What was to become Myrtle Beach’s premiere dining, shopping and entertainment destination, opened with much expectation in April, 2008, due largely in part to the leadership of retired Air Force colonel, Buddy Styers, who serves as the Executive Director of The Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority. The Market Common is located in Myrtle Beach’s Market Common District which was formerly the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base that was shuttered in March of 1993. The transformation that has taken place is evidence of one of the best military base redevelopment projects in the country.
Few of the structures original to the Air Force base that opened in 1956 still exist, but the streets are named for the heroes who shaped its history and that of the World War II Army Air Corp air field and bombing range that had previously been here from 1941 to 1947. Historical markers are placed throughout the Market Common District telling the stories of those heroes, military buildings that were once here, and historical events in which the men and women stationed in Myrtle Beach played a part. The Market Common offers military history trolley tours throughout the year that give greater detail to those stories. Tours without the trolley can be arranged for interested bus groups.
Today, The Market Common has become the place to be for outdoor events. We host a New Year’s Eve party, the Taste of The Market Common, free concerts and movies in the park each summer, and delightful Halloween and Christmas Tree Lighting celebrations to name a few. In addition, there are marathons, festivals of the Italian, Irish and wine varieties, and dragon boat races in neighboring Grand Park annually. Even The Myrtle Beach International Film Festival, now in its 14th year, calls The Market Common home.