An organization in Myrtle Beach needs to raise $10 million dollars, in just three weeks. Abiding Village, an organization formed by members of Christ United Methodist Church, said the fundraiser seems crazy, but they have big plans if it works.
The land that held the old Hard Rock, and then the Freestyle Music Park, is for sale. The property is worth around 150 to 180 million dollars, but the owners are giving the organization a deal, cutting it down to 10 million dollars.
Abiding Village is a non-profit outreach that introduces youth to urban arts, like hip-hop dance, percussion, painting, and theater. The organization has a small building now about half a mile from the land they hope to buy.
"I just started creating this crazy kind of vision in my heart," Jessica Sagun, Director of Abiding Village said. The vision continued to grow, and Sagun said she often thought how perfect the land at Freestyle Music Park would be for her idea.
When the offer to buy the land came, organizers got to work, creating three phases of development. The first encompassed the arts, and providing the youth in Horry County with a Christian-based environment to excel. The next phase focuses on business and boosting the economy. "We take local business leaders and partner them with qualified highly motivated youth," Sagun said. She said the youth would work to develop, and execute, their own business plans.
Once these plans are in place, the businesses would be created in Abiding Village, bringing jobs to the area. But it doesn't stop there.
"We would create a Christ centered educational complex. It will be free to any student who wishes to participate in it," Sagun said.
Leaders said the potential impact could be huge. "It's going to change the economy of Myrtle Beach, of the Grand Strand. It's going to bring jobs, it's going to do something that only god can do," Sagun said.
But the question is, how did get the offer, so cheap? "The property is worth 180 million, 150-180 million dollars, and we have the opportunity to buy it for 10 million dollars. It's something that has come about relatively quickly, and we're just seeking to make the best of it," Sagun said.
But that's not the only question. Many people question the location. Two theme parks there closed down without making a big impact, so what makes this plan any different? "What we want to do is of God, and that's better than good," Sagun said.
She said already, she's heard that the whole idea is crazy. "It is crazy, we don't disagree with that, we think it's crazy big!" Sagun joked. But she hopes the so-called crazy vision, will turn into a crazy reality. "We're pouring every bit of energy we have into it. If something happens, and for whatever reason we don't meet that goal, we're going to know we did everything God called us to do," Sagun said.
To read more about the Abiding Village, or to donate online, go to http://www.abidingvillage.org/
. To make a donation over the phone, contact staff at the Abiding Village at (843) 236-3983.