almost complete. (Photo courtesy of Sea Trail Investments LLC)
The roll-out of Sea Trail Plantation's renovation and expansion plans is on fast-forward. Two major announcements within an 11-day period highlight the changes coming soon to the 2,000-acre golf and country club community in Sunset Beach.
 
Sea Trail Investments LLC announced on Nov. 2 that it had completed its acquisition of all the golf and commercial property in the development that it had not already purchased. The owners of Sea Trail Investments – Robert Hill, Donald Bean and Parker Smith – also stated that they have joined forces with new investor Sandesh Sharda to form Sea Trail Golf Resort LLC.
 
Sharda, the owner and founder of a global technology and consulting firm, recently acquired Rivers Edge Golf Course in Shallotte and will soon close on the purchase of The International Club of Myrtle Beach, according to a news release. His major investment in Sea Trail will help propel developments currently underway or on the drawing board. And those developments are numerous.
 
Last July, the town of Sunset Beach approved a conditional zoning request from Hill and Bean that allowed them to develop more of the land for commercial, residential and recreational uses. After that, work began on renovating the shuttered Convention Center at Sea Trail, which is preparing to reopen in early December, according to the company. Work will soon start on a major remodel of the adjacent Byrd Jones Clubhouse, the owners say in a blog post on the company’s website.
 
“We have provided a multi-million-dollar capital improvement budget for massive improvements to [Sea Trail’s] courses, clubhouses, and facilities,” the blog states. “We are particularly excited to share that the Jones Byrd Clubhouse will straight-away undergo a complete redesign and renovation that will provide our golf resort with one of the most premier—if not the premier—golf clubhouse establishment within the Carolinas... Our ownership team is committed to accomplishing this major feat in record time, with a March completion date to ready us for this upcoming golf season.”
 
The owners also announced they have hired East Coast Golf Management to handle all aspects of the operations of all three Sea Trail golf courses, including food and beverage. East Coast will also “play a key role” in managing the convention center as well, according to Hill.

“With East Coast managing the golf courses and related amenities, golfers can expect an elevated experience thanks to high-level maintenance, improved course conditions and enhanced customer service,” he said in a news release.

The 15-acre parcel next to the convention center has a blueprint for development as well, Hill said Monday.

“We received approval for a 150-room hotel on which we are in process of working with our consultants, design and engineers,” he said. “As you probably know, a resort hotel is a multi- year process and if we started today, it would be about a two-to-three-year process.”

Many new residential units are in the works as well, since Sea Trail’s development arm, Riptide Builders, purchased the remaining 200-plus acres of undeveloped land within the community in 2020. Riptide recently completed Byrd Watch, a neighborhood of 49 single-family homes, and is putting the final touches on 27 units in a development called The Townhomes at Sawmill. A few of those furnished, four-bedroom townhouses will be available starting in late December; all will be ready by the end of January, Hill said.

There is more multi-family development to come.

“We received full conditional zoning approval for approximately 450 multi-family condo units which have the ability to join the short-term rental program,” Hill added Monday, explaining that while these condos will be available as part of golf packages, rentals will be open to anyone. Construction on some of the units has begun.
 
“We look to add many more units throughout 2024,” Hill said. “We are hoping to have at least 100 more new luxurious units added in 2024.”
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