Carolina Forest SC is a master-planned community. It is a large scale neighbourhood with various commercial and recreational amenities such as restaurants, parks, golf courses, and more. It is located between Conway and Myrtle Beach in the area planned by the International Paper back in the late 1990s. Dubbed as the Myrtle Beach’s “bedroom community,” the unit development was expected to have 20,000 single and multifamily homesites once finished.
Overview and Geography
It spans 25.4 square miles, of which 1.1 square miles is water and 24.7 square miles is land. Carolina Forest is a growing business district featuring strip malls of regional, national, as well as local retailers. The community in the area also boasts its own private schools, recreation centers, churches, and golf courses.
The Carolina Forest has become far more accessible especially with its growing population. New roads like the International Drive has been developed. It’s an extension of Robert Grissom Parkway that offers direct access to Myrtle Beach as well as River Oaks Drive, that runs west as well as parallel of the Intercoastal Waterway.
Carolina Forest used to be part of the 30,000 acre Buist Tract, a bigger tract of land located in eastern Horry County. The International Paper, which was originally owned by Burroughs & Chapin, bought the tract back in 1937. The area used to be part of the Gunnery Range and Conway Bombing during the World War II. The company donated a part of the tract, which is now known as Coastal Carolina University in 1960. In 1989, about 9,000 acres on the north part of Carolina Forest were given to the state and it was later on formed the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve.
The remaining 21,000 acres was sold to Horry County Schools and the area was used to develop Carolina Forest Elementary School, Carolina Forest High School, and Carolina Forest Middle School. Another 350 acres were then sold to form a residential property and golf course. International Paper continued to sell more of its land in 1994. Later on, the Carolina Forest Boulevard and River Oaks Drive were expanded and completed.