Developer Backs Out Of Jekyll Island

One day after the groundbreaking for the Great Dunes Park, Linger Longer Communities backed out of $170 million hotel-condo-retail development. 

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.”

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One response to this post.

  1. Might be a good time to take a fresh look at what Jekyll Island really needs. Not new condos or timeshares, but a new or renovated (modernized) convention center with an adjacent hotel to serve it, maybe a few new shops and restaurants on that side of Beachview (a good family breakfast restaurant would be a Godsend), a more open, pedestrian friendly Village Center, very limited and well-thought out development responding to human needs.

    I’ve heard good ideas from other folks, average Georgians who’ve been visiting Jekyll Island for decades. One good idea – keep the existing shops, modernize them, and extend the complex in an “L” shape along Ben Fortson Pkwy., to tie in with the new Flash Foods/gas station. Maybe we could keep the pharmacy and Zachry’s on the island. Maybe build a few more hotels on the footprints of the ones torn down, like the new Hampton Inn.

    Lots of Georgians, and folks from other states and even nations, love this island and love coming here. Their opinions should be sought out and cultivated. After all, it stands to reason that you’d want to please your visitors, and the way to do that is to find out what they want and need, and give it to them. Any new development should be driven by what Jekyll Island’s loyal visitors, (who’ve come here for decades with their families and, more than likely, are representative of your average new visitor), want and need.

    Another idea – bring in a landscape architect/land planning firm to do the initial land planning, one comfortable with coastal development/environmental planning, and who knows how to merge human places with natural spaces to the benefit of all.

    And renovate the amphitheater. Bring back those great plays, and supplement them with other performing arts attractions like concerts.

    ‘Nough said

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