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MYRTLE BEACH CONDOS MAY BE TURNED INTO TIMESHARES

According to the North Carolina radio station, concerned residents of the North Beach Towers community in North Myrtle Beach have been hearing rumors recently of a plan in the works by the new owner, Starwood Capital Group, to turn vacant units within the condo development into timeshares.

But a representative from Starwood Capital Group countered that, telling WMBF News there are no immediate plans to create timeshares.

In a letter to homeowners, one of the developers, David Stradinger, wrote, "It is important to note that there will not be any noticeable changes at the property."

The property has fallen on difficult times. Horry County, N.C. Register of Deeds records show the property defaulted on its mortgage under the previous owners, and got sold to Starwood Capital Group at the end of December.

There’s some dispute about which parts of the property are in trouble. The developer that manages the houses surrounding North Beach Towers claims the single-family homes are separate from the towers and that they have never defaulted on their loan.

Real estate expert Blake Sloan told the television station that if the company were to turn some of the vacant condo units into timeshares, property owners have a right to worry.

But he added they shouldn't only be thinking about the negative aspects of the deal. Sloan says there's no documented data that show timeshares lower the property value of owner-occupied units.

"I think it's definitely a reason to be concerned, but at the same time after actually seeing some data in regards to what happens when a timeshare or vacation ownership does come in there, in times like that it can actually be a benefit," Sloan said.

For one thing, Sloan said, there’s value in having renters fill those empty units and attract residents who wouldn't want to live in a vacant property. He also added that with proper management, a timeshare venture can mean better maintenance for the entire development.

Bridgette Wall, a resident of Myrtle Beach, said she rents a house in the surrounding community, and she told the radio station she understands why some owners would be concerned about the possibility of timeshares replacing condos.

"They would be concerned like anybody that heard this would be.” Wall told the station. “They would be kind of leery, you know. I certainly wouldn't want it if I did own."

According to Starwood Capital Group's website the company is associated with a hotel management business, but no longer connected to Starwood Hotels.



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