JEKYLL ISLAND (AP) — The developer of Georgia’s ritzy Reynolds Plantation has won the right to revitalize state-owned Jekyll Island with a proposed $352 million infusion of hotel rooms, condos and shops.
Linger Longer Communities plans to build a town center on the southeast Georgia island that includes more than 1,100 hotel, condo and time-share units along 64 acres of beachfront property. The plan also includes a greenspace with trails and an environmental center.
The announcement comes after months of scrutiny of Jekyll’s future. Some lawmakers said the aging facilities desperately needed a makeover, while some residents and environmental groups worried that an island that was designed as a universal vacation spot could be transformed into an exclusive resort.
The announcement apparently has done little to bridge the divide.
Linger Longer was among three companies competing to redevelop the 45-acre site, a first step toward billions of dollars' worth of new residential and commercial construction.
The rent and other payments to the Jekyll Island Authority is estimated to total $67 million over 15 years and create 4,000 permanent jobs.