Linger Longer is taking longer

Some folks will cheer this news, I’m sure. I still think we need a very nice development, and not just a bunch of Days Inns all over the place.

Linger Longer Communities is changing its plan for the Jekyll Island waterfront, but don’t ask it where it will put anything now.

It’s still in the process of deciding how its proposed $342 million development will fit into the state-owned island.

A change of plans became necessary after the company announced last week that the development it’s proposing for the state park will no longer swallow the parking lot north of the Jekyll Island Convention Center.

The half-mile section of open beach will be left for public use.

6 comments

  1. Mae says:

    Linger Longer’s decision to back off developing Jekyll’s main public beach is a bit of a shock since LL and the JIA have been saying for months that only a handful of people (mostly Jekyll residents, they claim) are opposed to the condo-hotel community that was projected for a haalf-mile segment of Jekyll’s shoreline. The beachfront project was billed by the JIA as being essential to Jekyll’s ‘revitalization.’ Critics of the proposal, the story goes, are opposed to any change on Jekyll – you know, just naysayers and malcontents. Now, the spin is that LL, in backing off the beach, is simply responding responsibly to a mass of public input calling for the preservation of Jekyll’s open beach, and just exercising the flexibility it has said it would when it first announced the proposal and later held a series of public hearings. This would all sound fine were it not for the fact that LL was clinging to those valuable oceanfront acres with a death grip until just a week ago and was doing its best to marginalize the opponents of the plan, who number over 10,000 according to recent press reports. By behaving this way, the JIA and LL have lost the trust of many and now find themselves with a credibility gapp that affects ever claim, every statement, and every promise they might make.
    Will those who might question any of the components of the upcoming amended proposal be labeled as people out to kill any improvements on JI or will we see a genuine dialogue between LL and Jekyll’s advocates, this time?

  2. Beachlover says:

    Surely there is something on the continuum between Days Inn and Reynolds Plantation that can be proposed for Jekyll Island’s revitalization. Surely with all the design talent Mercer Reynolds has, a proposal can be sketched that will prevent Jekyll from becoming cut-rate central for Days Inn, Motel 6, and that motel chain with an 8 in it’s name without creating an over crowed, over developed monstrosity that erases the quiet elegance that currently characterizes Jekyll. That elegance brings a lot of tourist money to Jekyll as well as to Brunswick where people go to shop. I await with bated breath the unveiling of the new plans. If the past really is prologue to the future, Linger Longer would be wise to partner with the residents and frequent tourists when they create the new plan.

  3. long memory says:

    Is there a way that citizens of Georgia might actually express an opinion to ll and get listened to and taken seriously? It seems tome that each effort to say what we want on OUR beach has be blown aside as the ranting of a few malcontents. It isn’t. No, and the areas of Georgia that don’t express such a decided opinion are the ones who still don’t know about all this. You see many areas don’t get the AJC and few of the other papers have carried much about the struggle. My hometown paper has been very fair carrying views from both sides, but most have not. If they write anything, it is to parrot the JIA’s talking points.
    We don’t mind redevelopment on Jekyll, most of us, but we want well thought out planned and environmentally sound development that still keeps the island affordable to the average Georgia family. It is our heritage and I, for one, would like to leave that heritage for my children and grandchildren. If we talk to each other instead of at each other, I think we can accomplish this. That is a big if.

  4. ashleychasteen says:

    I am very excited to hear that the LLC is backing off on its original plans. I can only hope that the reason is the response of so many citizens concerned with preserving their beach. Obviously there is still a niche (a rather large niche at that) that desires a vacation spot like Jekyll – undisturbed by luxury resorts, massive conference centers, and high-rise condos. Let’s just hope the LLC and the JIA are listening to what we have to say and not hiding something under their sleeves.

  5. susanme says:

    I think Linger Longer should linger longer before making new development plans. From the start I have thought that Linger Longers’ plans were too big for our little island. I question if Linger Longer will be willing to take a more moderate approach to its development plans. I was born in Georgia and have lived here all my life. I agree with what Long Memory said in his/her comment–“Jekyll is our heritage.”
    The island itself is my main concern. Its natural settings. Its open shoreline. Its wildlife. We have something here that is so rare but some people don’t see what I see. It’s not just about profits. It’s about being responsible and doing the right thing for Jekyll and the people of Georgia. Its about giving not just taking. If we can partner with someone who can understand that most Georgians can’t afford to stay at the Ritz-Carlton and that they might be able to afford $41 to play golf but they can’t afford $250. It’s the understanding of what Jekyll means to those people who aren’t able to afford these kind of accommodations that is the key to what the new development plans need to be.

  6. Jersey Girl says:

    I am happy, though skeptical, about the announcement that JIA director, Ben Porter, and Linger Longer had agreed to modify plans to build directly on undeveloped shoreline of Jekyll Island state park. While the tone of the announcement indicated that the JIA and Linger Longer had willingly come to this decision based on “the opinion of the people”, anyone who has been following and/or directly involved in this issue may be of the opinion that this change of heart was made at the eleventh hour- and only in the face of mounting public and media questioning and pressure. Overall, the decision seemed to be a thinly veiled attempt to avert legislation that might place restrictions on the current or future plans and projects. Since the original plan has been announced, without fail in every meeting I attended the JIA members (with the notable exception of Ed Boshears) has treated any person (visitor, citizen or resident ) in a hostile, patronizing and condescending manner. There has been a carefully orchestrated media campaign to vililfy any person or entity that articulated concerns for average Georgians, the environment and sea turtles. Finally, the lack of reliable, valid objective data about island attendence, visitors’ suggestions and recommendations, environmental impact, sustainability, etc. is so glaring that it reflects levels of irresponsibility and incompetence that should concern Georgia’s citizens and politicians.

    My husband and myself rent a home four months a year on Jekyll Island; we have done so for the past 6 years. Despite the fact that we are not citizens of Georgia, we treasure the natural, unspoiled beauty of this state park. Here people of every income level from throughout Georgia, the United States and Canada are able to have full access to all aspects of a barrier island. We support replacing demolished and aging buildings; but we do not support the “stewarts” of the state park using flawed and very limited objective data to enable politically well connected developers to build on pristine property under the guise that the project is financially risky. In reality, selling pristine oceanfront property is such a “slam dunk” that any high school business class could reap a fortune from such an endeavor. It is disconcerting that JIA members have opted to obtain detailed development plans prior to obtaining any economic feasibility and environmental impact studies; this clearly is putting the cart before the horse. Furthermore, it seems negligent and irresponsible to base future plans on how to best proceed on the carefully crafted media campaigns of PR firms and project directors for companies who stand to profit handsomely from the proposal.

    Currently, there are three beachfront hotels that have been demolished; plans to replace them are in various stages or progress. These will add an additional 900 rooms to the island and will result in their being a total of 8 beachfront facilities for visitors. In light of the current financial climate in the country, wouldn’t it be economically and environmentally responsible and prudent to complete these projects before moving ahead with plans to add an additonal 1100 rooms? There is no proof “if you build it they will come”–especially if the building that will be undertaken will result in the destruction of what is special and unique about a place. Why turn Jekyll into another crowded and overdeveloped place–you will only drive away the loyal customers that already spend time and money there. In the event an individual, family or group on Jekyll want a change of pace and desires to spend time shopping and in traffic– the drive to St. Simons isn’t that far. The fact that the two islands seem worlds apart only adds to the specialness of the Golden Isle experience–why ruin that?

    MAC

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