MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Business owners in downtown Myrtle Beach are being impacted by a new road project coming to the Grand Strand.

South Carolina Department of Transportation officials said the Highway 501 redirection is expected to start construction in early 2024.

The businesses along 7th Avenue, right off of North Kings Highway, were told by SCDOT they will have to relocate soon.

Most of the businesses’ doors are already closed and locked.

“They evicted me as of March 1, and then I asked for an extension because I still did not have a place,” said William H. Miller, an artist and gallery director.

Miller said he received a letter from SCDOT in January, saying that he needed to relocate his business because of a road project.

One SCDOT official said they granted another tenant an extension, as well as worked with the impacted property owners.

Miller said that with the help of the Myrtle Beach Downtown Alliance, he was able to welcome a new space to the community — the home to artists on 8th Avenue.

“I immediately saw the potential of what you see now, and it didn’t look like this when we moved in,” he said. “It was not move-in ready.”

Miller said he received business re-establishments from SCDOT to use towards his relocation.

“So, they gave me some money to use towards painting, and lighting, and making sure the electric was safe and moving to move to this location,” he said.

Miller said he was excited to stay within the Arts and Innovation District, but that wasn’t the case for all of the businesses on 7th Avenue.

“The business that was directly next to me, the beauty shop has found a new location on Broadway and have relocated their business,” he said. “The other business, I’m not partied to what they’re doing or what they’re struggling with.”

Black Thai, a restaurant, now has a sign on its door reading they “are no longer working as a restaurant.”

An SCDOT official said any tenants that haven’t moved only have until Friday to vacate.

Miller said that in the future, he hopes to see more people come to the downtown area to be a part of his art events.

Miller added that any artists interested in participating in his downtown art show on Sept. 20 can click here.