A Plan for Charlie’s Place

Contest finalist hopes to revitalize the Carver Street  landmark

Edna Wright is many things: a 2015 Knight Cities Challenge finalist, a city government employee, a lifelong South Carolinian. Her latest project? Taking on the lots around Charlie’s Place in Myrtle Beach to create a community market and business incubator for the Carver Street community. Charlie’s Place Supper Club was a hotspot in the once-segregated Booker T. Washington neighborhood that featured R&B icons like Little Richard, Otis Redding, Billie Holiday and Ray Charles perform. Wright describes the inspiration for the project—which is a finalist selected from more than 4,500 entries to the Knight Cities Challenge—as the community itself.

Wright and the Neighborhood Services Division are working with the community to develop the space in a way that preserves the spirit of Charlie’s Place. In order to help them finance the renovations that they have in mind, she and her team are hoping to win a piece of the Knight Foundation’s $5 million grant pool, which will be announced this spring.

As Wright designs and crafts the project, she is hopeful that this community hub and market will spark a renaissance on Carver Street and create a springboard for economic revitalization. The team is planning on using the market and business incubator to offer training and job opportunities for Myrtle Beach residents.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY of WMBF NEWS