Linger Longer owns Reynolds Plantation and first proposed a $352 million redevelopment of Jekyll Island in 2007. A year later, the developer scaled back its plans to only two hotels, a time-share condo complex, lofts and a small shopping center along the beachfront.
By law, 65% of Jekyll Island must remain undeveloped. Linger Longer possesses a 25-year first right of refusal for all development and management for all development on Jekyll Island.
In a statement, Reynolds chairman Mercer Reynolds, whose company has given thousands of dollars to Perdue’s campaigns and the state Republican party, said the developer decided to pull the plug “due to the uncertainty of the economic environment and the difficulty that this uncertainty imposes on a workable development schedule.”
David Egan, a Jekyll resident who has fought the island’s upscale revitalization, said Georgians should be pleased that Linger Longer is out of the picture.
“It’s a victory in the sense that we hope the (Jekyll Island) Authority will step back and try to take into account what the people want for the state park, not what the developers want,” he said. “It’s a victory for a public vision for the state park.”